Hopping on a plane is probably the most cost-effective and time-saving option for traveling these days.
Sure, you could take the train, bus, or your car, but have you ever driven sixteen hours to Florida in a van full of kids?
But incredibly, one airline is actually trying to make you feel bad for choosing to fly and the reason why will have you in an uproar.
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is asking patrons to think twice before booking their next flight.
Pieter Elbers, CEO for the Netherlands national airline, announced in a letter on June 29th that they want travelers to make “responsible decisions about flying.”
And what does the multi-billion dollar airline mean by “responsible decisions”?
By having travelers choose a different mode of transportation so the airline will look better to global-warming fanatics.
Not only does KLM want people to rack up less air-miles with their airline, they encourage customers to invest in the “airline’s carbon offsetting scheme, CO2ZERO” if they do decide to fly with them.
Only a company from a socialist country would force the little guy to pay double for less in support of an agenda.
The ‘CO2ZERO’ initiative allows the government of Netherlands to make money on airline tickets and guilt patrons into paying more to fly sustainably and shame-free.
“We’re in this together. We work hard to get things right, but all parties involved need to join forces to create a sustainable future. All stakeholders in the aviation industry, all corporations in any industry. And yes, all air travelers too. What can you do, in addition to carefully considering your travel plans?”
KLM’s new “Fly Responsibly” campaign includes a website that provides information on their aim for sustainable fuel and a long list of things customers should do to help their initiative.
The website asks customers questions in a short video such as:
“Do meetings always have to take place face-to-face? Could you take the train instead? And could you contribute by compensating your CO2 emissions or packing light?”
The video then ends on a nice dose of guilt by saying, “We all have to fly every now and again. But next time, think about flying responsibly.”
In other words, shell out the extra bucks for our environmental program on your next flight and travel shame-free.
KLM tops the charts for being fuel efficient in comparison to many other airlines according to the International Council on Clean Transportation.
But they can afford to go the extra enviro-mile, trading in company profit for reduced carbon footprints.
Some extreme environmentally-conscious travelers, such as Swedish teenage activist Greta Thunberg of Sweden, are choosing to opt out of flying altogether and instead taking the train or bus.
Thunberg has quite a social media following and, in a political statement, is planning to attend the UN’s climate change summit in New York by way of cargo ship.
And it’s likely not a coincidence that the French government – whose national airline merged with KLM in 2004 – is calling on EU executives to end tax exemptions on jet fuel in order to reduce air travel.
Additionally, according to Quartz, “Lawmakers have also previously proposed banning short domestic and international flight routes, which are often only marginally quicker than high-speed trains,” but such actions have not been pursued further in recent days.
Ironically, KLM also put out a statement that they “want to stay in business” and hope to “be around” when aviation has become sustainable.
But their political stunt has not pulled the wool over the eyes of every onlooker with some Dutch politicians describing the campaign as “greenwashing.”
Still, as Bloomberg points out, “Raising ticket prices or scrapping routes would be a much simpler way to curtail emissions,” and “KLM knows the train isn’t really an alternative to its many long-haul flights.”
Occasionally, KLM is the cheapest airline to use for your next vacation or business trip.
So, if you can ignore the propaganda and not get conned into paying extra to fly guilt-free, then choose them for sure.
However, if you can’t sit the duration of your trip without wondering if the flight attendant is measuring your CO2 emissions with every exhale, you may want to choose an airline where you can breathe freely and not feel ashamed.
Please let us know in the comments section what you think of KLM’s new initiative and if you’ve traveled with them before.