Airlines Issue Flight Waivers for Brazil Due to Protests — What to Know

Delta, American, and Air Canada have issued flight waivers due to potential unrest following the Brazil's election.

Travelers wearing protective masks wait in line at the Latam Airlines Group SA terminal at the Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) in Sao Paulo, Brazil,

Jonne Roriz/Getty Images

​​Several major airlines have issued flight waivers to and from Brazil following political unrest after Brazil’s contentious election. 

Delta Air Lines issued a travel waiver for passengers who were heading to, from, or through Sao Paulo through Nov. 4 due to potential “civil unrest.” Impacted travelers could rebook and travel by Nov. 7. Similarly, American Airlines issued its own waiver for travel to, from, or through both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro through Nov. 2, allowing travelers to rebook by Nov. 3 and travel by Nov. 8.

Outside of the United States, Air Canada issued a waiver for travel to or from Sao Paulo until Nov. 6. These travelers can rebook their flights through Nov. 13.

“Due to the current situation in Brazil, we understand that you may want to make alternate travel arrangements,” Air Canada wrote on its website.

The waivers are being issued after leftist candidate Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva narrowly won the election, which was held on Sunday, defeating current conservative Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, according to The Associated Press. Since then, Bolsonaro has not conceded the election and encouraged his supporters to peacefully protest, including celebrating the effort by truckers who have created nationwide roadblocks.

Since the election, traffic around the international airport in Sao Paulo snagged, leading to dozens of flight cancellations with travelers pictured rolling their suitcases along the highway to try to catch a flight, the AP noted. Protesters set tires on fire at at least one road block in the state.

The AP reported some of Bolsonaro’s supporters have called for the military to intervene and for the disbandment of Congress and the Supreme Court.

On Tuesday, the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered the roadblocks to be immediately cleared.

Bolsonaro has taken a page out of Donald Trump’s playbook, repeatedly warning the only way he would lose was if the vote was stolen, The New York Times reported. But on Tuesday, his chief of staff confirmed the government would hand over power to the incoming administration.

“I have always been labeled as anti-democratic and, unlike my accusers, I have always played within the four lines of the constitution,” Bolsonaro said, according to the wire service. “Current popular movements are the result of indignation and a feeling of injustice regarding how the electoral process occurred.” 

On Monday, President Joe Biden congratulated Lula da Silva and “commended the strength of Brazilian democratic institutions following free, fair, and credible elections.”

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