Travel News: Will the EU End Daylight Savings?

Will The EU End Daylight Saving? 

The Associated Press reports The European Commission decided Friday it will push the EU parliament and member states to ditch the system of twice-yearly changes to the time following a citizens’ consultation. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the German ZDF network on Friday that “the people want that, and we will make it happen.” EU Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said that 84% of the 4.6 million people who took part in the consultation “do not want the clocks to change anymore.” Participation among member states varied widely with 3.79% of Germans taking part compared to 0.02% in Britain. Juncker said that it would make no sense to disregard people’s wishes, indicating the European Commission proposal would go in that direction. The European Parliament and the EU member states would still need to approve the abolishment of the time change and could still impose further changes to the time system and, for example, decide whether it would be constant summer or winter time. Since 1996, the EU nations have moved the clock forward by one hour in March and backward again in October. It was harmonized across the bloc to meet concerns of the transport and logistics sectors in the single market. There are three standard time zones in the EU.

Latest on upcoming Chicago’s Hotel Strike

For the first time, UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago’s hospitality workers union, has called a citywide hotel strike. Thousands of housekeepers, doormen, cooks and other hotel employees at 25 hotels began picketing on Friday, and plan to do so around the clock until an agreement is reached.

United Airlines Increases Baggage Fees In Step With JetBlue, Air Canada And WestJet 

Forbes reports United Airlines has become the first US legacy air carrier to raise its baggage fees in what has become an expensive week for North American air travelers. The week started with news that JetBlue was suddenly increasing baggage fees by 20% for most passengers for flights booked after August 27th. Mere hours later, both Air Canada and WestJet, the second largest carrier in Canada, followed in JetBlue’s footsteps. All three carriers ended up raising first-checked-bag fees to $30 from $25 while second-bag fees went to $40 from $35. JetBlue, alone, raised its third and later checked baggage fees from $100 to $150 while oversize and overweight bags saw a similar increase. JetBlue, Air Canada and WestJet pointed to increasing operating costs and tighter competition as justification for the increased fees, saying that it had been several years since the fees had gone up.

Santorini To Impose Limits On Cruise Arrivals As Infrastructure Comes Under Strain

WSJ reports on most days from March to December, thousands of tourists spill out of cruise ships and onto Santorini, where they pump money into the local economy as they eat, drink and make their way to the Greek island’s northern tip to watch the sun slipping into the Aegean Sea. Some officials here say they have seen enough. “The island is saturated,” Mayor Nikos Zorzos said. “We can’t handle anymore tourists.” Starting next year the island will cap daily cruise arrivals at 8,000, hoping to curb a flow of day travelers the mayor said is putting too much strain on infrastructure and supplies. The move has rankled cruise operators and business owners, who say such a move would choke off their economic lifeblood and that the onus is on the island to do more to accommodate the crowds.

Travel to Mars For A Day In All New Program at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 

Travelwire news reports on a New Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida: Travel to Mars For a Day by NASA. In this all-new program, students travel to the Red Planet for a day to live and work on Mars Base 1. Set in a landscape of the future, Rookie Astronaut teams have the unique opportunity to travel to Mars through the Mars Transporter Vehicle. Once there, work through the challenges of living on the Martian surface: manage the Base Operations Center on Mars, grow and harvest plants in the Botany Lab, and collect and analyze data that will be sent to real NASA scientists. Rookie Astronauts will also need to optimize energy intake for the Base by programming robots to clear debris from solar panels. Students will leave Mars with a better understanding of how to adapt to life away from Earth. It is an experience unlike any other on the planet! View available dates below.

Italy’s Florence Bans Eating In the Street

Italy might be the home of al fresco dining, but in the tourist mecca of Florence street-snacking has become such a problem that local authorities have introduced fines of up to €500 ($581) to combat it. The four streets affected by the ban — Via de’ Neri, Piazzale degli Uffizi, Piazza del Grano and Via della Ninna — are among the busiest in the city and the restrictions are in place during peak eating times: noon to 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Hungry sightseers often loiter here to feast upon some of Italy’s finest carbs and dairy. This, supporters of the measure say, exacerbates congestion in an already crowded city and also adds to a litter problem. CNN has the full story.

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