Airlines Waive Fees in Wake of Brussels Attacks
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Following Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels, Belgium, the US Department of State has issued a Europe Travel Alert to all US travelers, outlining the risks associated with visiting the continent as well as ways to stay safe abroad. The somewhat broad warning for travelers expires on June 20 and advises that all travelers take precautions when traveling in Europe.
You can read the full advisory here. In part, it reads:
The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to potential risks of travel to and throughout Europe following several terrorist attacks, including the March 22 attacks in Brussels claimed by ISIL. Terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.
U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance when in public places or using mass transportation. Be aware of immediate surroundings and avoid crowded places. Exercise particular caution during religious holidays and at large festivals or events.
U.S. citizens should also:
- Follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency.
- Monitor media and local information sources and factor updated information into personal travel plans and activities.
- Be prepared for additional security screening and unexpected disruptions.
- Stay in touch with your family members and ensure they know how to reach you in the event of an emergency.
- Register in our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
European governments continue to guard against terrorist attacks and conduct raids to disrupt plots. We work closely with our allies and will continue to share information with our European partners that will help identify and counter terrorist threats.
The Brussels Airport remains closed at least through Friday following this week’s horrific attack. As a result, many airlines are issuing waivers to travelers so they can change their itineraries without paying a change fee or recalculated fare — others are allowing customers to fly to other airports in nearby countries. Keep in mind that each policy is different so it’s best to check with your carrier if you think your flight might be affected.
Below is a list of several carriers and their current waivers on traveling through Europe.
If you bought your original flight before March 22 on American, British Airways or Iberia, and are scheduled to travel to, from or through Brussels between March 22-29, you can make a change to your trip free of charge, or change your ticket for travel through April 12, 2016. Customers ticketed to fly to BRU on the eligible dates can also change their ticket to arrive or depart from Amsterdam (AMS), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), London-Heathrow (LHR), London-Gatwick (LGW), Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris-Orly (ORY) or Rotterdam (RTM). You can read the full details here.
Delta Air Lines
If your flight through Brussels was canceled or significantly delayed as a result of the terror attacks, Delta is issuing refunds. Even if your flight wasn’t canceled, Delta is waiving its fee to make a one-time change to your ticket if you’re traveling to, from or through Amsterdam (AMS), Brussels (BRU) or Paris (CDG) on a Delta-operated flight. You can read the full details here.
United is waiving its change fee and any difference in fare for flights departing between March 22 and April 12, as long as travel is rescheduled in the same cabin and between the same cities. Alternatively, you can opt to change the ticket from Brussels to arrive or depart from either Amsterdam (AMS), Dusseldorf (DUS), Frankfurt (FRA), London (LHR), Luxembourg (LUX) or Paris (CDG). In addition, for rescheduled travel after April 12 or for travel with a change in departure or destination city, the change fee will be waived but a difference in fare may apply. You can read the full details here.
If you have a ticket with Air Canada to, from or through Brussels between March 22-31, you can change your flight free of charge until April 30. You can read the full details here.
Until March 31, 2016, Air France is allowing customers with travel booked to or from Brussels between March 22-31 a few possibilities, including the option to postpone the trip until April 12 at no extra cost — as long as it’s in the same ticketed cabin. There are also other options if you want to postpone your trip past April 12. You can read the full details here.
With the Brussels Airport closed and no firm reopening date, Brussels Airlines is working hard to reschedule its passengers. Between March 24-27, the carrier is offering flights to European destinations out of Liege Airport (LGG) and Antwerp Airport (ANR). The carrier is also automatically rebooking passengers whose origin or destination is Brussels to either LGG or ANR and has organized a free bus service from Brussels to the two airports. You can read the full details here.
If you have a flight with KLM between March 22-31, you have a few options. If you want to rebook your flight, it should be done no later than March 31 and the new departure date should be no later than April 12. You can also change the origin or destination to or from Amsterstam (AMS), Paris (CDG), Luxembourg (LUX) or Dusseldorf (DUS). In addition to changing the flight or destination, you can also apply for a full refund. You can read the full details here.
Lufthansa has cancelled all of its flights to and from Brussels from March 25-28. If you had a flight between the same dates on any Lufthansa Group airline (Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Swiss or Eurowings), you can rebook once free of charge as long as it’s in the same class — the new travel date must be before June 30, 2016. You can read the full details here.
Was your trip affected by the terrorist attacks in Brussels? Are you rethinking future travel plans?