Let me get one thing out of the way, that is, I am firmly in the camp that a multi-billion dollar airline is going to fly a route with or without one or two mileage runners. I also doubt, unless the fare is only one day and for one route and is so insanely cheap a pack of mileage runners could ever “fill up” a jet (not even a CRJ200). In other words, the jet will fly with or without a mileage runner so the “impact” on the planet only really changes by the weight of my body and luggage to get me from A to B (ok, from A>B>C>D>E>F>and so on).
Having dropped that disclaimer, I do worry and care about our big blue marble. I recycle all I can at home and think about where I toss things in hotels and such and look for recycling receptacles. Even when I am out MSing I try to pick the best route to burn the least gas (yeah, well, maybe just driving around to make free points is not the *best* example to show how much I care for the planet). 😉
Well did you know Delta sorta cares about your carbon footprint. I mean not when you go to buy a ticket, as then all they do is try to up-sell you everything under the sun like cars, hotels, insurance, wifi, and on and on (many of those things have an impact on the earth too). But Delta does have THIS web page that is a carbon calculator (a little less hidden than the Delta award charts btw) that asks you to put in your PNR i.e. your reservation number or to manually put in segment by segment to see what the dollar impact “should” be for your trip.
Take for example my last run from MCO to SAN for dinner and back. Delta suggests that I created almost a metric ton of CO2 and I should donate $12 to offset my trip. I could bring out my US Bank FlexPerks card since it gives me 3x points for donations to charity so I would get about 6% back for donating this way. Or, I could give back some of the massive 2,600 SkyMiles I earned as a Diamond for the run (the MQMs were 5,600 and the point of the trip – mostly).
Delta only lets you donate in increments of 1,000 and they are again here saying that a point is worth 1 cent each. I don’t subscribe to that metric and it really makes me angry that Delta is going to a SkyMile being worth a flat 1 cent each as at this point the program has become worthless compared to just about ever other program on the planet. I would never EVER donate my SkyMiles to a charity as I get more value using them for travel in business class to amazing locations on the planet.
Personally I think any travel company asking users to offset their impact is just silly. If we follow this logic then why not have a tip jar when you walk into a fast food restaurant to offset the higher health care costs that result from obesity in this country? Or, since farming uses a ton of fuel both to run machinery as well as fertilizer, why not when you buy your groceries a tip jar to offset the fuel used to make our food we buy. Folks, we could do this all day long for both necessary and non-essential activities.
But you tell me. Is Delta, or another company, really genuine when they promote that “we” should pay to offset our carbon burn or is it all just a marketing “feel good” thing. Plus, have you ever donated to offset your carbon burn when flying? – René
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