Travel agents say that the cities of Paris, Brussels and Nice will remain popular summer tourist destinations for many Southern California residents. But in light of terrorist attacks in those major cities this year, some Americans are reconsidering their imminent travel plans.
If you’re traveling to Europe, and are considering delaying or canceling your trip, there are a few resources and key questions travel agents and agencies say to take note of.
If you book through a travel website, like Travelocity, check their website for step-by-step instructions on how to adjust your plans.
Keith Nowak, a spokesman from Travelocity, said that customers should always follow the website’s alert page, which includes links to cancellation policies for airlines, links to state government travel advisories and airport security advisories. Other popular travel sites such as Airbnb, Expedia, Kayak and Priceline have similar emergency alert pages with step-by-step instructions for changing your plans.
Check your airline’s cancellation policy.
Many airlines have issued special ticketing fee waivers for passengers traveling to Nice, France. American Airlines said it would waive ticketing fees for travel changes for customers scheduled to fly between July 15-17, 2016. Passengers can also change their flight to an alternate European airport and pay just the difference in the price of the ticket. Other airlines such as Delta and United have issued similar offers in response to the violence in Nice.
Always check the U.S. State Department’s travel advisories, especially if you are already traveling and an incident occurs.
For U.S. citizens traveling in Nice, the department encourages enrollment in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, which provides updates from the nearest U.S. Consulate. For Southern Californians preparing to travel to Europe in the future, the State Department’s website advises you to enroll your trip before departure.
Do you have travel insurance?
As attacks in popular tourist destinations become more frequent, several local travel agencies such as L&B Travel LLC are including a “Cancel for any reason” insurance policy, such as Travel Guard's "Gold Plan" in specific trip packages. This plan allows travelers to cancel for literally any reason before they leave, from safety concerns to a bad hair day, said Svetlana Stein, L&B’s owner.
“You don’t know what could come up in life,” she said. “Anything can happen.”