Developing: What Travelers Should Know About the Brussels Attacks
As of Monday, April 4, please note these updates:
As of Wednesday, March 30, please note these updates:
- TIME reports that Arnaud Feist, CEO of the Brussels Airport, has shared that it will take months for the travel hub to fully reopen. According to Fiest, the damage calls for a total rebuild, "from the air conditioning to the check-in desks."
- According to Skift, a Brussels airport spokesperson Nathalie Van Impe has shared a look into what the new airport experience will look like until the damage can be fully addressed. Travelers flying to the airport will collect their bags from a hangar. Arriving passengers will be transported via bus to reach the baggage collection hangar. Passengers flying out of the airport will bring their bags to the security barrier, via three flights of stairs.
As of Tuesday, March 29, please note this update:
- Fortune reports that the Brussels Airport has begun testing make-shift check-in areas that could potentially allow a limited number of flights in the upcoming days. The story states: "'What we have today is a test to see whether all our procedures are in order,' a spokeswoman for Brussels Airport said. If all requirements were met, the airport could reopen on Wednesday at the earliest, but only at a maximum capacity of 20 percent."
As of Monday, March 28, please note this update:
- USA Today reports that Belgian authorities announced that the Brussels Airport will be closed for all flights until at least Tuesday, March 29th for further investigations into the attack. A notice on the airport's website reads: "In the past few days, Brussels Airport has made an extensive analysis of the terminal infrastructure and of the various possible scenarios for a partial recommencement of its activities. When this partial restart will take place is not yet decided."
As of Thursday, March 23, please note these updates:
- Brussels Airport has announced on its site that flights now are canceled through Sunday, March 27. In the notice, the airport said, "Because the forensic investigation is still underway, we currently have no access to the building. Until we can assess the damage, it remains unclear when we can resume operations."
- Late Wednesday, Travel + Leisure also reported that the U.S. State Department issued a travel warning for all of Europe.
As of Wednesday, March 23, please note these updates:
- On its site, Zaventem Airport stated there will be no flights into and out of Brussels today, March 23, and tomorrow, March 24. The airport is currently closed, as forensic investigation is still underway.
- In Brussels, metro lines 1 and 5 are operating along with some tram and bus lines, while others remain closed. Check the STIB-MIVB website for updates.
- Eurostar train service is running on a normal schedule today, though travelers should allow an hour to check in to account for enhanced security checks at the stations. For news on other train services, check the SNBC website, and passengers should note that Brussels Airport and Brussels Schuman rail stations are still closed at this time.
- The New York Times reported that the Belgium Crisis Center will no longer request citizens stay inside as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 23, though the Threat Level 4—Belgium’s highest—will remain in place for the entire county. School operations will resume though people are advised to remain vigilant; border security and safety measures will remain for “strategic places.”
- The Times also reported that the toll from the assaults stands at 31 dead and 270 injured.
From Tuesday, March 22:
Three separate explosions in Brussels on Tuesday morning have killed at least 31, injured more, and disrupted air travel and public transportation. According to Time, the first two happened at Zaventem airport around 8 a.m. local time. “Belgian federal prosecutor Frederic Van Leeuw called all three explosions terrorist attacks,” the article states.
The first explosion occurred in the departures area, with the second one occuring minutes later in another part of the airport; 11 people were killed and 81 injured in these attacks. Van Leeuw confirmed that one of the explosions was carried out by a suicide bomber.
Around 9:10 a.m. a separate blast occurred on the subway, at the Maelbeek station—near the headquarters of the European Union. This city center attack killed 20 and injured more than 100, according to the article.
The story is developing, but for now, here is what travelers should know:
- The city is on lockdown: metro stations, museums, and international train services have been shut down, halted, or diverted.
- Zaventem Airport has cancelled all flights today. It plans to reopen tomorrow at 6 a.m. local time.
- In a statement, Delta Air Lines said that passengers and crew on its two flights into Brussels this morning are safe. Flight DL80 from Atlanta, carrying 151 passengers and 11 crew, landed safely at the airport and all customers have deplaned. Delta’s flight DL42 from New York, carrying 144 passengers and 11 crew, was diverted to Amsterdam. Delta has issued a travel waiver to assist impacted customers, and it is working actively with customers to change travel plans for any flights booked to, from, or through Brussels.
- United Airlines also released a statement confirming it had two arrivals in Brussels this morning and that passengers are safe. “Flight 950 from Washington Dulles arrived at 7:01 a.m. and customers deplaned normally at the gate. Our second flight—flight 999 from Newark Liberty—was rerouted to a remote location and our customers and crew have deplaned. All remaining flights to and from Brussels International have been suspended until further notice from local authorities. We will share additional updates as soon as we are able.”
- American Airlines has canceled all flights in Brussels today and tomorrow, and also issued a waiver for travelers.
- Ireland’s Ryanair canceled all flights due to land in Brussels, according to Time.
- Brussels Airlines and other carriers in the Lufthansa Group have issued a waiver through March 28, which travelers can rebook or refund through the carrier or an agent.
- Eurostar service to and from Brussels is suspended today.
- Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department confirmed the attacks this morning and advised U.S. citizens in Belgium to shelter in place and avoid all transportation—and to reach out to friends and family on social media to let them know they’re okay. A local emergency number is in place as well as a crisis center at the embassy, and they advise monitoring local news as the story unfolds. They are sharing regular updates on their Twitter feed.