Full series of events and my apology to my teammates and the community:
Before I go into details about what happened, I wanted to update you all that I called Delta Airlines again and finally was able to speak to someone who helped get me a full refund for one of the domestic flights that were booked. That means that there is about $3,400 in unused and recovered funds. $2,100 unspent, $848 partially refunded by Lufthansa after pleading my case on the phone, and $370 full refund from Delta after phone call.
https://i.imgur.com/t1PLVEl.png / https://i.imgur.com/R5wmajh.png
(charges to my card)
(American Airlines non-refundable confirmation: "Booked a Basic Economy fare on or after April 1, 2021, your ticket is non-refundable and non-changeable. Also confirmed on the phone)
(original Lufthansa flight)
(Lufthansa partial refund)
(Delta full refund confirmation)
(United Airlines cancelation confirmation, does not specify anything about refund in email but confirmed on phone)
I'd like to specify that nothing I say here will be an excuse for what happened even if it might seem like it. I know I made a huge mistake and I am owning up to it. There is no justification for what I did. I was responding to a lot of questions and comments on the post yesterday and noticed that a lot of my replies weren't being seen by everyone and there were a lot of repeat questions so I wanted to make a new post that explains the entire timeline of events that led up to what happened yesterday.
This all started back in mid January (just before we got Jonji) when we were informed by ESL which group we would be playing in. At the time we were in talks with a couple orgs (no big names, but people who seemed interested in our team) and one of the main things we were pushing for was the opportunity to bootcamp in EU before EPL. They seemed open to the idea but eventually said no because it would be too much of an upfront cost. We were disappointed and expressed that disappointment publicly which is when multiple people recommended a gofundme to make the trip happen. Almost immediately a bootcamp facility reached out to us and offered to use their facility completely for free for 2 weeks before EPL.
This was perfect because ESL would be be able to cover the flights to and from Germany and we would only have to pay for flights from Germany to Malta out of pocket since we'd be going to EPL right after our bootcamp (https://twitter.com/MuensterGG/status/1486885629866782725 and https://twitter.com/Partynauts_GG/status/1487488678934970368 ). This worked with our entire teams vaccination status as well because according to that timeline, our currently unvaccinated player would have time to get his 2nd dose and there would be 2 weeks between his final dose and when we'd leave. I knew that traveling internationally would be no problem with everyone fully vaccinated and scheduling testing if needed wouldn't be an issue so I didn't dive too deep into specific restrictions at the time.
Then a little over a week later the Major, RMRs, and RMR qualifier dates got announced. The original RMR dates did not conflict with our bootcamp at all and we felt really lucky that we'd still be able to play the qualifiers (https://twitter.com/MuensterGG/status/1491451289733308419) and bootcamp. Then because of scheduling conflicts with other events, PGL announced that they changed the open qualifier dates. The dates they chose were a few days after we were planning to arrive at our bootcamp. We thought about it for a bit and decided that if we adjusted our schedule and bootcamped before the RMR qualifiers, we'd be able to get a 10 day bootcamp which was much more appealing to us than a 5 day bootcamp which we didn't feel like we'd be able to get much use out of especially with a lot of traveling. Unfortunately moving the bootcamp forward also meant we wouldn't be able to fit our trip into the timeframe ESL could cover for us and we'd have to pay for it out of our own pockets. Since the flight costs were high we asked the community for more help (https://twitter.com/Partynauts_GG/status/1492213037335465987).
Once again the community showed up and supported us big time so I immediately began planning the trip. I started looking into flights times, connections/layovers, transportation and travel restrictions. While looking into restrictions not only did I check with airlines, I checked official German health services, I checked cdc travel guidelines, and I double checked all information with a trusted German resident. All of the sources confirmed that even without full vaccination status (2nd dose + 2 weeks), entry into Germany was still permitted with just a negative test. This was a bit of a lucky break in the middle of an unlucky situation so we decided to commit and book everything.
Fast forward a few days to yesterday and I woke up to the worst possible news we could've gotten. Germany had tightened their entry restrictions. Now all travelers from the US and other high risk areas, would now require both a negative test, which was the only thing previously required, but also full vaccination status was mandatory. With this update my immediate reaction was that everything that had gone into making this bootcamp happen was ruined. I was in complete shock and my first instinct was to attempt to recover the money we had spent on flights so we could figure out a new solution that allowed all 6 of us to still go and so the money we raised wouldn't go to waste and I canceled the flights. This is the first time I've ever needed to book flights so I didn't realize airlines refund and cancelation policies were so strict and by the time I attempted to recover the flights it was already too late. I spent hours on the phone with multiple airlines and talking to multiple people and every answer was the same, "according to the terms and conditions of your ticket, we cannot issue you a full refund for your canceled flight."
My heart instantly sank and I realized how badly I had fucked up. A trip that was still salvageable was completely ruined because of a completely idiotic and impulsive emotional decision I made myself. In my entire life I have never fucked up this hard and I will never be able to apologize enough for it. I didn't just ruin my teammates chances at getting a bootcamp, but I lost money that the entire community so generously donated to us. Even though I'm not in a position to ask anything from the community, I hope you can all at least continue to direct any hate or criticism to me and not to my teammates. They did nothing wrong. This mistake was entirely my own and I will do my best to make up for it moving forward. I promise something like this will never happen again and I will continue to work to get back in everyone's good graces.