Flygskam for Lent

Flygskam– pronounced “fleeg-skahm” is the feeling of shame that people now experience when they fly. This Lent, perhaps we should give up flying.

Skiing in Kitzbühel this Easter? Google will help you get there without climbing as high as the ski-lift. Just 14 hours 19 minutes from Stone, though the cost may be significant– anything from £150 to £1000 depending on your railcards, level of luxury and willingness to search the internet for many hours. You will be changing trains many times, so best to send your luggage on ahead.

Going to Mallorca? More challenging, but there are ferries from Portsmouth to Santander (23 hours 30 minutes each way, 3 sailings weekly) and Barcelona to Palma (7 hours 30 minutes each way, 19 sailings each week). Add in a few train journeys and your journey might take less than 60 hours. Google gave up on this one. The Portsmouth ferry won’t accept foot passengers, you have to take a car, so journey cost is £662 for 2 people. If you can hitch a lift in a car on the Portsmouth ferry and then go as foot passengers from Barcelona, you might get the ferry costs down to £300 but then you will need train tickets, bound to be at least £100 each person. Again, best not to take luggage.

One might ask, “why is it so difficult to travel without flying?”. Go by plane and expedia will sort it out in a jiffy, often with ATOL protection– you can forget that with trains and ferries! Flights from Birmingham to Palma and a week in a hotel in Easter school holidays, just £471 each including taxes. Journey time 4 hours 50 minutes (changing in Munich).

Of course, true eco-warriors will say that trains and ferries are nearly as bad as planes, you should go by bicycle and sailing boat. Don’t ask.

Dave Bell