SPRINGFIELD, MO. – Last week a group of high schoolers from Oklahoma say they were ripped off when they tried to book a flight to Florida for their senior trip and ended up getting stranded in the Ozarks.

Now, the Better Business Bureau has a warning for others as Memorial Day weekend approaches.

OzarksFirst’s Ashley Eddy spoke with the Better Business Bureau who say they researched the site and called Think For Vacation, the company the Oklahoma school worked with to buy tickets.

The BBB says it is a brand new website that was registered in March of 2022. They say the BBB doesn’t have a record of business from this site like they usually would.

Those are just some of the red flags that they are warning others to look out for when booking a trip.

Last week those high school students arrived here at the Springfield Branson National Airport and say they found out the website they purchased tickets from did not come through with all of them.

The students say that resulted in them staying in the Ozarks instead of flying to Florida.

Stephanie Garland, Regional Director with the BBB says so far this year, US Consumers have reported over 80 thousand dollars lost to travel scams- a 187 percent increase in losses compared to the same period in 2021.

“We thought we were going directly through Allegiant, what I’ve learned since then is that do not go through a 1-800 number,” says superintendent Brenda Taylor.

“Go ahead and contact a real travel agent if you want to go to Disney or something similar, plan a trip. That could be a way for you to go ahead and do it and hire someone who’s BBB accredited, has an A+ rating, and who’s trusted and reliable,” said Garland.

Ashley Eddy called the number that the school says they worked with to book the flight today and the agency is claiming the school has been refunded for four of the airline tickets.

They said the school will have to work with Allegiant to receive a refund on the majority of the other tickets. We weren’t able to reach the school to confirm that today.

The BBB says these types of situations happen year round, but especially around busy travel times such as spring break, holidays, or summer.

The BBB website has a scam tracker where people can report situations like this.