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a VirtualTourist member from Brno

Egypt

Egypt situation?

Hey!
I was wondering if anyone has firsthand experience with the situation in some of the places in Egypt right now. Or know something else?

Me and my friend bought tickets (non-refundable) to Cairo months ago. because of the situation we decided to skip Cairo to begin with and see it it calms down later (we're supposed to stay in the country for two weeks), and fly straight to Luxor with Egyptair - are the flights being cancelled?? Someone wrote this in a post.

I know from the media that the situation in Hurghada and Sharm is good at the moment, but what about Luxor and Aswan?
My government is only warning against trips to Cairo, Suez and Alexandria, though I read at BBC's website that the british government is also including Luxor.

How is the situation in Giza? We would love to at least get to see the pyramids before we leave.

We are leaving in less than a week, and we are starting to get abit nervous :(

I appreciate all replies!



32 Answers  (showing 1 - 30)


answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Here is today's UK government advice about Eygpt:

fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-liv...

The site is very regularly updated

Internet access in Egypt is restricted/unavailable at present, so it is unlikely that any Egyptian members will be able to contribute to this thread.

No-one can tell you exactly what the situation will be when you are ready to leave. You can only monitor the situation from the media and the advice site of your own government.

The unrest has spread further across Egypt today and there are curfews in operation.

Do check your travel insurance. If your government advises against travel to a specific country your travel insurance may become invalid, or you may have to pay a further premium.

I wish I could bring you better news, but I'm afraid none of us can foretell the future.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Delaware

Giza is basically Cairo (the city extends more or less right to where the pyramids are). At the moment it doesn't seem to be a good idea to be in Cairo, although no one is mentioning any trouble in the tourist spots like Luxor, Sharm etc. If you can avoid Cairo, that's probably a good idea. I don't think changing planes there is going to present any problems, though. The airport is well away from downtown and it would have to be a major civil war for the airport to be affected. That doesn't seem to be happening. (yet! but I can't imagine it would.)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Palatka

I can not give you any inside Egypt advice.
You have reason to be nervous. It may be that your whole trip will become impossible with flights canceled and borders closed.
Even if the situation settles down some, you do face the risk that it will flare during your visit.
You should probably contact your airline now about possible rescheduling, at least to see what your options will be and get yourselves on the lists.

On VT you do not give your age or attitude about travel, but I would like to share with you my mother's experience. Although not much of a traveler and well into her 70's she refused to cancel or re-schedule a trip to Egypt that was threatened by some major Egyptian internal disorder. Her attitude was that at her age she could take any risk she wanted. So she went and loved seeing the pyramids with the very few other tourists around, traveled the Nile with about a dozen other passengers and a full crew for a 80 passenger boat, and visited the Valley of the Kings with a military escort.

She has convinced me that sometimes taking a frequently traveled road when something has happened to deter the tourists is as good as trying to reach a "road less traveled" discovered on VT.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Huddersfield

There is no evidence of tourist being at risk.

Some airlines may stop going there and the advice from the British goverment is not to travel.
If I had booked, I would still be going.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

The curfew is being ignored, according to the latest BBC report. Some p[lanes are being cancelled, and a BMI flight returned to the UK mid-journey.

But this is today. No-one can tell what the situation will be when you are due to visit.

I think you will should get your airfare back if the airline cancels, however (or an alternative flight at a later date). 'Non-refundable' applies to you cancelling, not them.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

I like Melosh's mother! Listen, people, aren't there regulations about such things? Surely one should be able to cancel one's flight and get the money back if there are travel warnings and serious trouble going on. Looks like it is heating up over there, a major violent repression planned of the protestors, Obama warning the Egyptian government about such a move, demonstrations organized in the States, which further irks authorities and those on their side, and so on - How much does it take to justify a refund?




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Terms and conditions vary from airline to airline. There is no one standard set.

The poster can check what the airline concerned has listed under its terms and conditions.

Imo, the likelihood is that if flights are still going to and from a destination then the airline terms and conditions will not allow free cancellation. But if the airline cancels the flight because of conditions at a location (or for other reasons) then a refund is likely.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

So that means that there are no EU regulations on the matter, as there are for many things? If I were in that situation, and could not get my money back - hate wasting money! - I would go and make the best of it, choosing the safest places, or at least the places I could access. After all, one can always say afterwards "well, I was there then" as in "what an exciting/interesting life I lead"....It can be interesting but also dangerous, or at least lead to lots of hassles and disappointments and frustrations. If I could get the money back, I would cancel, to avoid the latter...




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

News flash, just came into yahoo news less than two hours ago - It seems that 1000s of people have rushed to the airport in Cairo without reservations to try and leave - tourists, Egyptians, non-Egyptians working there - all the neighboring Arab countries have arranged special flights to get their people out of there and more airlines have cancelled flights in - I think dear posters that your flight will be cancelled and you will get a refund, surely??? This is no less than very serious - you can go another time, when hopefully the Egyptian people will have found happier solutions - Trouble is stirring in other countries too, this seems like one of those historical moments - some great wave coming along....




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

There are of course EU regulations about airfares, which is why I suggested that I suspected a refund would be given if the flight was cancelled by the airline.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

Giza - the pyramids - is locked and closed, guarded by the army.
Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria, Helopolis and other areas are still having serious demonstrations - not a place for a tourist to be imo. In some areas the police are firing live ammunition.

