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This Scandinavian airline came up with a way to make you feel less terrible about flying

This Scandinavian airline came up with a way to make you feel less terrible about flying
[Photo: courtesy of SAS]

Just in time for Climate Week, SAS has announced a new way for customers to make flying slightly less terrible for the planet, which is good news for all future climate refugees flying to new homes on dry land.

Travelers flying with SAS can pay to fly with biofuel, which helps reduce those climate-damaging CO2 emissions by up to 80% compared to conventional jet fuel. The system SAS set up allows eco-conscious travelers to put their money where their eco-conscience is and purchase biofuel corresponding to 20-minute blocks of flight time for one passenger. So, for example, on a 60-minute flight, one 20-minute block of biofuel will correspond to a third of the average fuel consumption per passenger, based on an average flight. Currently, blocks are $10 or 10 euros, so soothing your guilt will cost you about $30 for a 60-minute flight.

Travelers can buy biofuel when booking their tickets, or if eco-guilt gets the better of them, they can add it at any time before departure under “My bookings” on the website.

While SAS won’t necessarily be using the biofuel on your exact flight, it will be used to replace fossil-based jet fuel across SAS’s operations. To further allay your travel fears, SAS is also making sure that the biofuel delivered to its hubs in Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen, or other airports is made close to the airports so it won’t add to the carbon footprint. According to the airline, it will be made from sources that will not affect “the availability of crops used in food production, access to potable water, biodiversity, and that use as small an area of land as possible.” All SAS aircraft are certified to be able to mix 50/50 fossil-based jet fuel and biofuel. So you can feel better about flying—if you can afford it.

The news comes a day after Delta Air Lines announced it is investing $2 million to partner with Northwest Advanced Bio-fuels for a feasibility study of a biofuel production facility to produce sustainable aviation fuel and other biofuel products from forest-floor debris. Seems like airlines are finally starting to recognize that customers want more.

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