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Author Topic: “flygskam”, or “flight-shame”, movement  (Read 3883 times)
ChrisB
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« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2020, 12:04:37 pm »

I thought we were discussing the inequality between air fares & rail fares - which are preventing more people from travelling by rail - not how to save on using air fuel directly? (Oviously, the fewer that fly eventually reduces the number of flights, I agree)
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broadgage
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« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2020, 02:20:27 pm »

Air travel is virtually 100% fossil fuel reliant, and aircraft are already reasonably fuel efficient. Significant reductions in aviation fuel use will therefore only come from flying less.
Encouraging rail travel in place of air is one way to achieve this.

Whilst domestic heating also uses a lot of fuel, that is a bit of a red herring. Existing homes can be heated with renewably generated electricity or with locally produced firewood.
New homes can be designed with such good insulation that very little heating is needed.
Many people heat homes excessively and could reduce heating fuel by dressing more suitably in the winter.

There is therefore a lot of potential to reduce heating fuel used.
The only way to significantly reduce airline fuel is to fly less.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2020, 02:39:24 pm »

I wouldn't describe heating as a red herring. The one area does not negate the other. It's going to take an awful lot of effort to switch the whole country to electric heating and even more to get people to dress more suitably and turn down the thermostat. A particular problem will be rented housing, which I read recently is now more than 50% of all housing in the UK – we are no longer a nation of householders even if we still are one of shopkeepers – being exempt from efficiency regulations.
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
grahame
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« Reply #18 on: January 08, 2020, 02:59:03 pm »

Air travel is virtually 100% fossil fuel reliant, and aircraft are already reasonably fuel efficient. Significant reductions in aviation fuel use will therefore only come from flying less.

Stupid question .... what about Biojet fuel? - see ((here))

Quote
Biojet fuel is made from vegetable oils, sugars, animal fats and even waste biomass, and can be used in existing aviation jet engines without modification.

Jatropha oil is  suitable for conversion to jet fuel. This biojet fuel has received wide acceptance from the airline industry.

Still not CO2 friendly, but not using fossil resources?
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #19 on: January 08, 2020, 03:46:02 pm »

I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't require the services of a 'movement' to encourage a greater use of rail in preference to flying. And that is purely because I dislike all the hanging about in airports that flying entails rather than the experience of flying itself.

For that reason I do not fly within mainland UK or continental Europe unless circumstances prevent the use of rail (e.g. the return from a recent rugby trip to La Rochelle when the direct line back to Paris was closed for maintenance and the diversionary routes would not have allowed me to reach home until the following day).

Given all the information & services available on the web I don't understand why any reasonably compos mentis individual would need to go to a 3rd party.
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Celestial
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« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2020, 04:39:27 pm »


Given all the information & services available on the web I don't understand why any reasonably compos mentis individual would need to go to a 3rd party.
Because it's complicated. We idly thought of going to Vienna by rail, maybe using the new sleeper from Brussels.  Just reading Seat61's guidance of the various ways to go, how to get the cheapest fares etc, the different parties you can book through gave me a headache.
And if you wait for a Eurostar sale then the cheap fares on the next leg, (or vice versa) have sold out.

I did take the train to Germany last year, so this wasn't a theoretical exercise.  It worked quite well, except we nearly missed the 20 min booked connection at Brussels, as the train was 5 mins late, the mid platform quick link was closed (as apparently it often is), and I was in the furthest carriage from the buffer stops.  So having to fight my way through a few hundred slow moving people with cases, out of the normal Eurostar exit, and then find the platform for the next train was very stressful. Made it with 2 minutes to spare.  A lovely journey to Cologne though after that, and if through trains could be run I am sure they would be onto a winner.
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TonyK
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« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2020, 12:08:51 pm »

From The Guardian

Quote
Look at Karlsson in the quote (a snippet from an article) above. He shouldn't have to be working 16 hour days to help people - it should be a natural part of the systems provided that people can help themselves!

If he's that busy, and if he doesn't think this is a flash in the pan, why doesn't he take on a bit of help?

THe first thing that needs to happen is for flight prices to become more realistic - but this is not saying that rail is realically priced either. Just that flights are more unrealistic (in cheapness) than rail is unrealistic (un expensiveness).

