Friday, September 16, 2011

How to make carbon offsetting more difficult

The first in a series of why Virgin Atlantic suck are the biggest let-down airline ever. You expect Air France to be late, to lose your bag, and to have rude staff. You expect United planes to be a bit dirty and the food to taste suspiciously of cardboard. You expect Virgin Atlantic staff to be significantly below average IQ and to steal your things. Or at least now I do. I thought Virgin Atlantic might become my regular London to DC. Now, not so much...

You can carbon offset on Virgin Atlantic. Apparently. According to the in-flight magazine, a one-way flight from London Heathrow in economy should cost you GBP 5.78. It is calculated by myclimate. It should be quite simple. According to the instructions all you have to do is: "during duty free sales, tell a member of crew how much you want to pay to offset your flight (rounded to the nearest pound). They will debit this amount on our secure payment system."

During duty free, I asked if I could do this. I must have been the first ever person because it was met with a blank look. I showed the instructions in the in-flight magazine and was told that I should go online to do it. For some reason I was asked if I had a frequent flyer card - which I do - or rather I did, until I cut it up yesterday. Clearly, Virgin don't care enough to actually inform their staff of this option despite claiming on their environment website that this is 'what they are all about'.

Happily though, Virgin have their own carbon offsetting website. Online, the total cost for a round trip is GBP 14.87 for carbon only (and GBP 29.74 including all non-carbon emissions which may or may not contribute to climate change). Try as I might, I just can't seem to make the online totals add up to the amount in the on-line magazine - 2 x 5.78 is just not 14.87 whatever way I look at it.

I checked the myclimate website. It costs CHF 72, which, at today's rate is GBP 52.09. Who to believe?

More details on why Virgin Atlantic suck are the biggest let-down airline ever to follow.


  1. Father of the VS brideJanuary 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    Have you sent this comment direct to Sir Richard or to the Virgin Atlantic CEO Steve Ridgeway? I am sure they would attempt a reply. True, it is their job to pick up your comments in the first place, address them and resove the glaring inconsistencies, even if that entails a change of policy, but maybe their staff are not alerting them adequately.

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