SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Seniors from a high school in Oklahoma are spending their senior trip in the Ozarks, but that wasn’t originally the plan.
The students, from Oklahoma Union High School, were supposed to fly out of Springfield to Orlando, Florida to spend time at Universal Studios.
That is until the school said they found out they were scammed.
“We arrived to the Springfield airport and we went to the gate,” said Superintendent Brenda Taylor. “We found out that we did not have all of our tickets there. That we had been scammed for twelve of them to be exact.”
After spending time raising money for a trip to Florida, the school said the tickets they bought for the trip weren’t actually through Allegiant Air.
“We had just worked so hard throughout the whole year fundraising,” said Senior Julia Barron. “A lot of people told us you’ll never be able to do that, no one has gone that far for a class trip. We just had set this huge goal and we finally thought we had achieved it. Then we heard the bad news, and it was really hard.”
The 45 high school seniors and sponsors instead spent Thursday at Silver Dollar City.
“I think the moral has really gone up since we’ve been here,” said Barron. “The Springfield area has just taken us in with open arms.”
The new graduates are now getting offers from numerous places in the Ozarks to come do various activities for free or at a discounted price until they leave on Saturday morning.
“We went to the big Bass Pro, got treated really well there,” said Senior Bryce Gillespie. “We went to Top of the Rock this morning. I think we got Dogwood Canyon, the tracks tonight, Titanic tomorrow.”
The superintendent said the generosity has been a blessing out of adversity.
We called the phone number that the school said they worked with to book the trip. The information desk employee claimed it was a misunderstanding with Allegiant Air and not their fault.
They said they are working to refund the money for the flights to the school.
The school said they haven’t seen that refund just yet, but they want to warn others to be cautious when booking flights on the internet.
The Better Business Bureau has some tips on how to avoid potential travel scams.
“Be wary of third-party websites,” said the BBB. “Some websites appear to offer a legitimate service but are only fronts for a scam. Be suspicious of websites with no working customer service number and no physical address. Typos and grammatical errors can be indications of a scammer’s handiwork, too.”