Waterbury Parent Seeks Reimbursement for Canceled Europe Trip

Four months after the City of Waterbury canceled all school-related trips to other countries in light of recent terror attacks, one parent said she’s still fighting to get her $504 deposit back.

"I feel like enough time has gone by where they should have resolved this already," said Jessica Irizarry, a Wilby High School parent who had hoped to give her son a unique learning experience by sending him to London with his class.

She tried for months to get a refund after the city’s announcement, both through Wilby High School and EF Tours, the company in charge of the program. Irizarry said an EF Tours agent told her she couldn’t cancel without paying a $550 fee, and Waterbury schools, she said, couldn’t help until classes start in two weeks.

"I’m kind of stuck because there’s no other parents I can connect with and find out, you know, if they’re having the same experience," said Irizarry. "Have they gotten their money back? I don’t know."

That’s when she called NBC Connecticut Responds.

The school district referred us to the mayor’s office, saying the city is in charge of issuing the refunds. A city spokesperson told us Irizarry misunderstood—she shouldn’t have signed up for the trip until the school gave her the green light.

Regardless, Waterbury officials notified EF Tours of the mix-up, and Irizarry can expect to receive a full refund.

"Hopefully getting the money back, he’ll be able to travel someplace else," said Irizarry. "It might not be out of this country, but it might be some place where I feel safer sending him."

Contact Us