27th February 2023
Black Country School Party Stranded in the USA After Hotel Shredded Their Passports by Mistake.
Teachers were horrified to discover passports given to the hotel for safe keeping had been destroyed by mistake, making them miss their flights home.
Staff and students from The Barr Beacon School in Walsall were horrified to learn that Kancamagus Lodge Hotel, New Hampshire, had destroyed by mistake, resulting in them missing their flights home.
The party flew out to America on Friday, February 17 and had been skiing in the White Mountains of New England. As a result of this mistake, they have had to travel to New York to the British Embassy to get emergency travel documents to enable their safe journey home, which has now been put back four days.
It is impossible to fly out of America without a passport and the British Embassy charges upwards of £150 to issue a one off emergency travel document.
Katie Hibbs, the school Headteacher told the Express & Star newspaper: "We have a group of pupils and staff currently in New York after spending a week skiing in Boston. Unfortunately, the hotel managed to destroy the passports in their care, which has led to all those affected having to apply for Emergency Travel Documents. The group are at the British Embassy in New York today to finalise all of the documents before they fly home on Tuesday, four days later than planned." She praised the staff who had to deal with the stressful situation in America: "Although this has been a fraught time for all involved, the pupils have remained positive and my staff on the ground in the USA have worked around the clock to ensure that the pupils are all safe and returned home as soon as possible. I must also thank the parents who have all been very supportive. I'm looking forward to receiving all of the party back very soon."
Parents of the pupils were distraught when told their children could not fly home.
One parent, who did not wish to be named, said: "I could not believe my eyes when I was reading the email about the emergency travel documents. How can a hotel shred 44 passports? It is not like they were pieces of paper, they were actual passports. We had to wait weeks to get a passport in the first place, I will be asking the hotel or school to pay for a replacement."