Air travel is bad for the planet, which is why climate activist Greta Thunberg is sitting on a boat, sailing across the Atlantic in a zero-emissions yacht to speak at the UN’s climate summit. That is also why France joined other European countries in adding an eco-tax to airline tickets, United Airlines is testing a biofuel, and JetBlue is investing in hybrid planes and ecofuels. And it’s also why Lufthansa is offering carbon offsets and a new climate-friendly fuel for its planes—at least for customers who can afford it.
Yes, thanks to Lufthansa, customers who want to fly and protect the environment can pay to assuage their conscience. The AP reports that the airline is launching a website that allows customers to buy sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, to compensate for the emissions caused by their flight. Lufthansa hopes that the use of SAF on its flights will reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. Lufthansa’s Compensaid service was devised by the airline’s innovation center, and cashing in on flight guilt is a good, innovative idea. “With Compensaid, we provide people with a tool that shows them the climate effects of their flights. This impact can be reduced significantly with the help of innovative technologies such as sustainable fuel,” explains Gleb Tritus, managing director of Lufthansa’s Innovation Hub, in a press release.
However, feeling better about flying comes at a steep price. Per the AP, signing up for SAF tacks on a whopping 374 euros ($414) for flights from Frankfurt to New York. If you want to save the planet, but also your savings, passengers who opt to donate toward a reforestation measure instead can pay less—adding a 165 euro surcharge for the same flight. Neither option is particularly cheap, but that just might be worth it for customers who want to ease their climate conscience.