JetBlue will offset the carbon emissions for all its domestic flights starting in July 2020, the airline announced Monday, becoming the first major U.S. airline to take that bold step as environmental concerns take center stage for travelers and airlines alike.
JetBlue and many airlines worldwide have long offered travelers the option of offsetting their carbon footprint. But as the aviation industry tries to combat “flight-shaming” and the growing perception that airlines are contributing to global warming, they're stepping up their game.
JetBlue's move comes after U.K.-based low-cost carrier easyJet announced it would offset the carbon emissions on all its flights. British Airways began doing the same for all its domestic flights in 2020.
But JetBlue is the first major U.S. airline to do so. And it could pressure other domestic airlines to follow suit.
“Air travel connects people and cultures, and supports a global economy, yet we must act to limit this critical industry’s contributions to climate change,” Robin Hayes, JetBlue's chief executive officer, said in a statement. “By offsetting all of our domestic flying, we’re preparing our business for the lower-carbon economy that aviation – and all sectors – must plan for.”
JetBlue will offset its carbon footprint through partnerships with Carbonfund.org, EcoAct, and SouthPole through a mix of forestry, landfill gas capture, and solar and wind energy projects. The airline is also pushing to incorporate renewable fuels. It will swap in a sustainable alternative to typical jet fuel on its flights out of San Francisco (SFO) later this year.
JetBlue isn't the first airline to make this move. But it's the first in the U.S. – and that's a big deal. It's only a matter of time before other U.S. carriers follow JetBlue's lead.
Travel is critical. It makes us happier, better-informed, and well-rounded people. The key is finding a balance between the importance of travel and the indisputable fact that it takes a toll on the environment.
That's why Thrifty Traveler has committed to offsetting the carbon impact of each and every flight our team takes. And that's why it's exciting – and imperative – to see JetBlue make this bold move.