Update: March 24, 7:57 PM EST: Brussels Airport will remain closed through Sunday, March 27, inclusive. All flights into and out of the airport remain cancelled.
Following yesterday’s terrorist attacks at Brussels Airport and on the metro outside Maelbeek Station, river cruise lines have begun to weigh in on the future of upcoming itineraries that will visit the Belgian capital.
At this time, no cruise itineraries have been impacted, and all guests are safe.
With the 2016 European river cruise season having not yet fully kicked off, many river cruise lines did not have guests in Brussels or Belgium as of yet. Viking River Cruises, however, did, and the line is making provisions to get guests on today’s sailing of the Viking Kara to the ship, as the airport remains closed. The line said it plans to continue to monitor the situation and make changes as needed.
With the bulk of the season in Belgium still a few weeks away, other river cruise lines are saying they’re prepared to make changes to itineraries and even entire sailings, if it comes to that. One line, Australia-based Scenic, has stated it will be chartering coaches for guests to get them from Paris to Amsterdam. Originally, the line had planned to do so by rail, but train services have been suspended in Belgium for the time being.
The impact to Belgium’s transportation network could be extensive. Damage to the main check-in area of Brussels airport appears to be significant, with blown-out windows, collapsed ceiling tiles and missing walls. As of today, the airport authority had no information on when the terminal might re-open, with airport CEO Arnaud Feist telling AFP that “It’s too soon to evaluate damage to the terminal…tomorrow (Wednesday) we’ll see the state of the terminal and whether we can fix quickly what was damaged and restart some of the facilities.”
North American airlines have also updated their travel policies for guests booked on flights to Brussels in the next two weeks.
As a result of the events in Brussels, Air Canada has implemented a policy for customers who purchased an Air Canada ticket no later than March 22, 2016 and whose itinerary includes a flight to, from or via Brussels Airport (BRU) between March 22 and 28, 2016.
Air Canada passengers in Brussels should contact the following numbers for assistance 0800 70423 or 0033 825 882 900 or their travel agency to ensure they have the appropriate travel documentation and are registered and rebooked for travel on our flights out of Paris.
Air Canada operates daily flights to and from Brussels from Montreal. Those flights are, for the moment, cancelled. Air Canada intends to use flights to Paris CDG in the meantime to shuttle guests to and from Europe. Air Canada was the only airline to note that its staff in Belgium, both with the airline and ground services company Swissport, were safe.
A one-time ticketing fee will be waived for travel changes if you:
- Are traveling on an American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia flight
- Bought your original flight before March 22, 2016
- Are scheduled to travel March 22 – 29, 2016 to/through/from the affected airport
- Are flexible to travel March 22 – April 12, 2016
Origin, destination and stopover changes are also allowed for:
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS)
- Dusseldorf, Germany (DUS)
- Frankfurt, Germany (FRA)
- London Heathrow, United Kingdom (LHR)
- London Gatwick, United Kingdom (LGW)
- Paris Charles De Gaulle, France (CDG)
- Paris Orly, France (ORY)
Please call to change your ticket or request a refund.
Delta is allowing changes to be made to flights booked on flights to, from or through Amsterdam (AMS), Brussels (BRU), or Paris (CDG) between March 22 and 31, 2016 to change their flights by March 27 for rebooked travel beginning no later than March 31. After March 31, Delta may assess a fee difference.
The change fee and any difference in fare will be waived for new flights departing between March 22, 2016, and April 12, 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 12, 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.
We will continue to update this story with more information as it becomes available.