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al2637
Topic Author
Posts: 270
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Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 10:59 am

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/ ... r-journeys
Other green initiatives announced by the tech company include putting emissions information on its airline fares search engine, Google Flights. From Wednesday, users around the world will be able to see the carbon emissions per seat for every flight and lower carbon flight options


Will this nudge people to take lower emission flights?

Doing some quick searching, I am not quite sure about the calculation model tho...

DUB-AMS
EI A320 - 107Kg
FR B738 - 114Kg
KL B738 - 114Kg (same as FR, but lower density, why the same?)
KL E190 - 153Kg

DUB-LHR
BA A320 - 73Kg
EI A320 - 76Kg (although I think it is higher density than BA as there is no business class)
EI A321Neo - 85Kg
BA A319 - 86Kg
EI A330 - 98Kg (surprised this is the least efficient?)
 
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Polot
Posts: 12617
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 11:35 am

The numbers are the same for the types because the algorithm Google uses to calculate is clearly taking a base kg per mi (or whatever) value for aircraft type and multiplying it by distance. Number of passengers is not being accounted, which in some respects makes sense because there is no guarantee the flight will be full.

It does not surprise me the slightest that the A330 is least efficient on a route as short as DUB-LHR…there is a huge difference between narrowbody and wide body engines and the amount of emissions. You’ll note, however, that 1 A330 is better than say A320s which together probably have similar number of seats.
 
holczakker
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:22 pm

It's nowhere even close to reality. Google does not have the slightest clue of the fuel burned as they don't know 90% the basic data needed for a proper calculation. Without things like the Dry Operating Weight of the actual aircraft (which can be ± 2 tons even in case of an A320), the number of crew, the weight of the catering loaded, the number of passengers, the weight of the baggage, the weight of cargo/mail/company equipment loaded, the weight of the fuel on board (tons of differenece between tankering or just "one way" fuel taken, extra fuel taken for weather, extra fuel taken for different alternates depending on weather etc), how long the APU will be ran, the route/lenght of taxi (single engine taxi?), the lenght of the take-off queue, whether it's a full- or a reduced thrust take-off, the actual route flown, the actual flight level used, the departure/arrival procedures set by ATC for that day, the weather en-route (head- or tailwind is a huge difference in burn fuel) it's just a useless gimmick. Plus they don't know for how much passengers this unknown amount of fuel will be used.
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:33 pm

holczakker wrote:
It's nowhere even close to reality. Google does not have the slightest clue of the fuel burned as they don't know 90% the basic data needed for a proper calculation. Without things like the Dry Operating Weight of the actual aircraft (which can be ± 2 tons even in case of an A320), the number of crew, the weight of the catering loaded, the number of passengers, the weight of the baggage, the weight of cargo/mail/company equipment loaded, the weight of the fuel on board (tons of differenece between tankering or just "one way" fuel taken, extra fuel taken for weather, extra fuel taken for different alternates depending on weather etc), how long the APU will be ran, the route/lenght of taxi (single engine taxi?), the lenght of the take-off queue, the actual route flown, the actual flight level used, the departure/arrival procedures set by ATC for that day, the weather en-route (head- or tailwind is a huge difference in burn fuel) it's just a useless gimmick. Plus they don't know for how much passengers this unknown amount of fuel will be used.


You're way too critical. Google isn't doing alternates and fuel loads on TPAC flights.

The key is relative emissions, to help ticket-buyers choose a less harmful flight. See Polot's reference to the widebody on a short flight.

Your demand is farcical, really: nobody knows the weather or passenger and baggage load when I buy my ticket 60 days in advance.
 
OMAAbound
Posts: 283
Joined: Sun Sep 18, 2016 12:43 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:42 pm

I dont really see the point in this. Its the most daft idea going!!

At the end of the day, people vote with their wallet, if the cheapest flight happens to produce the least amount of CO2, then its a bonus, however, if the cheapest flight produces the most CO2, nobody will be bother, because it is the cheapest and saves you money. Its ludicrous!

People will forever vote with their wallet, not what they are doing to the environment and this is fact!

