European Travel/Safety

Jul 13th, 2006, 09:16 AM
  #1  
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European Travel/Safety

In light of developments between Israel and Lebanon, I'm becoming worried about a business trip to London next week. I'm concerned about any spreading of terrorist activity as a result of this quickly expanding conflict. Do others who may travel more widely than I think that my concerns are legitimate, or irrational fear?

Please no comments about not allowing terrorists to influence the way I live, etc. I have a young baby and don't want to take risks. Saying no to this trip wouldn't be easy, but I can do it and I will if there's rationality to my concerns. Trying to figure out that's rational.....
dgrahamr is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:21 AM
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Here's my take on things: My daily commute to work is 26 miles each way, in heavy Dallas traffic. I deal with folks distracted on their cell phones, hyper-agressive drivers and the like, on a daily basis. The liklihood of my being killed or injured on my daily commute is so much greater than my being the victim of a terrorist attack.
missypie is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Maybe you can explain what specifically you are concerned about happening. Unrest in the middle east has been there on and off (ok, maybe never off) for 1000+ years.

Are there reports that your specific location in London is particularly susceptible?

I believe your concerns about ME violence having a direct impact on your trip to London are an irrational fear.
ipod_robbie is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Yes, your concerns are irrational. You are going to London, not Libanon or Israel. I mean, why would Hizbollah start bombing London when they certainly have their hands full with Israel.

I feel sorry for the ordinary Lebanese people. Just when the Syrians left and they were finally having some security. Travel agencies even had started to arrange trips to Beirut.
elina is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:25 AM
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The truth is, you never know what's rational. Millions of people pass daily through the Big Dig in Boston, one car got hit.

I honestly think your fear of going to London is irrational, but what do I know. I don't have any terror connections so can't know where they will hit next.

As a mother I understand you fear of leaving the baby behind, but let's be honest, all mothers have this same fear, doesn't matter where we live or travel to.
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:33 AM
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P_M
 
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If I were fortunate enough to go to London right now, I never would have given this a thought.

You take greater risks every day and you probably don't even think about it. When you leave for work in the morning, you run the risk of being killed in an accident and not coming home. In fact, that scenario is much more likely than dying in a terrorist attack in London. And what about all of those people on 9/11 who died? Of the 3,000 or so we lost, only about 10% were traveling. The other 2,700 people were at the office, expecting a day like any other.

Yes, I think your concerns are irrational. I am telling you this not to be critical, but to put your mind at ease.
P_M is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:33 AM
  #7  
 
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I understand your concern. As a mom, I think about the safety issue far more than I ever did in my pre-motherhood days. However, as a poster said above, you're safer in London than you are on your commute to work.

We went to Scandinavia last month with our kids. When the uproar occurred over the Danish cartoons earlier this year, I questioned whether we ought to be traveling with our kids to Denmark. I quickly decided that we were going to be just as safe there as we are here in the States.

Go on your business trip and try to have some fun while you are there.
padams421 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Nobody can make up your mind for you. If your radar says don't go, don't. If you're looking for reassurances that you'll be perfectly safe in London (or Paris, or New York) - we can't give them.

All we can do is offer our feelings and perceptions.

Ours are that we've traveled to places where there may be a statistically higher possibility of terrorist activity or targeting than many (Israel, Turkey...) but we haven't - yet - felt threatened or endangered, and don't plan on altering our travel patterns in the near future. Of course we rely on common sense. When we drove through Megiddo Junction (aka Armageddon) a couple of times last winter, we chose not to take the turnoff a little later that goes to Jenin on the West Bank. Well, duh. And yes, we get a little nervous walking through the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv and generally don't do it at peak shopping/crowd times.

Years ago I spent a lot of time in London when the IRA was setting off bombs, and everyone was paranoid about parcels in tube trains, etc. Eventually your perception resets itself so that you don't become blasé about these things, but don't get paralyzed about them either, any more than learning to look twice before stepping off the curb in Manhattan.

I'm currently following a flat-out fascinating "real-time" thread on Flyertalk between two regular posters (and others), one of whom is on a kibbutz on the Lebanese border, and the other in his Beirut apartment, commenting on the current activities and the media, their perceptions, etc. I'd encourage people to go and lurk - http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=563147 - start at post no. 25 - to see that good will and even good humor can still be found even in the belly of the beast.