Aircraft fuel for flights that are deemed unenvironmental in terms of distance, for example needs taxing properly - i.e. VAT added for a start. That would add circa 20% to the cost (an argument exists though to add VAT to all furl, like vehicle fuel)

*then* look for other ways to persuade folk that domestic flights (except maybe the south to north, beyond Edinburgh/Glasgow axis) are so unenviromentaly friendly that there are better, more environmentally friendly ways of getting there)

Flight prices are not unrealistic, just clever. The best deals happen when the timetables are first published and to get rid of any empty seats just before the flight. The £40 I paid for a return to Naples would have been double later the same day, and over £200 the day before the flight. Then consider adding VAT to fuel - airlines would start flying to Britain with a lot more fuel than they need for the flight (unless at the limit of range) which burns more fuel. Another way would be to make a short flight to somewhere with cheaper, untaxed, fuel then fill up there. That uses more fuel too, as take-off and climb are the thirsty bits of a flight, but the fuel capacity of the longer range aircraft, such as teh A330-900, is over 100 tonnes, getting on for half the weight of the aircraft.

Jet fuel currently costs around 64p per litre in tax-free Guernsey according to Aiglle the supplier,, and has a specific gravity of 0.8. The VAT at 20% on 80% of the tank capacity of an A330-900 would be around £13,000, which is probably worth a pit-stop in Ireland / Holland / Iceland to avoid. Worse news for the chancellor is that if the flight were actually counted as two flights, one from the UK and a new one from the refuelling stop, passengers would possibly only pay the lower rate of air passenger duty, applicable to flights of under 2,000 miles, subject to a bit of creative thinking by the airline. Split ticketing can work on planes too! At a difference of £65 per standard class passenger, the cost of taxing flying could lead to a diminishing return for the Treasury and the burning of more fuel overall.

Air travel is virtually 100% fossil fuel reliant, and aircraft are already reasonably fuel efficient. Significant reductions in aviation fuel use will therefore only come from flying less.

Stupid question .... what about Biojet fuel? - see ((here))

Quote
Biojet fuel is made from vegetable oils, sugars, animal fats and even waste biomass, and can be used in existing aviation jet engines without modification.

Jatropha oil is  suitable for conversion to jet fuel. This biojet fuel has received wide acceptance from the airline industry.

Still not CO2 friendly, but not using fossil resources?

Not a stupid question, in fact not even slightly silly. If there was some way of transforming something absolutely useless into jet fuel, or any other fuel for that matter, I would back it all the way. We have biofuels from anaerobic digesters providing methane for the national gas grid (and, if you believe the hype, MetroBust), turning, in the case of my area, farm slurry and vegetable waste into fuel, with a nutrient that can be spread on the fields without the usual pong of the muckspreader or release of huge amounts of ammonia gas into the atmosphere. Everybody wins. The problem comes when you add a financial incentive, usually in the form of subsidies. Then, you start to find crops being grown purely to feed the digester, and I have heard reports already of tractors hauling trailers of low-grade maize from the outskirts of Bristol to Devon to generate subsidies environmentally friendly energy. We risk disturbing the delicate balance of agriculture, and seeing vast areas currently used for food being turned over to fuel.

It gets worse. Jatropha oil, as reported by grahame, can be used in jet engines without any further treatment. For those unfamiliar with the plant, it grows in the tropics and sub-tropics, grows 2 metres high, and the seeds can contain 40% oil. If that sounds wonderful as the future, then consider the massive damage already done in some sensitive regions to produce palm oil alone. Seeing rain forests levelled to make jet fuel isn't going to help at all.

Aircraft are a lot more efficient than they were even a very short time ago. Engine technology took a big jump with the development of the high bypass engine from its modest beginnings. The fuel crisis of the 1970s focussed minds towards cutting fuel consumption, and that continues today. Modern aircraft are a lot lighter than their ancestors, the engines are much more efficient, design has improved markedly, and computers squeeze more performance from the engines than aircrew ever could. Billions of barrels of jet fuel are still used annually, though, so improvement has to continue.

I'm not really helping much. I suppose I could get to the Canaries within 3 or 4 days by train and the ferry from Cadiz, at a cost of over £1,000, but I'm opting for 4 hours in an Airbus A321NEO.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2020, 04:25:46 pm by TonyK » Logged

Now, please!
grahame
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« Reply #22 on: January 10, 2020, 08:20:25 am »

I'm not really helping much. I suppose I could get to the Canaries within 3 or 4 days by train and the ferry from Cadiz, at a cost of over £1,000, but I'm opting for 4 hours in an Airbus A321NEO.

Tony, you're being hugely helpful in explaining the issues / answering the "stupid" questions.  How on earth does one balance climate and resource issues on one side with commercial / big business on the other?


Given all the information & services available on the web I don't understand why any reasonably compos mentis individual would need to go to a 3rd party.
Because it's complicated. We idly thought of going to Vienna by rail, maybe using the new sleeper from Brussels.  Just reading Seat61's guidance of the various ways to go, how to get the cheapest fares etc, the different parties you can book through gave me a headache.
And if you wait for a Eurostar sale then the cheap fares on the next leg, (or vice versa) have sold out.

