Cancelled Flights Strand Boyne Falls Seniors, Graduation Pushed Back

Boynefalls 1The Superintendent of Boyne Falls Public School is trying to put parents minds at ease Friday night after cancelled flights has led to seniors and chaperone’s stuck in California.

Eight seniors and four chaperones have been stranded in L.A. since Wednesday after trying to return home from a senior class trip. Superintendent Cindy Pineda says all the kids are safe.

“They’re perfectly fine. I just got off the phone with them, they’re safe,” Pineda assures.

Seniors and chaperones headed to Hawaii Wednesday last week for a senior class trip. Now after multiple cancelled flights graduation has been pushed back from Sunday.

“We got what, a half hour out form landing when we started getting the notification from American Airlines that our flight had been delayed,” Chaperone Bill Cousineau explains. “We [thought] no big deal. We’re in LAX so we get to see L.A. for a few more minutes anyway. We then got about a half hour from our boarding time and we realized our flight had been cancelled again.”

The school was able to set up a morning flight the next day, but the night before they got another notification, the flight once again had been cancelled.

“It’s a quiet group right now. We basically went a 40-hour stretch with next to no sleep,” Cousineau states.

Boyne Falls has a graduating class of 10 students. With eight of those students stuck in California Pineda says they’ve decided to push graduation back at least one week. Senior Kaitlyn Hammerle says some students were on the verge of tears when they realized they might miss out on commencements.

“And that’s the good thing about having such a small class size. You can’t really hold graduation without 80% of the class,” Hammerle laughs.Boynefalls 2

American Airlines is covering their hotel and food as they wait for a flight to become available. Pineda says it’s essentially an extended senior trip.

“The kids are health, they’re safe, they have food, they have lodging. Nobody’s missing graduation,” Pineda assures.

Pineda calls the unique situation a chance for the students to learn how to adapt and have patience. She spoke with parents today at the Middle School and High School’s end-of-the-year awards ceremony about the situation. Seniors attended the awards virtually.

“They’re learning to adapt and those are great lessons for them to use. And hopefully it sticks because this is not the first hiccup or hurdle they’re going to encounter,” Pineda says. “I spoke to a senior parent today and they said their fine. They’re learning great lessons while they’re stuck out there in California.” 

Although the students miss their families, they say they’re just trying to make the best of it.

“Trying to find fun things in L.A. Making the best of it, waiting to be home, but while we’re here, just trying to do the best we can,” Senior, Daniel Powers, says.