It's the day of the senior class field trip to New York City for the students of D.C.'s topflight private school, attended by none other than the president's son, Kyle Devore. Which means Kyle's Secret Service detail, Albert Hurst and rookie Marcus Finley, will follow the students' charter bus. Kyle's classmates are the children of ambassadors and CEOs, with a couple of regular kids like Ian Martinez and his best friend Beth Ann Gibson sprinkled in for good measure. Beth Ann is disgusted to learn her divorced father, Francis, will chaperone the trip; she warns him not to talk to her. Shambling Francis is mostly ineffective with the kids, and Beth Ann tells Ian that she brought all her money on the trip because she just might stay in New York. The bus has turned down a country road when Hurst announces it's nearly time to stop for lunch and sends the lead Secret Service car ahead to secure the restaurant. That's when all vehicles are stopped by a roadblock erected by State Police. Sensing movement in the woods, Finley draws his weapon, which is when Hurst shoots him. Men in masks board the bus, ordering all riders to move to a waiting tractor-trailer. All the kids comply except Anton Roth, a 12-year-old with a genius IQ, who simply plops down on the ground. Finley snaps into action, grabbing Anton and running into the woods. Rather than let them go, Hurst sends one of his men, Flip, after them. Anton is stunned to realize it's Finley's first day on the job. A former D.C. cop, Finley promises Anton he'll get him home safely.
It's not long before FBI Agent Susie Dunn is briefing her boss, Director Olsen, so he can brief the president. Olsen orders Dunn to leave the Secret Service out of the investigation and get down to the school. It turns out Dunn's niece, Amber Fitch, was on the bus. Susie is estranged from her sister, multinational IT corporation CEO, Meg Fitch, but Olsen insists that Dunn use Meg to gain access to the other parents. Meanwhile, Gibson and the kids wake up in a tony mansion, trying to put the pieces together after being tranquilized. A masked man has Gibson read a set of rules to the kids as cameras monitor them. Everyone's cell phones have been taken, and any implanted tracking devices have been removed.
At the school, Meg offers to put sisterly differences aside as she escorts Dunn to meet the other parents, panicked to learn their kids' tracking devices are no longer functioning. Little do they know, the kidnappers are watching through a closed circuit feed. With a hand gesture, Meg silences the room so Dunn can start interviewing the parents. Olsen calls Dunn with news: Francis Gibson is ex-CIA. Both the kidnapped students and their parents fear the whole exercise is all about the president's son. But Kyle tells the other students that he only learned he was going on the field trip two days ago - certainly no one could have put the kidnapping together in two days! After gathering his courage, Gibson tells Beth Ann he has a plan to take one of the kidnapper's guns, so the kids can run outside. Disgusted and doubtful, Beth Ann advises him against it. When Gibson tries to swipe a gun, a kidnapper named Koz grabs him and cuts off his little finger, then hauls him to the kidnapper's mission control, set up in the mansion's kitchen. Gibson immediately demands his book, which is filled with plans for the entire operation. Is Gibson the mastermind behind the kidnapping?
All the parents are accounted for, save Morgan Roth, Anton's father, who works at a satellite TV company. Since he swiped his key card at a remote relay location, Dunn needs to get there fast, so she borrows her sister's helicopter. Back at the mansion, an operative tells Gibson there's a surveillance drone they didn't account for, which should have a lock on their location in 23 minutes. Hurst berates Gibson, who warns him that he is a part of the plan - and indeed, Hurst is chained to his chair. Dunn makes it to a field filled with satellites as the voice Morgan's listening to on the phone orders him to implement. She runs up just as the satellites line up to beam a pulse that drops the drone from the sky - but even Morgan doesn't know exactly what he's done. Afterwards, Dunn demands to know who was on the phone, but Morgan has no answer. The upshot? The kidnappers used him to eliminate a classified, unhackable drone; they're using the parents of the kidnapped children to carry out their nefarious plan.
With no cell phone coverage, Finley moves Anton to a cabin on higher ground, hoping they can get a signal on the roof. That's when Flip shows up. Anton freaks out, but Finley knows they need to try to capture the guy, since he may be their only chance to find the other kids. As Finley fights Flip, Anton climbs to the roof, where he's able to call 911. Anton fears the worst when he hears a gunshot, but it's Finley who climbs to the roof with the Flip's walkie-talkie, which he uses to deliver a promise to Gibson: he's coming. Koz also has a promise for Gibson: if Finley killed his brother, Flip, Koz will hurt him before he kills him. Gibson flashes back to Beth Ann's birthday party, the last time she was happy, when Koz came to his door with news. Operation Lennox went haywire, "all of them" are dead, and since Finley gave the go order, it's his head on the block. Gibson insists he didn't sign off on the plan. Nevertheless Koz has a sniper on Beth Ann, and Gibson should understand what it all means.
Late that night, Dunn returns the helicopter to Meg's office with a warning. While she can't talk about the case, she wants her sister to know that she had to put a man (Morgan) in handcuffs because all he wanted was to see his kid. That's when the sisters acknowledge that Amber is actually Dunn's child, whom she gave to Meg to raise. A phone rings; Meg finds it in a sealed envelope in her inbox and answers it. It's Gibson. Meg isn't to tell anyone about the call, and moreover, it's time for her to ask herself how far she'll go for her child.