More than 40 high school students stranded in US after hotel ‘destroyed their passports’ during ski trip (but they can enjoy sightseeing in NYC before returning to class)
- Forty-two teenagers from Barr Beacon School in Walsall, Birmingham, were travelling
- But hotel staff at a ski lodge where they were staying shredded 41 of their passports
- The students are now stuck in New York, but are making the best of it
Dozens of schoolchildren have been stranded in the US after blundering hotel staff reportedly accidentally shred their passports.
Forty-two teenagers from Barr Beacon School in Walsall, north of Birmingham, were on a ski trip to the United States and were due to fly home on Saturday.
But they have been forced to stay for another four days to collect emergency documents from the British embassy after the passports were inexplicably destroyed.
The group is now stuck in New York on an impromptu sightseeing tour of the Big Apple as British officials scramble to sort out their new documentation.
They previously stayed at the Kancamagus Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire, where the passports were shredded.
The teens at Barr Beacon School in Walsall, near Birmingham, enjoyed a skiing holiday at Kancamagus Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire. In the photo: students on the slopes
But now more than 40 children (pictured) are stranded in New York after a hotel inexplicably shredded 41 of their passports
The school group would fly home on Saturday. But staff at the ski lodge where they were staying reportedly destroyed 41 of the passports, trapping the youths. In the photo is New York
Parents have praised school staff for their “phenomenal” response to the problem, with head teacher Katie Hibbs adding she was proud of her team for “handling this very complicated situation.”
“We currently have 42 students and four staff in New York after 41 of the passports were destroyed while the group was staying at the New Hampshire hotel,” Ms Hibbs said. Birmingham Live.
“The group has had to request emergency documentation to travel home. The British Embassy in New York has finalized applications with the students and the documents will be collected on the day of their journey to leave the US.
“The party is currently in New York, waiting for their flight home, four days later than planned.”
The students are between 8 and 10 years old and between 12 and 15 years old.
Their ski trip had previously been canceled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking of the last situation to ruin the trip, a mother of one of the girls who was stranded in America told BBC: ‘It was really a terrible shock.
“It’s the first time she’s been away from family for so long. And what they were doing was really challenging: skiing black runs or blue runs, depending on their experience.’
But kids made the most of the delay by seeing the sights in New York (pictured) as staff at the British Embassy in the Big Apple arrange replacement passports
The trip to America was long overdue – it had been canceled twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured is some of the gear the kids took to the slopes in New England, America
Kids were staying at the Kancamagus Lodge in Lincoln, New Hampshire (pictured) when 41 passports were shredded
The youngsters are expected to return to the UK on Wednesday. Pictured is Barr Beacon School
The mother – who declined to be named – praised teaching staff for supporting students and Ms Hibbs for drawing up a plan and making sure parents completed the necessary paperwork within 24 hours.
“The way the director solves problems remotely is fantastic,” she said.
The stranded cohort of kids toured the Big Apple, seeing sights of New York’s Staten Island Ferry and Central Park.
Ms Hibbs added that staff are ‘on site supporting pupils to explore the city on a dwindling budget’.
A spokesman for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: ‘Our staff are always ready to help British people in difficulty abroad and we have been in close contact with this school to help them.
“We are processing their requests for emergency travel documents so that staff and children can return to the UK as quickly as possible.”
MailOnline has approached the hotel and school for comment.