Brussels: What travellers need to know

Travelers with suitcases leave Zaventem airport, one of the sites of two deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Photo / AP
Travelers with suitcases leave Zaventem airport, one of the sites of two deadly attacks in Brussels, Belgium. Photo / AP

Following terror attacks in Brussels that killed at least 31 and injured hundreds, Belgium has raised its terror alert to the highest level.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) spokesman said 72 New Zealanders are registered on SafeTravel as being in Belgium, with no indication any of them have been caught up in the attacks.

Security has been increased around Europe in the wake of the attacks, which were preceded by attacks in Paris in November that killed 130 people.

Prime Minister Charles Michel said the country would tighten security at its borders and declared three days of national mourning.

France has deployed an extra 1600 police officers to its borders and British police have boosted patrols at sites feared to be vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

The New Zealand Government is advising against all tourist and non-essential travel to Belgium. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Travel has raised its warning to Kiwis intending to travel to the European country, saying there is a high risk to personal security due to the threat of terrorism.

The Safe Travel website has been updated to warn travellers of the high risk level for the country currently.

BELGIUM TRAVEL ADVISORY UPDATEWe now advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Belgium due to the...

Posted by SafeTravel.govt.nz on Tuesday, March 22, 2016

New Zealand's ambassador to the European Union, David Taylor, urged Kiwis in Belgium to be vigilant, monitor media for updates and follow instructions from local authorities.

British travellers have been advised by the Foreign Office to stay away from crowded places and avoid public transport.

If you have concerns about a family member in Belgium, MFAT asks you try to make direct contact in the first instance, and if you can't get hold of them, contact the ministry on 04 439 8000.

Brussels Airport remained closed today and it is evaluating whether to resume operations on Thursday.


Flights were diverted away from the airport following the attack. Lufthansa, Air France, KLM, British Airways, American Airlines, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Ryanair, Alitalia and Easyjet have all cancelled or diverted flights.

The airport said in a statement that passengers with tickets for a Lufthansa Group flight (Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Germanwings) between Tuesday and March 28, to, from or via Brussels could rebook without being charged or obtain a refund.

Air New Zealand was also offering flexibility to customers whose travel plans were disrupted and now wanted to change their plans.

Customers ticketed for travel to and from Belgian airports prior to and including March 30 could defer or bring travel forward before April 6 in the same class without penalty or change to another Air New Zealand destination.

Normal refund rules applied and non-refundable fares remained so.

The Eurostar railway service will continue to operate a normal service, but have advised passengers to allow one hour to check in due to enhanced security checks at the airport.


Those who no longer wished to travel on March 23 could exchange the booking for free within 60 days of travel.

- nzherald.co.nz, AP

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