Police Strike Delays Brussels Airport Reopening

Photo by Freeimages.com/aschaeffer

A police strike has delayed plans to partially reopen the Brussels airport Friday evening, the BBC reports. The airport has been closed since a series of terrorist attacks March 22 struck the airport's departure hall, as well as a subway station near offices of the European Union

A representative of the SLFP police union told the BBC that new security measures implemented ahead of the proposed reopening were insufficient. The union argues that metal detectors, body scanners and x-ray machines should be available to screen people before they are allowed into terminals, while airport officials say that this approach would create new queues outside the airport buildings, a fresh security risk. Police also said that too many airport employees had criminal backgrounds. 

Reuters reports that the provisional arrangement would have allowed the airport to receive 800 departing passengers per hour, about 20 percent of its normal operating capacity. 

Travel Update

Earlier this week American Airlines had announced that it would cancel all Brussels flights at least through April 7. The airline is offering a change fee waiver for travelers on American, British Airways or Iberia flights, depending on the original date of travel and traveler flexibility. 

Through April 3, Brussels Airlines is offering flights between Belgium and Europe through Liège and Antwerp. Through April 2, the airline is offering flights between Europe and Africa and between Europe and North America through Frankfurt and Zurich. Travelers from the U.S. and Europe can check the new schedule for intercontinental flights, as well as request a refund.

United Airlines has issued a travel waiver for customers who had travel booked March 22 through April 18. The airline will waive the change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new flights departing between March 22, 2016, and April 30, 2016, as long as travel is rescheduled in the same cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed, or to or from Amsterdam, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Luxembourg or Paris. For wholly rescheduled travel departing after April 30, 2016, or for a change in departure or destination city other than those listed above, the change fee will be waived, but a difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel must be completed within one year from the date when the ticket was issued.

Delta is offering refunds and no-fee changes for customers who had travel booked March 22 through April 18. The new ticket must be reissued on or before April 18, with the rebooked travel to begin no later than April 30. 

Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for further updates to this developing story.