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March 23, 2016

Europe Travel Alert Following Brussels Attacks

The State Department has issued a travel alert for Europe in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks in Brussels, which struck the city's international airport and a subway station near offices of the European Union. 

Photo by Freeimages.com/Vince Varga

The State Department warns that terrorist groups continue to plan near-term attacks throughout Europe, targeting sporting events, tourist sites, restaurants, and transportation. This Travel Alert expires on June 20, 2016.

Additionally, the State Department instructed citizens to exercise vigilance in public places or when using mass transit, and to follow the instructions of local authorities, especially in an emergency. Travelers can also register for the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at step.state.gov.

Brussels Travel Update

According to the New York Times, Brussels' international airport remains closed as it is being treated as a crime scene. Many subway lines are also closed, including the Maelbeek station, where one of the bombings took place. 

United Airlines has said that it will waive change fees and any differences in fare for customers who choose to rebook their travel to Brussels through April 1, subject to the airport reopening and flights resuming. 

For customers who would like to postpone their travel plans to Brussels until after April 1, 2016, and for customers who wish to fly to a new destination, United will waive the change fee. A difference in fare may apply. Rescheduled travel needs to be completed within one year of the date when the original ticket was issued. Customers ticketed on flights that are canceled may receive a refund to the original form of payment. United will continue to update its travel waivers, with additional information available via united.com/travelwaivers

Delta has also said that it will be actively working with customers with flights booked to, from or through Brussels to reaccommodate their travel plans, and it has issued a travel waiver to assist impacted customers in rescheduling flights as necessary. Details of the waiver are available on delta.com.

In hotel news, Marriott International is waiving cancellation fees for guests holding existing reservations at all four Marriott properties in Brussels for the immediate future. The company has also said it will work with group and special event customers on a case by case basis. 

Keep visiting www.internationalmeetingsreview.com for further updates to this developing story. 

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