U.S. warns against travel to Kingston, Jamaica; several airlines waive change fees


U.S. warns against travel to Kingston, Jamaica; several airlines waive change fees

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans against travel to Kingston, Jamaica, and surrounding areas “because of escalating violence, shootings and unrest” related to attempts to arrest Christopher “Dudus’” Coke, an alleged trafficker of drugs and weapons.

On Tuesday, thousands of police and soldiers in the capital clashed with Coke’s defenders, and at least 30 people were reported killed, according to the Associated Press.

The State Department’s travel alert, issued Monday as an update to its May 21 alert, states that access to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) “has been blocked on an intermittent basis by gun battles between criminal elements and police” and that some flights have been canceled.

A number of airlines are waiving change fees for passengers scheduled to fly to or from Kingston this week and allowing them to rebook within a defined period.  For details, look for updates on the websites of Air Jamaica, American Airlines, Cayman Airways and other carriers.

 

The State Department advised U.S. citizens in Jamaica to monitor local news reports; use the South Camp Road route to the Kingston airport; check on their flight’s status before traveling to the airport; and “exercise heightened security awareness and maintain a low profile.

Noting that Jamaica’s government has imposed a state of emergency in Kingston and St. Andrew, the statement added: “The possibility exists that unrest could spread beyond the general Kingston area.”

– Jane Engle, assistant Los Angeles Times Travel editor

Photo: Soldiers patrol the streets of Kingston, Jamaica, on May 24 amid protests by groups opposed to the extradition of alleged drug trafficker Christopher ‘”Dudus” Coke to the U.S. Credit: Mark Brown / EPA

By LA Times



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