Update on our return

Update for return 

This morning we are gearing up for the return home. We all got some sleep and ate using the hotel and restaurant vouchers from American Airlines. 

Our group has been split into two flights to O’Hare. Please refer to the email sent yesterday from Witte travel to see which flight your student has been scheduled on. 

The first, flight US Airways flight 1994, will leave at 1:35pm and arrive at 2:48pm. Two yellow school buses have been scheduled to meet students in the first flight group at the airport. Once all bags have been claimed, the buses for the first flight group will return to LHS. We will have the students text or call their parents when we are on the bus to give you an estimated time for pickup at LHS.

The second flight, US Airways flight 1995, will leave at 2:10pm and arriveat 3:34pm. Two yellow school buses have been scheduled to meet students in the second flight group as well, and those buses will return to LHS as soon as the second flight group have claimed their bags. These students will also call/text home once the buses are on their way.

We understand that you are very excited to reunite with your students. We are excited as well for them to get to share with you all the wonderful experiences from our trip. However, to facilitate this already long return back home, we please ask you to meet all students at LHS and not at O’Hare. Waiting for students to make connections with their parents at O’Hare will further complicate our efforts to get all students home as quickly as possible. Please call Jeff Brown with any questions regarding this.  His cell phone number was sent to all families in an email before we left for France. 

All are safe and sound

All students are checked into their rooms tonight and are safe.  That is the first thing I wanted to tell you.  Secondly, I thought I would give you a recap of what happened today.  We got our 4:30 AM wake up call in Paris and left our hotel at 6:00 AM.  We arrived at 6:30 to the airport and went inside for check-in.  We all got checked in and went through security.  We were at our American flight 41 gate around 8:30 AM and were patiently waiting for our flight home.  Around 10:00 AM, one of the agents started calling the names of people in our group.  When I got over to the counter, she pulled me and some other chaperones aside to say that the flight was being canceled and that they wanted our group to get their stuff and go back to check in first before they made the official announcement that it was going to be canceled due to “mechanically problems”.  What she told me personally was the bathrooms weren’t working properly.

We then proceeded back down to the check-in area to basically start over.  When we got down there, they pulled me and Alicia Akers aside to tell us that they could put us all on a flight to Philadelphia but we would then have to be on 2 flights on Saturday.  This was out of our control.  They then began to start re-booking everyone.  It was then that they realized that because we were all booked together as a group that each individual traveler was going to have to rebooked individually.  We later found out that it was because of the recent merger of American and US Airways and their computer systems aren’t transferring things back and forth properly.

A wonderful man named, Francois, at the US Airways counter saved us and over the course of 2 hours got everyone rebooked on the flight to Philly.  It took a long time and was very stressful.  The final 4 of us who were booked were officially booked 5 minutes before the flight was to take off.  They called to make sure the plane was held and we ran through the airport, through security, to get to the gate.  It was the craziest airport scenario I’ve ever been through.

Here are flights for tomorrow.

Flight #1 – US Airways flt 1994 – departs 1:35 PM – arrives O’Hare at 2:48 PM

Flight #2 – US Airways flt 1995 – departs 2:10 PM – arrives O’Hare at 3:34 PM

Because the flights are so close together we are still going to bus everyone back to LHS.  We won’t know until Saturday morning if we can have 2 separate buses for each flight or if we will have to send 3 buses to bring everyone back at the same time.  I won’t know those answers until the morning.  The bottom line is that your kids are safely back in the US after having a wonderful experience in France.  We are all ready to be home. Nighty night.

We are in Philadelphia safe and sound

First thing, all LHS travelers are safely in Philadelphia and we are waiting for our keys at the Clarion Philadelphia airport.  It is has been a long day but we are back in the US.  We were given hotel vouchers and 2 meal vouchers for dinner and breakfast in the morning.

We were put on two flights for tomorrow because they did not have 1 flight with enough seats.

US Airways Flight 1994

US Airways Flight 1995

Our groups is randomly dispersed through both flights.  I will explain what happened in another post.   I just wanted you to know that we were here in Philadelphia and we were safe.

On the way to Philadelphia

We have had airline problems this morning and are on our way to Philadelphia now. Flight to Chicago was canceled. All students are together and are safe and sound. We will contact you when we get to Pholadelphia with more information. 

We are on flight 755 US airways from Paris to Philadelphia.  We are pushing from the gate and I will update the blog when we arrive to Philly. I will be on contact with Dustin Helvie regarding our return back to the school which will now be tomorrow, Sat Apr 4. We will be out up on a hotel at the airport and will send that information when we have it. 

It’s been a stressful morning but we are all safe and accounted for. 

Our final day in Paris

Our final day in Paris France involved tours of the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum. We spent the final part of our day having dinner on the River Seine and then taking a boat cruise on the River. It was a great way to end our tour in Paris. There are 100’s of photos to share and much video as well. We will share as much as we can when we return home today. We are at the Paris airport now waiting to board out flight home. Thank you all for following blog posts. We will be home soon.  Thank you all for your support and for making this trip possible for our students. 

Many thanks,

Jeff and Eryn Brown