It is, indeed, a nightmare to sort out your own arrangements ... been there, done that too. I tend at times to take on (and enjoy) the challenge of getting the best fare / combination of routes and tickets to meet my needs and at a sensible price - almost like a game (or perhaps an educated bet / gamble?).  But not everyone can do that, not everyone understands or has the time / patience to play the game with a probability of wining.
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eightonedee
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« Reply #23 on: January 10, 2020, 06:56:04 pm »

Quote
I suppose I could get to the Canaries within 3 or 4 days by train and the ferry from Cadiz, at a cost of over £1,000, but I'm opting for 4 hours in an Airbus A321NEO.

The former sounds like a holiday in itself, but I suspect most travelers (including Mrs eightonedee) would rather they followed TonyK to the airport

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grahame
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« Reply #24 on: January 10, 2020, 07:10:07 pm »

From the BBC Today

Quote
Sweden has seen a 4% drop in the number of people flying via its airports, a rare decrease in recent years for a European country.

More than 40 million people travelled through the country's 10 airports, compared with 42 million during 2018.
Domestic travel was down further, at 9%, according to Sweden's airport operators, Swedavia.

The figures come as the Swedish-born movement of "flight shaming" is gaining prominence.

Swedavia spokesman Robert Pletzin said there were a number of reasons for the decrease, citing Swedish aviation tax, softening economy worries, the weak Swedish crown and the climate debate.

Set me thinking ... what sort of passenger numbers fy domestically in the UK each day - how many train's worth?

I took a look at today's departures from Bristol Airport.  76 flights, of which 16 were domestic to GB mainland destinations, 13 to the island of Ireland, and 11 to "near continent" - close enough for Eurostar to complete in my view.  A handful to the Channel Islands / Isle of Man and almost all of the rest to Southern Europe.

16 flights ... say 100 people on each (as not all will be full).  1600 passengers. So with 188 seats per 4 car voyager trains, that's 8.5 trains.

Now ... Exeter airport ... web site not showing a full 24 hours, but there's a few more trainloads there.  Southampton seems to have a lot of domestic flights but I think smaller planes and again no 24 hour log.

All together - educated guess around 15 to 20 trainloads ...
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Celestial
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« Reply #25 on: January 10, 2020, 08:43:25 pm »


Set me thinking ... what sort of passenger numbers fy domestically in the UK each day - how many train's worth?

I took a look at today's departures from Bristol Airport.  76 flights, of which 16 were domestic to GB mainland destinations, 13 to the island of Ireland, and 11 to "near continent" - close enough for Eurostar to complete in my view.  A handful to the Channel Islands / Isle of Man and almost all of the rest to Southern Europe.

16 flights ... say 100 people on each (as not all will be full).  1600 passengers. So with 188 seats per 4 car voyager trains, that's 8.5 trains.

As an example, a typical Easyjet flight has 180 seats (between 156 - A319 and 235 - A321 Neo), and their average load is 91%.  So I'd probably say at least 150 people on each. So maybe make that 12 Voyagers, or an additional one an hour heading to the north and Scotland. Still got to reduce the journey time and cost to start to make rail attractive though.
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broadgage
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« Reply #26 on: January 10, 2020, 10:02:47 pm »

And in many cases, the existing pattern of rail services could handle the extra passengers whom at present fly.
Not perhaps an EXTRA 8 or 12 voyagers, but 8 or 12 full length trains displacing single voyagers and other short units.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #27 on: January 10, 2020, 11:42:50 pm »

Bet there a lot of london to Manchester, leeds flights, hence why we need HS2/3...
Also the question, WHY are we moving around so much?
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grahame
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« Reply #28 on: January 11, 2020, 07:50:45 am »

And for all those big numbers, South West is modest. Looking out of area - for next Tuesday, 63 flights from the South East to Scotland:
14 Gatwick to Scotland
38 Heathrow to Scotland
5 Stansted to Scotland
6 Luton to Scotland

63 flights, each 150 people suggested,  a further 50 x 4 car voyager equivalents?   I haven't looked at airports like London City either.   Nor in this case flights to Manchester, Leeds/Bradford, Newcastle, etc.

Need to deal with cost, speed, route capacity ... yes, bringing trains up to full length is a start.  From Bristol, switching from East Coast to West Coast for Scottish destinations?
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eightonedee
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« Reply #29 on: January 11, 2020, 08:16:58 am »

This thread is drifting into the path of the HS2 thread. I think it is beginning to make the case I recently made there.

Perhaps a Ouigo type service might just be what would be needed to bridge the gap between cheap internal flights and rail travel cost wise. And do remember that for most of us you have to add the cost of getting to an airport, parking and transfers too if you drive.  Then add the check in time and time to travel to the airport and you lose a lot of the apparent advantages of air travel.

For me, getting to Manchester is a train every time, direct by Cross Country from Reading or Oxford.

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