London: Travellers flying on Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd will soon be offered carbon offsets alongside alcohol and perfume in front of their fellow passengers in an effort to shame them into buying them, The Times newspaper reported on Thursday.
The cost of carbon offsetting will depend on the length of the flight and the class of seat. While a one-way economy flight from London to New York will cost slightly more than £5 (Rs413.50), a one-way business class flight from London to Sydney would cost about £26.
A Virgin spokesperson said the airline company had decided on the new policy after noticing low participation in schemes offered by competing airlines where customers were presented with the opportunity to offset the carbon emissions of their flight online.
“If the person sitting next to you chooses to offset... it may prick your conscience and you may pay too,” the Virgin spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Times.
“We could see half the plane decide to offset. We are making this scheme as accessible as possible and we believe it will be the acid test of whether people really are willing to offset their emissions.”
A British consumer magazine, however, expressed concern over putting customers in a difficult position by forcing them to pay for something they did not want.
The airline is majority-owned by entreprenuer Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.