DALLAS – For more than a year, Jeff Morris and his brother had planned to take their parents on a trip to Havana, Cuba, so his father could see the old American cars that the island nation is known for.
J.R. Morris, Jeff’s father, is a fan of classic cars, acquiring and restoring a 1950 Mercury, 1957 Chevy and 1957 Thunderbird and antique Mustang.
"The fact that there's a lot of these same type cars over there that they've rebuilt with odds and ends to keep 'em going. I was interested to find out how they do that,” said the elder Morris.
The family of four was supposed to fly from DFW to Miami and then connect to Havana last Monday morning.
"We're not spring chickens. We just wanted this to be a good trip. We were all excited about it. But we didn't get to go," recalled Betty Morris, Jeff’s mother.
They made it to Terminal D at DFW Airport last Monday, but the first aircraft they boarded was taken out of service with an oil leak, the family said.
American Airlines sent them to another gate, but a second aircraft was no longer available.
The airline finally sent passengers to Terminal A, to a third jet, that American boarded but ended up parking after a landing gear problem.
The Morris' never made it to Havana.
"We've worked a long time and tried to put aside money for trips and do that kind of thing, and we just kind of feel like we've been stripped of that money and no trip,” said Betty.
American refunded $1,300 for the flights and provided $300 travel vouchers for each of the family members, said Jeff.
But the family said its travel agent at Nexus Holidays told them lodging, food and tours were prepaid, therefore the family would not get back more than $5,000 for the three-night trip.
In addition, travel insurance was never offered, said Jeff Morris.
Nexus Holidays did not immediately respond to two emails On Wednesday.
"I don't like anybody taking advantage of my parents and when you start jacking with my family, you’re jacking with me. I'm not going to let this die,” added Jeff.
Mr. Morris, who survived cancer and a heart attack, is keeping his dream alive to one day visit Cuba. He’s just uncertain how soon he can afford to visit.
In an email response on Thursday afternoon, Nexus Holidays said in part:
Resolving the problems [which] the Morris family experienced has been a top priority ever since they were unable to fly. Under the terms and conditions of our website, all trips are 100% non-refundable and non-transferable. The $1300 refund mentioned in the news article was not directly provided by American Airlines. We were the ones that contacted American Airlines for the refund and are currently in the process of issuing the refund checks to clients.
After their second flight was also canceled because of a problem with the airplane, our travel agent offered them a flight into Miami with a connection to Havana on the next day. An extension of the tour was also offered so that the Morris family would be able to enjoy the time lost because of flight issues. The Morris family declined that option and ended up canceling the trip. We informed the Morris family that even if they were to cancel the trip everything was non-refundable and they said they understood. Our travel agent responsible for their case was in contact with them throughout the entire process and did everything in her power to resolve the problem. Furthermore, the Morris family never directly contacted us in regards to refunds.
Secondly, in regards to travel insurance, it is stated that travel insurance is something we strongly suggest customers buying under our terms and conditions. The customer must accept all terms and conditions before making a payment. The terms and conditions are located under travel resource in our website.
We serve thousands of customers a year in the United States and are a global company with offices in Australia, China, and Canada. We are deeply sorry for what happened to the Morris family during their trip, but the news article published did not give a fair representation of what truly occurred.