Istanbul Aftermath: Travel Warnings and Waivers Following the Attack
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Following yesterday’s tragic attacks at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport (IST), the world is still in mourning and reeling from the horrific nature of the attacks. For frequent travelers, this tragedy hits close to home — as it took place in the terminal of an airport. Here’s what we know so far: According to reports, three terrorists arrived at IST in a cab, two opened fire inside the international terminal, and a third was in a nearby parking lot. All three detonated suicide vests. As of this writing, 41 people are reported dead, and of the 239 people injured during the incident, 109 remain hospitalized.
The US State Department is advising US citizens who are in Turkey to contact their family and friends directly to let them known they’re safe.
In #Turkey? Use social media and contact family/friends directly to let them know you are safe.
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) June 29, 2016
The State Department is also advising US citizens to avoid the area where the attack happened — at IST. It’s also saying that if you’re in Turkey, travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and continue to monitor local news media for updates.
If in #Turkey, remain aware of your surroundings and continue to monitor local news media for updates.
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) June 28, 2016
The State Department is telling people that it will continue to post updates on its website, so if you’re in Istanbul, be sure to check back for continued updates.
Immediately following the attacks, IST was closed. But as of this morning, IST has reopened with some delays and cancellations. If you have travel planned to, from or through IST, be sure to check with your airline to make sure your flight isn’t delayed or canceled.
Istanbul Ataturk Airport in #Turkey is open. Flights have resumed with some delays & cancellations. Check with your airline before travel.
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) June 29, 2016
The only airline that flies nonstop from the US to IST is Turkish Airlines. Delta Air Lines suspended its service between New York and Istanbul as of May 2016 due to a travel warning issued by the State Department, and weaker demand for air travel to IST.
Turkish Airlines is offering travelers ticket changes, refunds and cancelations following the incident. If you have travel to, from or connecting through IST between June 28 and July 5, you’re eligible for the following:
- All rebooking and rerouting will be made without any charge
- For unused tickets: refunds will be made without any charge
- For partially used tickets, with planned trip not complete: the remaining flights will be refunded without any charge
- If you want to extend your ticket, the validity can be extended until July 31, 2016, without any fare difference or charge.
Other major airlines that fly to IST include Air France, British Airways, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Qatar and Singapore, among others.
Air France is offering waivers and refunds for ticketed passengers with travel booked until July 5. Check its website for complete details.
British Airways is allowing passengers to rebook their travel. Check its website for complete details.
Etihad is allowing customers with travel booked today to change their travel to another day on or before July 10. Check its website for complete details.
If you have travel planned with KLM to, from or through IST from June 28 through July 5, you can rebook your travel. Check its website for complete details.
Lufthansa is also offering travelers to rebook their flights to or from IST free of charge. Check its website for complete details.
Qatar doesn’t appear to be offering any waivers, but it is telling passengers to check their flight status. Check its website for complete details.
Singapore is waiving all fees for rebooking or rerouting for passengers holding tickets to select flights. Check its website for complete details.
Stay tuned to TPG for continued updates.
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