With the airport observing its first day of large-scale operation since the March 22nd terrorist attacks, here's what you should know
Traveling in and out of Belgium’s capital city of Brussels has been tense since the March 22nd terror attacks, which left 32 dead and the city on edge. However, officials have been working hard to restore normalcy to the European travel hub’s usually bustling flight schedule.
While the Brussels Airport symbolically reopened on April 3rd with three departing flights, today it will see more than 460 flights take-off and land, by far the most in the three weeks since the attacks took place. Although it’s far from the airport’s full operational capacity, officials hope to be back at 100% by June. Here are some things that passengers flying in and out of Brussels Airport should expect:
Since the attacks took place in the unprotected departures hall, airport officials have set up advanced security screening tents that each passenger must go through prior to check-in.
Commuter trains are still not running to the airport; however, buses are back to their regularly scheduled routes. Passengers that arrive by car or taxi should remember that they can no longer be dropped off near the departures area. Instead, head for the P2 parking lot.
It is also recommended that those flying out of the airport arrive at least 3 to 4 hours in advance to account for the additional screenings and wait time. And while passengers can usually get tickets printed at the check-in counter, due to new security measures, it’s best to have a ticket printed or on your phone before leaving home.
The airports closure and subsequent cautious reopening has left many travelers with impacted flight plans. International airlines such as Delta, American, and United are offering waived change fees for travel scheduled from late March to late April, but specific date ranges and reservation restrictions vary. For a full list of European airlines that operate in and out of Brussels Airport, see here.
Travelers flying into Brussels Airport will experience far fewer changes than departing passengers. However, it’s worth noting that arrivals can only be picked up at a designated area—again, in the P2 parking lot.
Once you get to Brussels, don't be afraid to dive into the city's rich culture: incredible food, stunning architecture, and much more.