Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's this TerraPass all about?

So I was online recently at Expedia, picking up an airline ticket to go visit a friend in Cincinnati at the end of the summer for an Ohio adventure we're planning. In the past, I’ve never bothered with any of the added options or offers the site provides, since I’ve simply purchased just airline tickets at the site or scouted airfares.

This time, however, I was in need of a rental car and found I was able to lock in a considerably better deal through Expedia, so I had to noodle through a few more menus on the site to secure the car for my trip. Scanning the final options of the site, I passed over this and that — hotel, no — insurance, no — travel kits, no — TerraPass… Hmmmm… Wait a minute here — what’s this all about?

It seems that you can purchase a pass, or tag that goes on your luggage to show the universe (that cares to pay any attention, I presume) that you’re making an effort to neutralize the carbon emissions from your plane flight by donating so many dollars to fund clean and renewable energy sources. It sounded a bit odd, so I researched it a bit (for all of 5 minutes) and it looks completely legit.

The tags apparently increase in size depending on the dollar amount, which is determined by the length of your flight. In my case, a $16.99 donation apparently sufficed to offset my round trip ticket to Cincinnati, so I went ahead and got it to try it out... and I'm not sure what to expect --- I guess I’ll be receiving my luggage tag in the mail before the trip. So then I must put it to use for something... I can see it now; I'll be competing with the other TerraPass holders in the security line for bragging rights on who has the larger tag. I'm sure I'll get walloped by the international traveler, who'll probably smack me with a pass the size of a cricket bat. Watch me go flying across the airport - who needs a plane? Hey, nobody warned me about these things being security risks!

Nevertheless, I’ll see if it actually makes my travel go smoother, if I’ve appeased and have the blessings of the Almighty EnviroGods on my travel day, but I’m not keeping my fingers crossed. Maybe I’ll get a free tap dance from a flight attendant or something... or maybe Snappy will show up as the EnviroClown dressed in his new outfit. I guess that's always possible.

So check that out next time you make a flight reservation. TerraPass. It seems to be yet another way to do something real in traveling carbon-neutral. A link is provided for you in the left margin of this blog page. S

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