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Virgin to offer carbon offsets alongside drinks and perfume

by Staff Writers
London (AFP) Nov 8, 2007
Travellers flying on Virgin Atlantic 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 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 five pounds (7.2 euros, 10.5 dollars), a one-way business class flight from London to Sydney would cost about 26 pounds.

A spokesman for the airline said it 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 their flight, it may prick your conscience and you may pay too," the Virgin spokesman 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, Which, however, expressed concern over putting customers in a difficult position, forcing them to pay for something they did not want.

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NASA sorry over air safety uproar
Washington (AFP) Oct 31, 2007
The head of NASA on Wednesday said he was sorry the agency refused to release a major survey of commercial aviation safety, on the grounds it might scare passengers and hit airline profits.

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