Express & Star

US hotel 'deeply sorry' for shredding Walsall schoolchildren's passports, leaving them stranded

The hotel which left a group of Black Country schoolchildren stranded in America after shredding 44 passports by mistake has finally apologised for the blunder.

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Kancamagus Lodge, New Hampshire

Pupils from Walsall's Barr Beacon School were forced to visit the British Embassy in New York to get emergency passports for safe passage home after a manager at The Kancamangus Ski Resort, New Hampshire, threw out a box by mistake on February 19.

The resort, which company motto is "come as a guest, leave as a friend" posted a 650-word apology and explanation on its Facebook page.

However, no mention was made of either compensation or whether anyone had been disciplined due to the monumental error.

The Facebook post said: "We've heard a lot of anger and disappointment these last two weeks in response to an unfortunate, regrettable situation that occurred involving one of our visiting ski groups. First and foremost, we are deeply sorry.

"We take full responsibility and offer a genuine apology to our guests and community. We have a responsibility to protect our guests and their information. Unfortunately, we fell short of this responsibility and our actions have threatened the trust of our guests that we have built over the years.

"The awful situation regarding the irreversible mishandling our guests' passports has elicited many responses from our guests and community: outrage, anger, disappointment. We share all of those sentiments. For us, personally, we'll add shame to that list. This situation should never have happened."

Detailing how their guests most precious travel documents were shredded, the hotel explained: "On Sunday, February 19, a member of our management team was cleaning and organising the back office. While collecting items to be disposed of, a box of passports belonging to one of our international ski groups was accidently put in our private, secure on-site dumpster.

"Our scheduled, contracted garbage disposal company emptied the dumpster and promptly destroyed all contents."

The hotel management team claim the experience "rendered us speechless" and in the future they "promise to be better".

The posted added: "In addition to offering our profound apologies to our guests and their families, we also offer our sincere apology to our community for not representing our industry to the best of our ability and for not living up to the expectations you have of us."

The vast majority of the 48 comments underneath the post mocked the hotel, with many pointing out the children's parents will have to pay to replace the shredded passports.

Leila Lee commented: "Why is there nothing about compensation? If you did not 100 per cent pay for all the trouble you caused then this 'apology' is worthless."