Clearly the aftermath of the French terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday and its impacts on European airports are going to be focus of our review of this week’s airport related news. There were other news this week, but we decided to focus on this one solely.
We doubt anyone would complain much about extra security checks at European airports. USA Today wrote that strict controls were implemented on roads, rail and sea port border crossings into France, as well as at airports. Long lines could be seen at Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris (CDG) as fliers awaited security checks amid patrols by armed soldiers. That airport, and Paris Orly airport (ORY), warned travelers to expect delays due to extended border checks.
Tensions were high even outside of France: CNN reported that a Frenchman allegedly trying to discard a gun prompted the evacuation of one of two terminals Saturday morning at London’s Gatwick Airport (LGW). The incident came a few hours after the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris, and the timing, police said, increased the level of concern. Police said they were called to the airport around 9:30 a.m. Saturday after a man was seen discarding a “suspicious article.”
Then over in the Netherlands an Air France flight was grounded in Amsterdam after somebody made threats over Twitter to blow it up, the Daily Mail reported. All passengers were evacuated from flight AF1741 from Schipol airport (AMS), which was due to land in Charles de Gaulle in Paris on Saturday afternoon. Security officials searched the plane with sniffer dogs after an account named @JihadiJohn8 said the jet would be blown up in the same way as the Russian plane leaving Sharm el-Sheikh last month. All passengers were disembarked and the plane searched with dogs. Nothing was found and the flight left for Paris with a 2-hour delay.
There surely will be further delays due to additional security checks well into the new week in Europe and some other airports around the world. So, if you fly this week, add some extra time.
We won’t be writing a news update next week as we’re taking a week off, but we’ll be back the week after. That’s all – safe travels.
[Illustration ‘Piece for Paris’ by Jean Jullien]