Airline strike leaves Wake County high school students stranded in Europe


— Chaperones are working to get members of the Tri-High Chorus back to the United States after an airline strike left them stranded in Europe.

Parents said the chorus, which includes students from students from Apex High School, Middle Creek High School and Garner High School, traveled to Germany to perform during spring break, but were unable to return home after a strike canceled thousands of flights in the country.

According to CNN, more than 1,100 flights have been canceled in Frankfurt, Munich, Cologne and Bremen as union members strike to call for a 6 percent annual raise ahead of negotiations on Sunday.

CNN reports that public sector workers, including bus drivers and hospital staff, have staged weeks of strikes across Germany, but airports were not impacted until this week.

Chaperone Jeff Teague said the group of 120 students and chaperones has been split into multiple groups that have traveled to different European cities in an effort to get the kids back to North Carolina sooner.

Teague, whose group is in Paris, posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday showing some members of the chorus singing to a bus driver in exchange for being dropped off closer to their hotel. He said the students hadn’t slept in about a day when the impromptu performance occurred.

In the comments below the video, parents thanked Teague for posting the video to reassure them their children are safe.

Teague’s group of 26 students and six chaperones are hoping to catch an American Airlines flight at 11 a.m. Wednesday, but said they will not be sure they can board the flight until that morning.

Teague said another group of students was in Venice, Italy, on Tuesday with no flight home scheduled. Another group of nine was in Atlanta and were expected to return to North Carolina Tuesday night while another group was in Philadelphia, but did not have a flight to RDU scheduled.

According to a spokesperson for the Wake County Public School System, a travel agency is working with choral directors to arrange return flights, the spokeswoman said.



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