Technology

Google can now estimate carbon emissions for almost all flights

Google’s travel arm has introduced a handy new addition to its flight booking platform that will estimate the carbon emissions of each flight it displays.

The tech giant’s Google Flights platform, which allows users to search flights from more than 300 airlines and online travel agency partners, will now show an emissions estimate next to the price and duration of the flight.

The estimates are flight-specific as well as seat-specific, showing lower emissions for newer aircraft – which are generally less polluting – and higher emissions for premium economy, business class and first-class seats due to the space they take up.

You don’t need to book through the platform to see the estimates, which means the new feature can potentially be used by agents and providers to give their clients additional information about the footprint of their trip.

It will also make it easier for clients to choose from similarly priced flights if they are seeking to lower the impact of their trip.

Image source: Google

Plus, to make things a bit easier, flights with significantly lower emissions will be listed with a little green badge. You can also sort the search results to bring the greenest flights to the top of the list.

The estimations are based on data from the European Environmental Agency combined with flight-specific information Google gets from airlines and other providers.

“It’s critical that people can find consistent and accurate carbon emissions estimates no matter where they want to research or book their trip,” Richard Holden, Google’s vice president of travel products, said in a blog post.

“That’s why we recently joined the Travalyst coalition, where we’ll help develop an open model for calculating carbon emissions from air travel and promote standardisation across the travel industry using this framework.”


Featured image source: iStock/Tanaonte


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