DETROIT (CBS DETROIT) – The Federal Aviation Administration told U.S. airlines they are prohibited from flying to the Tel Aviv airport in Israel for 24 hours starting Tuesday due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza reports CBS News.
The notice came after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed near Israel’s main airport Tuesday, wounding one Israeli and prompting all U.S. and some European and Canadian airlines to cancel flights to Tel Aviv – a reflection of high anxiety over air travel after the downing of a Malaysian jet over Ukraine.
Meanwhile in Metro Detroit, a local travel agent says that the phones have been ringing off the hook with people trying to make arrangements in and out of Israel.
“People are panicking, they are in Israel and they are scheduled to come home and they want to be able to make their flights home and they are worried,” said Michael Hochheiser of the Travel Exchange in Troy.
He says he’s got about a dozen clients in Israel now and many others with flights planned.
“I do know that youth groups have thousands of teenagers in Israel for the summer and they are trying to figure out what to do.
“It has been a busy day … people are worried both coming and going,” said Hochheiser. “We might be over prudent but unfortunately when you have people stuck who need to get home – family that need to get back to work – that need to get back to their life in America, it’s unfortunate. And on the flip side we’ve got people who are planning their vacation to go to Israel and they are having their vacations disrupted.”
He says those who do not want to wait can travel El-Al but “they are completely sold out coming and going.”
At first the airlines position was to offer free waivers so that you could travel in the future with no monetary penalty – now that they are canceling flights they are giving out refunds he said.
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