OMAA
 
737307
Posts: 2945
Joined: Tue Dec 26, 2017 6:27 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 12:49 pm

Air transport contributes only 1.9% to global emissions. In short, a rounding error.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/a-glob ... by-sector/

At minimum, what Google does it just gimmickry. At worst, gaslighting.
 
Aither
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:16 pm

Next A.net shows our CO2 emissions each time we post a message...
 
davidjohnson6
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Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:28 pm

It's impossible to know how much fuel is burned on a flight until the aircraft has landed and someone measures how much fuel is left in the tanks.
However...
The more factors one takes into consideration, the more accurate a prediction will be. Can anyone think of a reason NOT to take into account the number of seats in the aircraft when trying to predict CO2 per passenger ? Particularly on major routes, three densely packed A320s could carry as many pax as four more spacious flights... the densification reduces the CO2 per pax and thus customers should be nudged gently when deciding which ticket to buy

I'm wondering also whether there should be a multiplier for larger business-class seats which have a low density of pax per square metre, compared to economy
Last edited by davidjohnson6 on Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
mxaxai
Posts: 2852
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:29 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:31 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Air transport contributes only 1.9% to global emissions. In short, a rounding error.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/a-glob ... by-sector/

At minimum, what Google does it just gimmickry. At worst, gaslighting.

True, we should put a sticker on all products, showing their respective CO2 emissions. Then consumers can easily identify which of their daily habits contributes the most.
1 kg beef: 12 kg CO2. A new car: 5,000 kg CO2. 1 TATL roundtrip in business class: 1,400 kg CO2.
One e-mail: 0.001 kg CO2. 1 hour video streaming: 0.06 kg CO2. etc.
 
Aliqiout
Posts: 581
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:35 pm

Dieuwer wrote:
Air transport contributes only 1.9% to global emissions. In short, a rounding error.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/a-glob ... by-sector/

At minimum, what Google does it just gimmickry. At worst, gaslighting.

I wouldn't call 1.9% a "rounding error", but that's beside the point. Anything a single person does will far far less than a rounding error, so I guess we shouldn't bother, right?
 
flipdewaf
Posts: 4322
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2006 6:28 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:39 pm

OMAAbound wrote:
I dont really see the point in this. Its the most daft idea going!!

At the end of the day, people vote with their wallet, if the cheapest flight happens to produce the least amount of CO2, then its a bonus, however, if the cheapest flight produces the most CO2, nobody will be bother, because it is the cheapest and saves you money. Its ludicrous!

People will forever vote with their wallet, not what they are doing to the environment and this is fact!

OMAA


The company I work for (and many others too no doubt) add additional cost to the flights as an impact of CO2 so that a more real assessment can be made, carbon pricing willingly added. This additional money is then taken aside and used to appropriately fund climate initiatives as part of the corporate social responsibility.

'Just before the apocalypse there was a brief moment where shareholder value was higher than we'd ever seen before'

Fred
 
TObound
Posts: 913
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:53 pm

flipdewaf wrote:
OMAAbound wrote:
I dont really see the point in this. Its the most daft idea going!!

At the end of the day, people vote with their wallet, if the cheapest flight happens to produce the least amount of CO2, then its a bonus, however, if the cheapest flight produces the most CO2, nobody will be bother, because it is the cheapest and saves you money. Its ludicrous!

People will forever vote with their wallet, not what they are doing to the environment and this is fact!

OMAA


The company I work for (and many others too no doubt) add additional cost to the flights as an impact of CO2 so that a more real assessment can be made, carbon pricing willingly added. This additional money is then taken aside and used to appropriately fund climate initiatives as part of the corporate social responsibility.

'Just before the apocalypse there was a brief moment where shareholder value was higher than we'd ever seen before'

Fred


Well put. As expected, the usual climate denialist and minimalist talking points on a.net. But corporate travel policies are starting to take emissions into account. This kind of comparison tool will get even more compelling over time as Google adds in trains and driving.

