Posted by Carol on 04/03/2005
We just returned home from Rome yesterday. Two of my participant's (mother/daughter)passports were stolen from the Hotel San Giorgio breakfast room just before we left for the airport (the entire backpack). We did not receive any help from the hotel management. I cannot stress enough that sponsors must make copies of all passports just for incidents like this. We were extremely fortunate. When we arrived at the Rome airport for check-in, the airport personnel made a call to the US Embassy (even on a Saturday) and, after a few questions to confirm their identity, AA was instructed to allow them to return home. Upon arrival to the US, they had to be patted down and their luggage was searched. They were the only ones from our group so I would assume that was because of the lack of a passport. Having the copies of their passports was the key. As the sponsor, I kept the e-tickets and passports of the students in the hotel safety deposit box. I allowed the adults to keep theirs, a policy that I will change in the future. Also, please be on your guard in Rome. The metro is ripe for pickpocketing. We experienced several attempts; fortunately, none were successful. Despite all these mishaps, we had an incredible trip.
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