Airline Mix-Up Strands Students at LAX

LOS ANGELES (KTLA) — The principal at a Southern California Catholic school says 27 eighth graders were stranded at LAX after their flight was overbooked.

Frank Loya, principle of St. Benedict’s School in Montebello, said the group of 12-year-olds was supposed to fly to Washington D.C. Monday, but American Airlines overbooked their flight.

“When we got the gate they overbooked the plane and they wanted me to split some of my students,” Loya said.

The group was told by the airline that six students would need to take another flight, and pay full price for six more tickets, according to Loya.

Loya said when they refused to leave some of the kids behind, they were told the entire group would have to purchase new tickets on another flight.

And what’s more, the group was originally told they wouldn’t be able to get to D.C. until Wednesday, because the flights were all booked due to spring break.

American Airlines gave this statement to KTLA on Monday:

“We are aware that we had a situation in Los Angeles this morning where unfortunately we were not able to accommodate all members of the group on our LAX-IAD flight.

We are working with the group leader to determine how best to transport the group to Northern Virginia.”

But parents say that — in the meantime — students are paying for all the hotel rooms and activities they aren’t doing 3,000 miles away.

[UPDATE: The students landed in Dallas on Monday night. American is putting them up at the Marriott, and they will take an 11 a.m. flight to D.C. on Tuesday.]

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