Paris air travel proceeds, but some cancel future visits

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Paris, Nov 15: Airlines continued to operate flights to Paris, but the terror attacks in the French capital left tourists and business travelers wondering whether to cancel upcoming trips.

The attacks left the travel community on edge. Some would-be travelers quickly canceled trips to Paris, while the airlines let anxious customers with weekend tickets for Paris change plans without a fee.

Plane

Tensions were high at airports across Europe on Saturday. A Paris-bound Air France jet was evacuated at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after authorities received a threatening tweet.

At London's Gatwick Airport, a terminal was shut down for hours after a 41-year-old man from France was seen throwing away what looked like a gun.

Authorities called in explosives experts. US authorities said that they had nothing to add to Friday night's comment by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that officials didn't know of any specific or credible terror threats against the United States.

Air France said it would operate all upcoming flights to and from France but that delays were expected because of increased security measures at airports, including Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport.

United Airlines and Delta Air Lines said that all their flights between the US and Paris were operating, although Delta noted that many Paris departures were held up waiting for passengers to go through extra security screening.

American Airlines said all its flights would run too, except a Paris-to-Dallas flight that plane remained in Dallas when the Paris-bound leg was canceled Friday night.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said flights to and from Paris were full. United and American declined to give details on the occupancy levels of their flights. Some Americans, however, canceled trips after seeing coverage of the terror on Paris streets.

Joe Nardozzi, a 31-year-old New York investment banker, and his wife won't be taking the wedding-anniversary trip they planned later this month.

"I have no interest in losing my life over a trip to Paris," he said.

US airlines waived fees for Paris-bound passengers who want to change their ticket, but only if their flight was scheduled in the next couple days.

That angered Nardozzi, who paid $1,600 for his tickets and said American Airlines was too inflexible given the horror of the situation.

Blake Fleetwood, president of New York-based Cook Travel, said about 10 customers told him they want to cancel Paris trips. He and his wife might do the same next month.

"It's a terrible situation," Fleetwood said. "It's going to hurt the travel industry, the hotels, the airlines, the restaurants."

AP

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