Protests in Chile Cancel Flights

(Photo by AP Photo/Esteban Felix via Newscred) A demonstrator holds up his hands toward advancing soldiers during a protest as a state of emergency remains in effect in Santiago, Chile. // Photo by AP Photo/Esteban Felix via Newscred

A series of protests throughout Chile has disrupted flights out of Santiago’s airport and prompted United Airlines to issue a change waiver. 

The BBC reports that almost all public transport was suspended in Santiago and that some flights at the city’s international airport had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to insufficient crew. 

According to the Washington Post, the protest began over a proposed transit fare hike that would have forced a family making minimum wage to use one sixth of their income on transportation. The protests have since grown into a larger clash over economic inequalities in the country since the end of the repressive Pinochet military dictatorship in 1990. At least eight people have died due to the protests thus far. 

Reuters reports that Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has declared a state of emergency for Santiago and several other cities, and that he has deployed the country’s military to contain the protests. 

United Airlines has issued a change waiver for customers flying through Santiago. The waiver applies to travel originally scheduled through October 23. The airline will waive the change fee and any difference in fare for new United flights departing on or before October 28, as long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticketed cabin (any fare class) and between the same cities as originally ticketed. The original ticket must have been purchased by October 19. 

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