A shocking Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, in which a man shot bystanders and rammed a truck through celebrating crowds, has left more than 80 people dead and many others injured.
The coastal city is a major tourist destination—a base for travelers visiting the French Riviera—and summer is peak season. Both residents and visitors are among those killed.
As the community copes with the the tragic events, travelers should know how officials as well as transportation and tour operators are responding. Travelers in other areas of France as well as western Europe should expect heightened security.
French President Francois Hollande said the country is “facing a struggle which will be long.” In a post on Twitter, he said that France will always be stronger than the fanatics who want to damage it.
For travelers currently in the South of France, or those with plans to travel there, here is what you need to know.
The Nice airport was briefly put on alert, but passengers are being allowed to return, according to the Associated Press. Flights to and from Nice are continuing, for the most part, on schedule.
However, most airlines are offering passengers the option to change flights scheduled in the next few days, without charge.
British Airways told T+L that customers scheduled to fly to or from Nice in the next few days can change their booking to a different date or destination. Representatives are contacting customers to offer support. “We'd encourage customers in Nice to get in touch with us if they want to make a change to their booking and we will do everything we can to help.”
“We'll continue to be as flexible as possible to help our customers,” the airline said in a statement. “Our deepest sympathies are with the loved ones of the victims.”
American and Delta are waiving fees for travelers who are flying to Nice in the next few days and would like to change the date or go to another European hub instead. Passengers will still have to pay the difference in fare.
Nordica is also letting customers to depart early, or change the date or destination of flights scheduled for later in July.
Travelers to Nice should expect to see more security at train stations.
Security has also been heightened at some transportation hubs in other major European cities. If you are traveling in the region, check with your service provider for updates.
Some hotels and tour operators are waiving fees for cancelations.
Marriott Intl. said in a statement that fees for canceling existing reservations are waived at properties in Nice, Cannes, Cap d’Ail and Juan les Pins “for the immediate future.”
Royal Caribbean has canceled two port calls, one on Friday for Royal Caribbean International and one Saturday for Celebrity Cruises, according to Travel Agent Central.
“We will continue to closely monitor the situation in France and will contact guests or their travel agents should we make any additional changes to upcoming itineraries,” a spokesperson said in a statement.