German flag carrier Lufthansa is to start allowing passengers to offset their CO2 emissions in-flight. The airline will initially launch the initiative on a trial basis on WiFi-enabled short-to-medium-haul Lufthansa flights to and from Munich. Sister airline SWISS will also trial the initiative on selected long-haul flights.
As more normal travel gets underway once more, the aviation industry’s attention is slowly returning to the environment and sustainability. One way that passengers and airlines can take ownership of their environmental impact is by offsetting their emissions. While this is an imperfect solution to the sector’s contribution, it is better than doing nothing while waiting for true net-zero answers.
Offset your emissions at 36,000 feet
Next time you’re staring out of the window looking at the engines of your Lufthansa A320 family aircraft, you could offset the CO2 emissions coming out of it. The airline’s WiFi system is being upgraded to allow access to the Compensaid platform free of charge.
Next time you’re staring out the window you could offset your CO2 emissions. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying
Theoretically, it has always been possible to offset your emissions on Lufthansa’s flights. This would require you to seek the Compensaid portal and possibly purchase WiFi access proactively. The latest change means that offsetting your emissions will be advertised directly on the main WiFi login pages. Additionally, passengers can view all relevant pages for free, increasing the program’s accessibility.
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How does Compensaid work?
The Lufthansa Compensaid scheme was launched back in 2019. The scheme allows passengers to input their flight details. The system then calculates how much CO2 has been generated by the passenger before giving two options for offsetting the relevant emissions. While the program is targeted at Lufthansa flights, it allows any flight to be put into the system, making it a one-stop-shop for travelers to offset all of their CO2.
While aimed at Lufthansa Group passengers, the platform will offset CO2 generated with any airline. Photo: Getty Images
Lufthansa allows carbon offsetting through the use of expensive sustainable fuels (SAFs), investing in climate protection projects, or a mix of both. Choosing 100% SAF suggests that the CO2 will be offset immediately, whereas choosing 100% of climate projects lists the offset time as ten years. Of course, the slower option is much cheaper than SAFs.
There is generally no way to separate SAFs and conventional fuel. This means that if you offset your emissions using SAFs, you aren’t paying for such fuels to be used on your flight but rather for such fuels to be purchased for future flights.
How much does it cost to offset your emissions with Lufthansa?
The cost of offsetting emissions through the Compensaid platform depends on various factors, from the flight length to the aircraft used and cabin of travel. It is generally accepted that a first class passenger is responsible for more of a flight’s CO2 impact than an economy passenger.
A carbon compensation example for a Frankfurt to Munich flight. Photo: Compensaid
To give an idea of how the price varies, Simple Flying decided to look at a domestic flight from Frankfurt to Munich (LH94). According to the platform, an economy passenger would be responsible for 57kg of CO2. Offset with 100% SAFs, a charge of €36.75 ($41.98) is suggested. This compares to €18.95 for a 50/50 mix and just €1.15 when only choosing climate protection projects.
Have you offset your emissions before? Would the ability to do this in-flight encourage you to? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!
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