Lufthansa passengers can now offset emissions via inflight entertainment system

Feb 18, 2022

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While the onus of reducing CO2 emissions in air travel rightfully rests with the major airlines, it’s easy to forget that the people who will ultimately have the biggest impact are the customers themselves. Yes, you, because sometimes it’s about making the right decision, such as choosing to fly internationally but not domestically; or even choosing not to fly at all.

It’s not always that simple, of course. Still, if you were looking to offset some CO2 (and guilt) during a trip afar, you may be interested to learn that Lufthansa has begun testing a new service which allows passengers to offset the CO2 emissions of their trip.

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(Photo courtesy of Lufthansa)

A potential game-changer, the German airline is currently testing the service on internet-enabled short- and medium-haul flights from Munich, along with Swiss International long-haul services, where people can ‘compensate their flight’ via the app and in-flight entertainment system.

On said IFE system, customers use a slider to decide how they wish to offset the CO2 emissions of their flight. This could be either with Sustainable Aviation Fuel (made from biogenic residues), via high-quality carbon offset projects run by the nonprofit organization myclimate or even a combination of both.

By actively inviting people to play their part, Lufthansa is not only enabling people already eager to reduce emissions to do so but will also raise the topic with passengers who may have never previously given greenhouse gases a second thought.

Passengers can use the airline’s app (see image below) to see how many people have already offset the CO2 emissions of their flight on that day, which is what Lufthansa bosses hope will ‘become part of a growing community.’

The tech used to measure this CO2-neutral air travel is Compensaid, a platform developed by the Lufthansa Innovation Hub in 2019. It has since been integrated into the booking platforms of the Lufthansa Group Airlines and the Miles & More app you may already be collecting points with.

Related: ‘What are ghost flights and why are they causing so much uproar right now?’

To say it couldn’t come at a better time for the company would be an understatement. Just last month Lufthansa’s parent company, Lufthansa Group, which also owns Swiss International Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Brussels Airlines, provoked anger by admitting 18,000 flights would be flown empty in winter, including 3,000 Brussels Airlines routes.

“We will have to carry out 18,000 extra, unnecessary flights just to secure our takeoff and landing rights,” said chief executive Carsten Spohr.

(Photo by Christoph Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

With goals to hit, plenty of major players are looking to make strides into emission saving. Speaking at a Bloomberg event earlier this year, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss spoke of the success of its Airbus A330neos being rolled out which he said were “30–40 percent” more eco-efficient than the Boeing 747s and A340s we airline had, claiming they would lead to a “30 percent reduction in fuel by 2030.”

Weiss also stressed that these eco-conscious strides would also eventually have financial knock-on effects for passengers too, warning that sustainable fuel (currently three-to-five times pricier than conventional fuel) would “come at a price” for everybody: “It’s not just the airlines that will have to foot the bill to fly on more sustainable fuel. It’s going to be shared by all stakeholders.”

Related: Airfares could get a lot more expensive in 2022, warns Virgin Atlantic CEO

As for the Lufthansa, by 2030 the operator aims to halve the net CO2 emissions it had in 2019, and by 2050 wants to achieve a neutral CO2 balance. It hopes to do this by focusing on ‘accelerated fleet modernization,’ ‘optimization of flight operations,’ ‘Sustainable Aviation Fuels’ and, of course, innovative services for CO2-neutral flying.

It’s one small step for the environment, one giant leap for your conscience.

Featured image courtesy of Lufthansa

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