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Travel: Greenwashing in the U.S. airline industry?

New European standard would cap greenhouse gas emissions from airplanes, but several U.S. airlines are sueing to block the regulations.

Major carriers sue to block European Union regs that would cap and reduce some airline greenhouse gas emissions

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Three of the largest U.S. airlines like to tout their green credentials, but out of the public eye they’re doing their best to gut meaningful environmental rules for the industry.

American Airlines and United both promoted their environmental initiatives in a campaign timed to coincide with Earth Day last month. American published an article, “AA Reduces Environmental Footprint”, in its in-flight magazine, and United promoted itself as an “environmentally friendly company” in its new, widely publicized “eco-skies” campaign.

But at the same time, both companies filed suit in a European court to block a European Union law that holds all airlines accountable for their global warming pollution from flights to, from and within Europe. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012. American and United have also been lobbying the U.S. Congress to declare the EU law invalid. Continue reading

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Euro travel: Frisbee, fussball and self-cleaning toilets

A post-modern European Grand Tour

Adriatic sunset in Piran, Slovenia.

“Planning a trip is half the fun,” I mutter, typing yet another set of dates into the CheapTickets.com search box. I repeat the mantra to myself, trying to stay calm while booking tickets for our summer trip.

Who ever coined that phrase never had to arrange three different itineraries starting in Denver, with connecting flights in Frankfurt, Zurich, Istanbul and Amman, then returning from Munich and London on different days. On top of that, we need to find someone to look after Comet the Golden for three weeks — and he’s pretty picky. I feel like Clark Griswold, trying to set up National Lampoon’s Ultimate Family Vacation.

Luckily, I have the world’s mellowest girlfriend. She also has plenty of experience planning and implementing complex travel arrangements, so I thought I might get off easy on this one.

“You’ll have to do it this time, babe,” Leigh says, closing her laptop and heading to work.

“Not good,” I say to myself, eyebrows starting to twitch stressfully. I’m the ideas guy. I can envision a Grand Tour: Belgian waffles, fairytale castles, strudel in Salzburg, gondola rides in Venice and Sacher Torte in Vienna. Details are not my strength. Heck, I can barely remember my own phone number and I only glance at my bank statements about once every three months. Continue reading

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