But you need to find your own comfort level and risk tolerance. Millions of people make similar choices every day; the tragedy is that millions more don't have the option.

Good luck and God bless.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jul 13th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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You're asking us - who really have no access to CIA info (if they've managed to find any) how great the risk is in London.

The answer is we don;t know. We have opinions - but we really don;t know.

I would think the additional risk is quite small - since they seem too busy attacking each other - but there is no guarantee.

If you're asking for a guarantee that there is no additinal riak - you can;t have it. Nor could you have had it even if these events had not occurred.

You just have to make up your own mind if you're willing to take any international risk at all.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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As others have said - you have to make up your own mind. You asked whether others felt you concerns are legitimate or irrational. If you have the feeling then I woud say it is legitimate but as to rational - I woudl say it is impressively irrational! Even if something were to happen in London the chances or you being caught up in it a extremely small.
wombat7 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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dgrahamr,

Where do you live now? If you tell me anywhere near New York, New Jersey or Washington DC, or that you travel through these airports, my advice is not only to fly to London, but to move to London to lessen your child's chances of being caught in a terrorist attack before the age of 21.

(Unless, of course, we leave Iraq sometime soon.)
nessundorma is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 10:31 AM
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I don't think there is any place in Europe that I wouldn't travel at this time. The middle east? Well, that's another story. I can't remember the name of the tube stop that was bombed on Edgeware Rd., but that was the tube stop my neice used all the time when she was living in London a few years ago. So, ..you know..I don't know what to say. It seems sometimes like the world has gone mad and we are bombarded by all the "stuff" on a daily basis and I think in some cases it does raise our fear levels, as of course it's intended to do. Personally, I would go and have no fear of going but as you know, YOU have to make the choice that YOU are comfortable with. I know you'll make the choice that's right for you.
crefloors is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 10:38 AM
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Gardyloo, what a wonderful thread, thank you for posting the link!!
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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Hi dg,

I fully understand your concerns.

Very good advice above.

Do keep in mind that the terrorist attacks in London were not connected with any particular actions in the Middle East.

These people do what they want, when they can, without any encouragement from anyone.

Have a lovely visit to London.

ira is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 11:20 AM
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Why not forget about Europe & go somewhere safe - like Washington DC

" U.S. capital fears high-crime days are returning

WASHINGTON In the wake of a recent surge of violent crime here, local officials are trying to calm fears that the city is returning to the crime-infested days of the early '90s when the nation's capital was also called the murder capital of the country."

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/07/13/news/dc.php

Looks to me as if there are real dangers in DC as opposed to the Bogey men of your mind.
alanRow is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Gardyloo, thanks for posting such an important, riveting, and chilling link. Really extraordinary stuff.
fun4all4 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 01:31 PM
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Gardyloo - I echo the thanks for posting the flyertalk link - made me reflect on OPs concern
wombat7 is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 03:56 PM
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>>>>>
but to move to London to lessen your child's chances of being caught in a terrorist attack before the age of 21.
>>>>>

huh??? london has been pummelled by terrorist attacks for decades...more so than probably any other western city. and as the country's political, economic and cultural centre there is always a threat. the country has a significant problem with radicals, is a leading partner in the war and is the enemy of the IRA, a well proven perpetrator of terror. strange advice to move here to be safer!

not trying to be alarmist as your chances are very low of being harmed. but i also see no value in making silly statements like the one above.

is there such a thing as rational fear? fear is an emotion.

if i were your boss, i would not be understanding.
walkinaround is online now  
Jul 13th, 2006, 04:25 PM
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Where do you live, walkinaround? I would gather someplace other than where we have been watching the Nat'l Guard mobilized at the commuter train stations in the past few days.

Oh -- and if it isn't NY, NJ or DC (or San Fran) could you please send us the money Karl Rove gave you to fight terrorism (would that be OK City) so we can secure our ports).

The IRA ain't Al Qeada, and there is only so much string to play out about "Hey, it happened every place but else yesterday. Doesn't that reassure you?"
nessundorma is offline  
Jul 13th, 2006, 04:26 PM
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Ooops - I meant:

"It happened every place else but here yesterday."



Time to watch Colbert!
nessundorma is offline  

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