How Much Did Elton John Pay to Offset the British Royals’ Private Flights?
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The British royal family is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons this week, following news that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle took four private jet flights in 11 days while at the same time publicly campaigning against climate change.
The couple took return flights to both Nice, France, and Ibiza, Spain. Sir Elton John has leapt to the defense of the couple, explaining that he had paid to help carbon-offset one of the return journeys, which was to his home in France.
Being a traveler, you may have at some point been presented with the opportunity to offset the carbon footprint of your flights during the booking process, by paying just a few dollars more. If you’re a traveler concerned about your carbon footprint, this may represent great value, as you’re likely to be on an aircraft with hundreds of others who can share the total carbon offset cost.
But private jets are a different story. So just how much would Sir Elton (or the royals themselves) actually have to pay in order to fully offset the flights?
The BBC reports that the journey to France was on a private jet with fuel requirements of around 411 gallons in each direction. Based on the British Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s guidance of carbon dioxide emissions, the return journey on this aircraft would have produced 9.4 tons of emissions.
When paying to offset this flight, Sir Elton can choose between the offset going to different environmental causes with different costs, such as:
- Unspecified projects generating Certified Emissions Reductions at a rate of £7.50 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions;
- Planting trees in Kenya at a rate of £9.60 per ton; or for a higher cost,
- Planting trees in the UK at a rate of £13 per ton.
So, depending on which cause he selected, he would be paying between £70 and £122 to offset the couple’s flight to Nice, or up to a maximum of $85.
The couple flew to Ibiza, a longer flight, on a slightly smaller plane, resulting in an approximate total emission of 10.4 tons, so the cost of carbon offsetting this flight would have been between £78 and £136 — a maximum of $165.
Featured image by Getty Images
Welcome to The Points Guy!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,600
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.