Back to blog

Low carbon flights on the internet

If you travel a lot, you’re probably used to visiting airline web sites and being asked whether you want to see your flights sorted by **price** or **schedule**. How would you like to sort by **carbon**?

Until recently, only experts in aviation emissions could track down this information. But now the public can find comparative data using TerraPass’ new aviation calculator. The results can help you choose the flight with the lowest climate impact. Here’s what I found during a check of popular U.S. air routes:

RouteAirlinePounds of CO2*
JFK to LAXVirgin America1,390
 Delta1,456
 American1,586
 United2,070
SFO to JFKDelta1,425
 Virgin America1,450
 JetBlue1,462
 Alaska1,496
 American1,530
 United2,158
DCA to LGAUS Airways260
 United304
 Delta350
 American816
ATL to ORDDelta543
 United611
 US Airways614
 American708
LAX to SFOVirgin America344
 United351
 American397
 Southwest406
 Alaska420
 Delta798

\* Per passenger, round-trip flight, economy class

The calculator takes into account aircraft type, average passenger loads, and fuel burn rates for ascents and descents. So the carbon emissions per passenger can vary widely — sometimes by a factor of two or more from lowest to highest on the same route. And across different routes, it’s not necessarily the same airline that pollutes the least. The type of aircraft and how full the planes are flying can make a particular airline a green leader for one route and among the carbon hogs for another route.

As travelers become more aware of these differences, we hope they will select flights based on which ones transport a passenger point-to-point with the least amount of carbon pollution. The cool thing for consumers is that less carbon means less fuel, which should eventually mean lower ticket prices.

Airline executives take note: TerraPass just gave your customers a tool to help them (and you) fight climate change.

Stay in Touch

Never Miss a Thing

Subscribe to the Newsletter

The TerraPass Newsletter keeps you informed about important developments in the fight against climate change. Sign up and help.

Thanks for subscribing!

Follow us on Twitter


Follow us on Facebook