Sustainability – are we now having to pay for it ?

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  • AMcWhirter

    I have been checking news of “sustainability” moves by the various travel operators and I now wonder whether the moves are genuine or whether it’s a cash-raising exercise.

    A couple of days ago we reported on the move by AF and KLM to add a Sustainable Aviation Fuel levy to tickets sold in France and the The Netherlands.

    Air France adds Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) levy to all tickets

    Then I read of a Marriott (Autograph Collection) hotel in St Louis which had added an extra US$4.99 to guests’ bills.

    When I checked the room rates at this Marriott I saw the wording “Sustainability Fee” listed among the other taxes and fees.

    [Registration required to read the full article below]

    Then yesterday I saw that Thailand wants to introduce a tourist fee of Baht 300 (US$9) from April 1.

    It’s not clear how the fee will be collected but it will probably apply to all arrivals.

    Thai government spokesman Thanakon Wangboonchana is reported to have told media that it “is part of the government’s sustainable tourism plans.”

    I just wonder if we will see these fees become commonplace in the future.


    In addition to any so called sustainability fee or carbon tax, it is obvious that more and more taxes will be added to air ticket when travel opens fully.

    Additionally airlines will hike the price of basic ticket to cover some cost to recover from lasses in the past 2 years.

    Will that stop people from traveling? No way. From my daily talk among friends and relatives, there is so much of pent-up demand for air travel; airplanes will be full.

    Tom Otley

    I think we will pay for sustainability in everything we buy from now on.
    We are certainly seeing that in the cost of heating here in the UK – yes, the price has gone up, but there are also green ‘taxes’.
    There’s obviously a debate about whether it’s the right way to go, but so far as air fares are concerned, they’d have to increase in price substantially to reach the levels they were 30+ years ago before deregulation. I just wish the taxes levied on aviation went to sustainable projects or R&D into SAF or hydrogen, but there doesn’t seem much chance of that.


    Where hotels are concerned, is this just a way to neutralise a ‘green benefit rate’. This is where some hotels and I am pretty sure Marriott were part of this initiative, cut back on towel and sheet exchanges, in lieu of of discounted room rate? So now you may get a discounted room rate for being green, but an additional tax for sustainability…

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    On the point of “SAFs”, I think we to call them out for the BS that they are (a PR / marketing dream to assuage those who may have guilt associated with flying). The level of production / land clearance required to have any meaningful impact automatically makes the unsustainable.

    It is a term that feels me with horror – yet keep seeing the media reporting on it as though next major breakthrough, with very few questioning voices. We need to hypercritical of this rubbish.

    Agree with you though Tom – would be amazing if the taxes raised were actually used to fund / subsidize research and green methods of energy generation

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    Agree with you though Tom – would be amazing if the taxes raised were actually used to fund / subsidize research and green methods of energy generation

    Indeed Tim. Will the entire SAF levy be used its intended purpose.

    CH-Aviation reported on January 12 that AF/KL “need billions to remain top players.”

    The original article was from Les Echos [FR].


    Perhaps Etihad is the first to launch ‘sustainable’ frequent flyer schemes for both companies and individual travellers.

    Etihad expands its green loyalty programme to corporate customers

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