What Good Is A Carbon Offset Program If British Airways Doesn't Tell You About It?

British Airways has come under fire for not informing customers of its carbon-offsetting program, possibly for fear that people will fly less if they knew the real environmental impact, according to the Times of London.

From the Times:

The Times rang BA booking offices in three countries and found that none of those answering the phone was familiar with offsetting, even though the scheme was launched with a fanfare in 2005. A saleswoman in BA’s New York office had never heard of a carbon offset and asked whether it was a device that the passenger wanted to carry in his luggage.

The program is no more obvious on the carrier’s website:

The Times had to click through four pages before discovering the order form. It can also be accessed by entering “carbon” in the search engine but that requires prior knowledge by the customer. The Tory MP Nick Hurd confronted Mr Buchanan during the inquiry, saying: “The reason why there is such low take-up of your scheme is because no one knows about it. I am a customer of British Airways and I have tried five times to engage a member of staff at check-in, which is the natural point to ask about this, and was met with a completely blank expression on every occasion.”

So, British Airways? What’s the point of offering carbon-offsetting if you’re loathe to tell anyone about it?

Carbon offsetting? I haven’t got a clue, said the BA booking clerk [Times Online]