Wisconsin family stranded in Germany for days amid pilot strike

NOW: Wisconsin family stranded in Germany for days amid pilot strike

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A Milwaukee family spending time with loved ones in Germany thought their trip was almost over last Tuesday, then they couldn't get back. The family was stranded for days in Europe after 1,000 pilots went on strike.

Amy Horst was visiting family in Germany for the first time in years, when 1,000 SAS Airline pilots threatened to strike.

"They're still talking. They're still working it out and we're like, 'OK, that's fine,'" said Horst, recalling her initial reaction to the news.

Last Tuesday, Horst and her family were getting ready to fly home.

"We usually spend a day at the amusement park in the city of Copenhagen," said Horst, talking about her family tradition when visiting Germany. "[We were] waiting in line for another roller coaster and oh, look, our flight has been canceled."

Then, Horst tried to call the SAS customer service line, she said it wasn't helpful.

"Thank you for calling SAS. Our operators are very busy. Your wait time is 900 minutes," recalled Horst.

Her 12-year-old son, Thomas, was terrified.

"He went and laid down in the bedroom and was just like crying," said Horst.

The strike affects 30,000 passengers per day.

"In France and Germany, it's not uncommon for just to be a 24-hour 48-hour walkout kind of a situation. This one looks like it's going to be longer," said Rose Gray with Fox World Travel.

She said planning ahead, checking different routes, working with a trusted agent, and having travel insurance are all ways to protect your travel plans.

Horst says her family paid 1,600 per ticket for flights through London back, arriving three days late on Friday.

She's glad her husband got travel insurance, so they might get some money back.

"I'm the kind of person that like, I normally wouldn't do that," said Horst. "But my husband, he's a very adult adult, so he always gets it."

SAS Airlines out of Stockholm filed for chapter 11 in the U.S. on July 5, citing financial difficulties related to the on-going strike.

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