If it compels airlines to recapitalize their fleets a bit earlier, I consider this a benefit. Way too many airlines sitting on 20 yr old frames to squeeze out a few more pennies for the shareholders at the expense of everybody else.
Last edited by TObound on Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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william
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 1999 1:31 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:54 pm

You really think people care about this when booking a $99 coach flight?
 
TObound
Posts: 913
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:56 pm

william wrote:
You really think people care about this when booking a $99 coach flight?


People? No. The C-Suite trying to meet ESG targets to get a bit more institutional investment? Absolutely.
 
al2637
Topic Author
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:11 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 1:59 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
I'm wondering also whether there should be a multiplier for larger business-class seats which have a low density of pax per square metre, compared to economy


Yes, the numbers jump if you you change to business. I do think Google are considering the actual layout and configuration of the aircraft here, as the numbers do (in some cases) change for the same type flown with different airlines.

I was also surprised at some of the comparisons between types:
https://www.google.com/travel/flights/s ... gYIBhAAGAA

e.g. VS 787 and 350.

If I I go through each class, and get the number of seats from seatguru, we get:

(seats x co2)
Economy + Prem Economy + Business = ?
A350: (235*505) + (56*691) + (44*1060) = 204,011
B787: (192*673) + (35*909) + (31*1410) = 204,741

(If I haven't messed this up), it shows that a full A350 emits less (and assuming less fuel) than a full B787, even tho it carries more passengers? This is NOT per passenger.
 
LCDFlight
Posts: 1453
Joined: Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:22 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:07 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
It's impossible to know how much fuel is burned on a flight until the aircraft has landed and someone measures how much fuel is left in the tanks.
However...
The more factors one takes into consideration, the more accurate a prediction will be. Can anyone think of a reason NOT to take into account the number of seats in the aircraft when trying to predict CO2 per passenger ? Particularly on major routes, three densely packed A320s could carry as many pax as four more spacious flights... the densification reduces the CO2 per pax and thus customers should be nudged gently when deciding which ticket to buy

I'm wondering also whether there should be a multiplier for larger business-class seats which have a low density of pax per square metre, compared to economy


If I took a day to cross reference Seatguru and Form 41 fleet flight data, which includes gallons burned, it would be pretty easy to get a 90-95% accurate estimate of the gallons burned, per seat on aircraft types at varying distances. This isn’t that hard. We know the answer within 10%. It is not a “wild guess.” At Google, they know how to add and multiply numbers.
 
TObound
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 12:54 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:32 pm

It will be interesting to see the impact of this kind of information over time. Airlines have pushed direct flights and preferred increasing frequencies over upgauging, to cater to business travelers. Now those same travelers are being told they have to consider emissions when they book. Will this force carriers to consolidate schedules a bit and reduce don't p2p? We'll see.
 
Aliqiout
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:10 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 2:40 pm

william wrote:
You really think people care about this when booking a $99 coach flight?

Many don't, but some do, and when there are two $99 flights with different CO2 costs even more will.

The save $1 over all else narrative has some truth to it, but is obviously an over simplification. Otherwise the NKs , G4s and Norwegians would have taken over the world by now.
 
MohawkWeekend
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 4:26 pm

Considering 80% of the world's population has never been on an airplane.......

9.5 % of all oil refined in the US is turned into jet fuel. So yeah in America, Aviation is a pretty big player.
 
815253
Posts: 401
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2021 2:56 am

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:52 pm

Is it possible to deactivate the displayed emissions somewhere? Didn't find.

al2637 wrote:
DUB-AMS
EI A320 - 107Kg
FR B738 - 114Kg
KL B738 - 114Kg (same as FR, but lower density, why the same?)
KL E190 - 153Kg

DUB-LHR
BA A320 - 73Kg
EI A320 - 76Kg (although I think it is higher density than BA as there is no business class)
EI A321Neo - 85Kg
BA A319 - 86Kg
EI A330 - 98Kg (surprised this is the least efficient?)


Good example of Google being totally incorrect. If they want to come close to reality they should calculate with the number of seats and the average load factor. Both data is easily accessible.
 
