Attacks of November 13, 2015: What impact for travelers?

The attacks that plunged Paris into terror last Friday night are among the deadliest committed on the national territory, killing over 130 people. On behalf of TravelGuys, I would like to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims’ families.

Following these tragic events, François Hollande declared a State of Emergency in France, re-establishing border controls. If the name is vague, the consequences are tangible for those who travel by plane.

In the short term: A nightmare for airport managers!

Reinforced security controls

At the airport, security controls are reinforced at the Screening Stations and searches are more systematic. Be careful to anticipate your arrival at the airport because the lines may get longer.

Regardless of your destination, all flights departing from France will be subject to passport control as non-Schengen flights. As these controls are also reinforced, this will generate very long queues, which can reach several hours. Again, you will need to anticipate your arrival at the airport.

No additional measures for arrivals

On arrival, there is no change in procedure, except for longer queues due to the deactivation of the automatic immigration/emigration system PARAFE, and the more thorough individual identity check.

In the medium/long term, an in-depth change

In terms of medium- or long-term changes, it is difficult to know what this evening of November 13, 2015 will change. Nevertheless, two hypotheses are emerging: a lasting reinforcement of border controls, or an explosion of the Schengen area.

A strengthening of border controls

When passing through immigration controls, every traveler has once wondered about their usefulness, and for good reason… The depth of the control is very random: sometimes only visual, sometimes by scanning the passport, but always without any questions about the reason, the frequency or the destination of the trip. This is in stark contrast to the controls carried out in all other countries, even emerging ones, which require at least the reason for the visit or trip. The traceability of travelers must be greatly improved in the Schengen area, in particular through the implementation of a common information system tracking all Schengen border crossings.

A possible explosion of the Schengen area

These events raise the painful question of the relevance of the Schengen Area, both on the free movement of people (terrorists, for example) and goods (explosive materials and weapons). Could they have been arrested without Schengen? Nothing is less certain.
In any case, if Schengen remains, border security can clearly no longer be entrusted to sovereign states, but to a supranational structure capable of ensuring the same level of watertightness at each point of entry into the Schengen territory.

Live !

In any case, continue to live, to travel, to enjoy our beautiful country and our beautiful planet and human nature, which is not capable of only the worst.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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