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Has the refugee crisis in Europe impacted your travel plans?

Has the refugee crisis in Europe impacted your travel plans?

Old Sep 14, 15, 7:48 am
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Has the refugee crisis in Europe impacted your travel plans?

Mods, please move this to the appropriate forum, if appropriate.

This is not meant to be a political thread (we already have one going in OMNI/PR). I am wondering whether people have altered their travel plans, and if so, how, in light of Europe's current refugee crisis.

We are off to Austria, Germany, and Italy at the end of this month (I know, I know). I had proposed going to Budapest for a couple of days, but it turned out to be impractical this time. Turned out, we dodged a bullet. We will be traveling mostly by train.

We expect our trip to be a bit of a cluster. Nothing we can't manage, but not the usual Europe in fall by train trip by any stretch of the imagination.

What have we changed? Well, we were supposed to take a train back from Rome to FRA the day before our flight home, then spend the night at an airport hotel. This suddenly did not seem like a good idea (long trip, many of the options going through Munich, too many of the others involving extremely short transfer times). So we are flying back to FRA. A bit on the expensive side, but oh, well.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 7:56 am
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Yes. We carry passports and other ID around more often because of this. I see more questioning at airports for my SE Europe/SW Asia to EU/Schengen flights than used to be the case two years ago. I also see a few more train schedule delays/cancellations and more temporary passport and customs control checks. Not a show stopper, but there are some disruptions that are worked around in much the same way as when a strike action hits the train schedules.

For those substituting train trips with flights, look at the Avianca promotions currently under way for buying miles and using them for intra-Europe travel. While the added financial expense to go between city centers and airports (in one or both directions) can add up (and will add up in time), sometimes there is a public transit option which can be used for no additional financial expense if the plan already was to rely upon a public transit pass once in the city center.

Last edited by GUWonder; Sep 14, 15 at 8:01 am
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Old Sep 14, 15, 8:20 am
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Thank you. It probably would not have occurred to us to carry our passports with us more readily than we normally do now. While we are not the sort of people who usually get questioned, stereotypes being what they are (to quote Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias, my husband and I, "Look like we have been carved out of cream cheese."), security is no doubt heightened right now, and ID checks may be a bit more common.

As to trains being delayed and cancelled, we are expecting that, and will accept it with patience and good cheer.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 10:52 am
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My SO is there right now, she's not noticed anything significant yet but things are changing quickly, literally by the day. If it were myself, I'd be planning to fly and forget trains or busses. I feel terrible for the people involved honestly but at the same time I don't want to be inconvenienced either. Fortunately my SO's last train trip was today and she's arrived already, she'll be flying the remainder of the trip, lessening my worry.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 10:58 am
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I currently am planning to go on a train trip through Germany/Austria. (Basically a big loop starting and ending in Amsterdam)

Is there anything I can do (aside from keeping a close eye on my passport) to ensure things go smoothly?

Also, if there is a delay/cancellation, I am entitled to a refund?

Ex: I have a train booked from Berlin to Vienna, and for some reason it is delayed or cancelled. Can I demand a refund and simply buy a last minute train ticket?

(Note: I am a US citizen, so while I normally can access Europe visa free I assume in an "emergency" they might not allow non-EU citizens through...)
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Old Sep 14, 15, 11:01 am
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At least some cancelled/delayed trains' companies were processing refunds or re-accomodating without charge onto other trains.

Even where temporary border checks are popping up -- and that includes Austria, Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands at least today -- US citizens with a US passport will continue to be allowed by upon presentation of a US passport.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 3:50 pm
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Has the refugee crisis in Europe impacted your travel plans?

Mrs Flaneurs and I are heading to Switzerland in a few days and we don't plan on taking many trains so I am fairly certain we will be ok. So to answer the OP's question: No, we don't expect any impact to our travel plans.

Keeping a passport with us in second nature even in Switzerland but I think this is really good advice knowing how things are going all throughout Europe.
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Old Sep 14, 15, 4:33 pm
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Has the refugee crisis in Europe impacted your travel plans?

i was just in Munich for the last 6 days and noticed a lot of police presence. they do a good job of maintaining order and I had no issues riding the train on any day, despite large numbers of refugees.
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Old Sep 15, 15, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ysolde View Post
Thank you. It probably would not have occurred to us to carry our passports with us more readily than we normally do now. While we are not the sort of people who usually get questioned, stereotypes being what they are (to quote Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias, my husband and I, "Look like we have been carved out of cream cheese."), security is no doubt heightened right now, and ID checks may be a bit more common.

As to trains being delayed and cancelled, we are expecting that, and will accept it with patience and good cheer.
German police are by and large well-mannered and orderly professionals and so long as you are able to present a US passport you should not have any issues.

Delays and cancellations are another matter altogether and I would say that you should expect one or both to happen. If possible, readjust your plans to fly instead of take the train. If not, just don't arrange your plans such that you NEED to arrive soon after your scheduled arrival.

At this point I do not think it is worth canceling an entire trip, or even avoiding any particular country, but the situation is very fluid and you should follow any and all developments.
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Old Sep 15, 15, 3:03 pm
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If planning to rely upon rail travel, perhaps I'd consider having more flexible hotel booking conditions than usual and be more eager to have fully refundable train tickets than usual. But other than that and the passport/ID issue, I find it to be pretty much business as usual when it comes to intra-Schengen travel not involving the Schengen pre-Visegrad countries. By air, more intra-Schengen flights have an on-arrival scan of passengers/docs, but then that just gets back to making sure to secure your passport/ID and have it available for presentation where it may be required or may be more convenient to have.
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