If you’re traveling to or through Hong Kong in the near future, take note. The escalating Hong Kong protests (see what they’re about here) spilled into the airport this weekend and may continue there. As CNN reported this morning, “Today saw the fourth and largest day of airport sit-ins by anti-government protesters in Hong Kong, thousands of whom thronged both terminals at the city’s international airport. Nearly 200 flights coming in and out of the city were canceled, and the normally calm and orderly airport descended into chaos.”
It’s not clear that the airport will be the site of protests indefinitely. But for right now, at least, serious trouble at HKG (one of the world’s largest airports) is a real possibility. If you’ll be traveling to or through Hong Kong soon, especially if you’ll be flying with Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong’s flagship carrier), contact your airline and travel providers immediately. United, for example, is offering travel waivers to people booked on flights arriving/leaving HKG through Thursday, August 15.
And that’s not all. As NPR reported, some flyers arriving there this weekend were handed anti-government leaflets at the airport, saying: “Dear travelers…Please forgive us for the ‘unexpected’ Hong Kong. You’ve arrived in a broken, torn-apart city, not the one you have once pictured. Yet for this Hong Kong, we fight.”
That “unexpected” Hong Kong is currently a place the U.S. State Department has advised exercising increased caution in. The U.K.’s advisory service (which I love) has been updated, too. Clashes between protesters and authorities, for example, have landed people in the hospital.
More on the Hong Kong protests
The U.K’s advisory includes the following notes for future travelers:
- “You should be prepared that the situation around protests and public gatherings could change quickly, with the potential for significant violence. If you are in and around areas where demonstrations are taking place, you should remain vigilant, follow the advice of local authorities and move away quickly to a safe place if there are signs of disorder…”
- “Activities related to protests have spilled over into large public spaces, including shopping centres, housing estates and metro (‘MTR’) stations, on the margins of recent protest routes…”
- “In recent protests, bus routes, MTR stations, the Airport Express and the Hong Kong Macao Ferry Terminal have temporarily suspended operations without warning.”
Beyond that, you can read more below. And if you’ve been in Hong Kong recently, please share your thoughts on the destination!
- What’s Going on in Hong Kong? What to Know About the Protests – The New York Times
- By swarming Hong Kong airport, protesters take their message directly to the world – CNN
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