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ua900
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:16 pm

al2637 wrote:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/oct/06/google-maps-to-show-the-lowest-carbon-route-for-car-journeys
Other green initiatives announced by the tech company include putting emissions information on its airline fares search engine, Google Flights. From Wednesday, users around the world will be able to see the carbon emissions per seat for every flight and lower carbon flight options


Will this nudge people to take lower emission flights?

Doing some quick searching, I am not quite sure about the calculation model tho...

DUB-AMS
EI A320 - 107Kg
FR B738 - 114Kg
KL B738 - 114Kg (same as FR, but lower density, why the same?)
KL E190 - 153Kg

DUB-LHR
BA A320 - 73Kg
EI A320 - 76Kg (although I think it is higher density than BA as there is no business class)
EI A321Neo - 85Kg
BA A319 - 86Kg
EI A330 - 98Kg (surprised this is the least efficient?)


IMO they've been showing this for at least a couple of months now. NB that the emissions they quote will also vary by cabin, i.e. displayed emissions for a business class seat will be higher than for an economy seat, presumably based on cabin density / amount of cabin space taken up by a given seat and its occupant.

It has certaintly not nudged me to take lower emission flights, anectdotally speaking since you asked the question. Many of our daily activities cause emissions...
 
davidjohnson6
Posts: 1784
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 6:52 pm

I very much doubt the average a.netter will significantly reduce their flying habit
However...
When I was looking earlier today at a choice of different flights to pick for a trip in a few days time, I found myself taking the significant difference in CO2 emissions between options into the decision making process in a non-trivial way

Sooner or later, this emissions info is going to translate into ticket pricing power
 
holczakker
Posts: 229
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 7:34 pm

Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Wed Oct 06, 2021 7:35 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
Your demand is farcical, really: nobody knows the weather or passenger and baggage load when I buy my ticket 60 days in advance.

No, my demand is the very minimum in case of any professional outfit: do something properly or don't do it at all. You claim that it might show relative figures to compare airlines. I claim they can't even compare flights with the same type/seating/payload/weather as they know jack about fuel saving measures used by companies (or in fact even the actual crew on that day) like route/flight level optimization, aircraft/engine wash (to decrease weight and fuel consumption), single engine taxi, CDA approaches and hundreds of other things all of which changes the fuel usage. They publish figures without having the slightest clue about those things yet they influence customer choice therefore affect the actual business of companies with dummy data.
 
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ua900
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Re: Google Flights now shows CO2 Emissions

Thu Oct 07, 2021 2:55 pm

holczakker wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
Your demand is farcical, really: nobody knows the weather or passenger and baggage load when I buy my ticket 60 days in advance.

No, my demand is the very minimum in case of any professional outfit: do something properly or don't do it at all. You claim that it might show relative figures to compare airlines. I claim they can't even compare flights with the same type/seating/payload/weather as they know jack about fuel saving measures used by companies (or in fact even the actual crew on that day) like route/flight level optimization, aircraft/engine wash (to decrease weight and fuel consumption), single engine taxi, CDA approaches and hundreds of other things all of which changes the fuel usage. They publish figures without having the slightest clue about those things yet they influence customer choice therefore affect the actual business of companies with dummy data.


Same with EPA mileage estimates for vehicles then. Driving style, tire pressure, heavy loads, and even a strong headwind would all make a difference. It seems that their point in doing the CO2 estimates is to give Ma and Pa Kettle an idea of whether a given flight is more or less "harmful" and nudge people towards flights that are "below average" or feature say "-9% emissions" compared to some other flight that might be categorized as "+13% emissions". As you said correctly, there are so many factors in the actual emissions that this can and probably does quickly turn into a dismal science.

Besides, it might be true that a 29" pitch technically results in fewer per person CO2 emissions than a 31-33" pitch (let alone a flat bed seat), but that alone probably doesn't sway a lot of people towards the 29" pitch. Look at our domestic car vs. SUV sales for good measure. Same thing for planes, they'll become more efficient than previous generations, but that doesn't always translate into less comfort and/or higher density. 3-4 cabin aircraft are more frequent now, offering something for everyone.

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