Airlines Waive Change Fees in Wake of Brussels Attack

Tuesday’s terror attacks in Brussels have once again rocked the travel community. The US Department of State has issued a Travel Alert to all US travelers for the entire Europeans region. It urges travelers to take precautions while traveling, as well as some of the risks associated with traveling to the region. The warning expires on June 20th. Below is part of the statement from the Department of State, you can read it in its entirety here.

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 still remains closed and will do so until further notice. Airlines such as American, Delta, United, Air Canada, Air France and others have been issuing waivers for those who want to change their travel dates or their destination in Europe, further detailed by The Points Guy.

Organizations must show quick thinking and increased security measures to ease travelers growing concerns of safety and security. While many employers understand the responsibilities that encompass this topic, they do not provide adequate plans and assistance in the event of a natural disaster, terrorist attack or medical emergency. 

When it comes to business travel, a company is responsible for the health, safety and security of its employees from both a moral and legal perspective. Few businesses have a plan of action in place in relation to Duty of Care, and small and medium sized companies are even less likely to have a strategy in place if something goes wrong.

Travel management companies provide very useful tools to help companies carry out and manage their policies. This gives them the ability to flag potential issues, track travelers, and communicate with them in a timely manner, as well as supply information before and during their trip, helping companies fufill their Duty of Care to their employees.

When traveling, companies should stay up to date on current risks around the globe. International SOS, has developed a Travel Risk Map comprised of current threats posed to travelers comprised of factors such as: political violence, social unrest, crime, endemic diseases, environmental risk, security conditions, and the quality and availability of healthcare within the country. This is a great tool for frequent travelers to stay updated on any potential risks.

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