"Chaos returned to Hong Kong International Airport Tuesday afternoon as protesters flooded back into terminals, blocking passengers from reaching their gates and prompting the airport to suspend all check-ins for departing flights," The Washington Post reported today. The city is generally safe to visit, though travelers coming through the airport may experience delays or disruptions. Protesters have gathered at HKG since Aug. 9, but a demonstration escalated Aug. 12, when thousands of activists arrived to condemn alleged excessive force used by police during recent protests. Airlines and airport operators already delayed or canceled more than 300 flights at HKG, Aug. 13, as officials tried to normalize operations.
Bob Howell, Senior Advisor of Critical Operations, was quoted: "For travelers who are allowed to go through security, speed is the most important thing to keep in mind. Pre-register, pre-
check-in for your flight, and spend as little time as possible with checking luggage — or better yet, if you can, carry on luggage. It’s best to get through airport security as soon as possible because then you’ll be in a safer area."
“The Hong Kong issue is a peaceful sit-in, so it’s more about rebooking flights and making sure you’re in a safe place,” Howell said. “But should there be a situation where there is violence and confrontation, you need to get to a safe place.” Howell went on to further recommend using airline clubs if a traveler is able to gain access. These clubs generally have more security and restricted access to members only.
"Leading up to a flight, Howell said, travelers should reconfirm 24 and 12 hours in advance, download their airline app to check the flight status and keep an eye on reports of demonstrations." Lingering disruptions are almost certain even after flight operations resume, as carriers work to clear their passenger backlogs.
Monitor local media for updates on the demonstration, as activists may not announce changes to their plans in advance. Contact airlines to confirm flight schedules. Allow additional time for check-in and security clearance if arriving, departing, or transiting HKG through at least Aug. 14. Confirm ground transport to and from HKG. Strictly heed the instructions of security personnel at the airport. Exercise caution if transiting or meeting arriving passengers at HGK. Leave the area immediately if clashes occur.
Read more advice from The Washington Post article.
WorldAware provides intelligence-driven, integrated risk management solutions that enable multinational organizations to operate globally with confidence. WorldAware’s end-to-end tailored solutions, integrated world-class threat intelligence, innovative technology, and response services help organizations mitigate risk and protect their people, assets, and reputations.