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Alert has little initial impact on U.S. airlines

U.S.-based airlines reported no noticeable increase in ticket cancellations on Sunday after the United States and Britain warned their citizens of an increased risk of terror attacks in Europe.
/ Source: Reuters

U.S.-based airlines reported no noticeable increase in ticket cancellations on Sunday after the United States and Britain warned their citizens of an increased risk of terror attacks in Europe.

But they also said it was perhaps too early to tell what the impact would be of the warnings issued on Sunday.

The U.S. State Department warned American citizens traveling in Europe, without singling out any country, that al-Qaida and other groups could target public transportation and tourism-related facilities. The British government updated its travel advice for citizens going to France and Germany, raising the terrorism threat level to "high" from "general."

Delta Air Lines spokesman Carlos Santos, said, "Our flights are operating their regular schedule, and operations are normal."

Santos said it was too early to know if customers would be canceling flight plans due to the alert. "I don't want to speculate on what passengers are going to do. It is hard to say," he said.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, an American Airlines spokesman said the airline had not seen any surge in cancellations related to the State Department notice.

"We are not seeing much of anything on this at this point," he said.

American Airlines and United Airlines both reported that their schedules were operating normally.

Europe is worried about how reports of the threats may affect tourism.

The U.S. alert falls short of a more severe one in which the State Department may have warned citizens against traveling to Europe. Instead, the alert urges them to take precautions when they do travel.

Thomas Dale & Associates security consultant Tom Elfmont said the broad advisory, without any specific or detailed threat information, was not likely to alarm Americans enough to change business or vacation plans.

"If they just put out a generalized threat by al-Qaida against Americans traveling in Europe. It's really not going to stop (anyone)," he said.