Brazil’s First General Strike in 21 Years Cancels Flights, Shuts Highways

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A general strike in Brazil is causing a number of travel disruptions throughout the country today.

Delta has issued a travel waiver for flights to, from or through Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo for travel April 28. Travelers who wish to cancel their trip as the result of a flight cancellation or delay of 90 minutes or more are entitled to a refund of the unused portion of their ticket. Even if their flight is not canceled, travelers may make a one-time change to their ticket without fee. The new ticket must be reissued on or before May 1 with rebooked travel to begin no later than that date.

American Airlines is offering travelers booked on flights to, through or from airports in Brazil the opportunity to change their trip without fee. Travelers must have bought their ticket by April 26 and be scheduled to travel April 28, with rebooked travel to take place through April 30 in the same cabin (or pay the difference) between the same city pair.

United Airlines is also offering travelers the chance to change their flight without fee if they were scheduled to travel on April 28 to, from or through affected airports. The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new United flights departing on or before May 1 so long as travel is rescheduled in the originally ticket cabin between the original city pair.

Reuters reports that the 24-hour nationwide strike has shut down highways and access to major airports in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and several other metropolitan areas.

The BBC reports that the strike is meant to protest changes to the government’s pension plan, which Brazilian President Michel Temer are needed to overcome an economic recession. The changes could set the minimum retirement age to 65 for men and 62 for women, and are set to be voted on in Congress next week.

According to Deutsche Welle, the strike is the first nationwide strike in the country in 21 years.

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