Tour operator apologises to parents for school trip tweet

Halsbury Travel school trip tweet
By Linsey McNeill
Home » Tour operator apologises to parents for school trip tweet

Halsbury Travel has apologised to parents after it tweeted a good luck message to students who had been due to a leave on a school trip to Spain, even though it had been cancelled just days earlier.

The school trips operator posted the tweet wishing the 50 children of Heanor Gate Spencer Academy a ‘fantastic trip’ on 17 July, but the plug had been pulled on the holiday to Valencia on 14 July.

In its tweet, Halsbury even wrote to the students: “We can’t wait to see the pics – remember to tag us in your trip posts for your chance to win a £30 Amazon voucher in our termly social media comp!”

Parents posted angry responses to the tweet, with one saying her son was ‘devastated’ the trip to Valencia had been cancelled. Another said Halsbury’s tweet had caused further distress to her child, who had already been struggling with a medical condition.

One parent suggested she could enter a photo of the receipt for her son’s unused euros in the Amazon voucher competition.

Halsbury apologised for its social media post, saying that due to the short notice of the cancellation, ‘internal communications happened after the tweet had gone out’.

It is the second time this year that Halsbury Travel has apologised to parents after cancelling a trip at short notice. It axed a school ski trip just 24 hours before children were due to leave for the slopes at Easter.

Halsbury said the most recent trip had been cancelled because Ryanair had pulled the outbound flight to Valencia due to ongoing air traffic control strikes and it had been unable to find a suitable alternative that allowed all the children to travel together.

School Principal Matthew Jones told the Derbyshire Times the school had been given just 24 hours to tell 50 ‘devastated’ students and parents or carers the trip was cancelled.

However, Ryanair told Travel Gosssip it had cancelled the flight from East Midlands to Alicante on 19 May ‘for commercial reasons’ and refunded the cost on 14 July.

In a statement, Halsbury Travel said it was investigating Ryanair’s claim. It added: “We apologise to everyone affected by the cancellation of the trip, we completely understand how disappointed they must be.

“However, this was entirely due to circumstances beyond our control. We were notified by Ryanair on Thursday that the outbound flight to Valencia was cancelled due to ongoing air traffic control strikes. 

“Ryanair were unable to offer alternative flights and our team worked tirelessly to find options with other airlines, but due to the late notice and size of the group it sadly wasn’t possible to source a solution that enabled everyone to travel together.

“We contacted the school on Thursday (July 13) to inform them of the flight cancellation and offer an alternative which would have allowed the group to travel on two separate flights. For safeguarding reasons, the school had to make the difficult decision to cancel the tour. 

“We are in the process of seeking compensation from Ryanair on the group’s behalf, as requested by the school.”

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