Take a look at the BBC live update site. Lots of good detailed info coming in from local residents:
news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_e...

I happen to be following it pretty closely. I think you will find the answer you seek there.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Padova

This from the internet on Sunday Jan. 30, Yahoo:
Looting and arson continued overnight as the police totally disappeared from the streets of the capital and several major Egyptian cities. There has been no explanation for why the police have vanished.
The vacuum left by the police has prompted residents to form neighborhood protection groups, armed with firearms, sticks and clubs to set up self-styled checkpoints and barricades to ward off looting gangs roaming Cairo and other cities. The groups set up barricades, using bricks and metal traffic barriers.
Groups of youths also directed traffic in parts of Cairo, chasing away gangs of criminals smashing passing cars. Residents said gangs were also stopping people on the streets and robbing them.
(We watched on Italian television and it looks pretty bad.)




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

The link above was for yesterday, Saturday.

The link for today, Sunday 30/01 is:
VT Forum temporarily unavailable

Or open the BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/
and click on LIVE (in red) Egypt unrest

under the heading: Protesters dominate central Cairo.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

Ooooffff! Sorry - I gave the link for VT not for the BBC Live Update.

Here it is: news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_e...




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

They are attacking and sacking many government buildings - including destroying two mummies! Now that is radical!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

VT is non-political, so I do think that other than to try to give specific travel advice we should not comment on the situation.

One can refer to another site for political opinions and ideas.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

Since when is a news report a political statement?




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

If you read more than one source of news you will easily see how such reports are political ;)

In this example there are those that say it actually the secret (plain clothes) police that are doing the looting in order to destabilize the revolution, to give it a bad name. Others that the looters are actually criminals that escaped/were released from prisons and so on.

Not ours (VT) to question *here* on the travel forums...




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

Una, you are absolutely right.

The travel forums are for travel advice/opinion only. Misc can be for discussion, but not for political or religious discussion.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

Excuse me, this started as a travel question, a very real one - and I would be very interested in what the OP is hearing from her airlines, and I think it could be very useful information. Anyone having planned a trip to Egypt might check the forum - I check forums for places I am planning to visit, to see if there are discussions relevant to my needs already posted - might be served by this discussion. We are also enjoying the contact, at least I am. I don't see that anyone here has posted a political opinion, so why all the preaching?




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I don't think noting a fact is 'preaching', personally.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

Yes, the OP posted a travel question and all of the answers till the last one ("that is radical") were specifically travel related.

I am not preaching. I am reiterating a couple of the Travel Forum Guidelines:

1. Ask a question.
Do not post announcements about your opinions, suggestions or interesting facts. Tips and Travel Pages are the perfect place for those.

5. Do not post political or religious discussions.
This is a Travel Forum and Political and Religious Discussions will be deleted.

If we do not abide by these guidelines then the advice will simply be deleted and the OP will have lost the information she needs to make her decision...




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from London

Most EU counties Included UK and Germany are advise none essential travel to Cairo and other cities.

Australia informed there citizens not travel to Egypt.


As you booked with Egypt Air my advice would be request a refunding under special grounds.

Also I would call Europe direct to find out what are my rights. The Phone number for Europe direct) 00 800 67 89 10 11) open hours GMT 08.00 17.30
CET 09.00 to 18.30.

Egypt Air has to follow EU laws when entering EU Airspace, hopeful they should be grounds for refund.

As VT members said you should follow the travel advice) I will give the links for UK USA & Australia Travel advice.

1. US Travel Advise

travel.state.gov/travel/cis_...


2. UK Travel Advise


fco.gov.uk/en/travel-and-liv...



3. Australia Travel Advise

smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/...


I will also follow the news reports

CNN
BBC

Online news papers

Guardian in the UK other online news.


Vicki I hope my input helps.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

You asked also about Hurghada...
This is the latest from a person there:

"...there were protests in Hurghada on the Red Sea. Looters attacked the major supermarkets but local people have stood guard to protect the shops."

news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_e...

1847 GMT




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Brno

wow! thanks for all the replies!

We decided not to go. My government is warning against all travels to Egypt.
Now Im just hoping I'll get my money back or get my tickets changed to another destination.

I hope it will be okay for all other travellers who were going there and that they find a peaceful and good solution in Egypt soon!




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Jerusalem

Wise decision. I am now reading that the 'dependents' of diplomats from many countries are being sent home and that a number of countries have sent in special planes to evacuate their own nationals visiting or doing business in Egypt right now.




answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Nashville

You surely should be able to get your money back. People here on VT can support and help you with that, I am sur;, in fact they already have offered suggestions. I know that one important factor - yesterday there was a good article in the NY Times on rights, protective measures when flights are canceled - is to apply as soon as possible. The article also said that Europe was even stricter than the States, so fight for your rights! take care, Jean




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

I agree. Although I would wish for things to settle before you were due to visit, in reality I think it will take longer.

I hope you do get your fare refunded. I think it would be best to hold off from cancelling for as long as possible, in the hope that the airline will do it for you.




answered by
Mary Smith from Leicester

The key point under EU regulations is that the flight is cancelled by the airline, not by the passenger.

That is why it would be sensible to hold off for as long as possible.

You will also need to carefully read the terms and conditions of your ticket, to see how and if they apply to you cancelling because of these events in Egypt and the advice of your government.




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