• WEATHER ALERT Winter Weather Advisory

Local students stranded in Paris run huge tab

April 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The volcano-induced worldwide travel nightmare is causing a major problem for some Bay Area parents. Their kids are stuck overseas, they can't get back from a school trip, the tab is running, and it is costing a fortune while they wait for flights.

The group should have been home last Friday, but instead, they're waiting it out in Paris -- which is not cheap. After six days, they have racked up a bill of about $50,000.

Some Mountain View High School parents are very stressed. The school's traveling choir has been stuck and it is costing $8,000 a day to house and feed all 54 people on the tour.

"The finances are worrying me a great deal because it's quite a bill to run up on all of our credit cards," said Mt. View choir director Jill Denny.

Denny in charge of the group and the bulk of the bills are on her credit card. In the short term, parents feel they need to get the charges off of the director's credit card.

There was an emergency brainstorming session called Wednesday night to find a way to pay off this massive bill, which won't be easy. Most of the kids couldn't afford the trip to begin with. They held fundraisers and applied for scholarships to pay for it.

"It's a lot of money, we're a public school and don't really have funding from outside sources so once again, we're trying to do the best we can," said parent Pearl Garvin.

The group is supposed to leave Paris on Thursday.

The desire to go home is felt everywhere. At SFO Wednesday night, stranded passengers continued their search for a seat on any Europe-bound flight.

"I have to go home, I have to work, and the days are lost," said Dieter Kurweil from Germany.

The confusion continues at the counters. The airlines have different priority standards. Some are putting passengers with confirmed seats on first, while others are giving stranded passengers priority.

Paolo Zanellato from Italy finally got onto a flight to Munich on Wednesday night.

"I feel lucky. I'm very happy as well. Finally," said Zanellato.

The situation is constantly changing. A flight to London that should have taken off around 5 p.m. was delayed until after 10:30 p.m. Wednesday night, so it is very important to keep getting updates from the airlines.


Load Comments