Luton airport

Earth Hour at the airport

This Saturday, March 26, 2011, lights will go out in homes, buildings, towns and cities around the world as part of a coordinated effort to raise public awareness of climate change and the need for energy conservation.

Several airports are joining the effort.


At LAX, the 100-foot-tall LAX Gateway pylons that illuminate the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), will light solid green for one hour before Earth Hour. During Earth Hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the pylons will be turned off and then resume their color-changing display at 9:30 p.m.

Toronto Pearson International Airport will also be marking Earth Hour this year by reducing lighting in terminals, parking garages and support buildings, turning off or reducing HVAC systems, turning off high-speed moving walkways in Terminal 1 and taking other energy-saving measures.

Singapore’s Changi Airport will switch off all decorative lights, dim non-critical operational lights in much of the airport.and give out battery-less flashlights to travelers who take a simple energy quiz.

London Luton Airport will be switching off lights in many parts of the airport, including its illuminated logo on the front of the terminal building.

And at the Budapest airport they’ll switch off the entire airstrip for Earth Hour. According to Earth Hour organizers, “We have been assured that airport staff are well prepared for the temporary black-out, which will take place under strict national and international control to ensure the utmost passenger and aviation safety.”

Let’s hope so!

Airlines AND airports want more of your money

Airlines have been piling on fees for everything from in-flight meals and pillows to checked baggage service and a tiny bit of extra legroom. And just yesterday, in a story I reported on for, United Airlines announced new charges for ‘seatmates of size.’

wallet-with-moneyAfter toying with putting pay-boxes on airplane lavatories, travelers gave Ryanair 12,000 other ideas for “discretionary revenue charges.”  Voting ends tomorrow (Friday, April 17) for a winner from the top five. Choices include:  fees for toilet paper, a “corkage” fee for bringing your own food onboard, a subscription fee for the airline’s Web site, an access fee for an on-board smoking room and a surcharge for overweight passengers.

moneyNow airports are starting to explore charging extra fees. The UK’s Luton airport recently began charging drivers a passenger drop-off fee. And in my Well-Mannered Traveler column on – Will Airports Fleece the Fliers? – I consider a few more: how about a gate limo, a bathroom attendant, or a security checkpoint concierge?