This week the private jet-set have really been getting it in the neck.
It began as another excuse to have a go at Meghan and Harry, who were accused of hypocrisy after taking Elton John’s private plane to Nice despite frequently speaking out on environmental issues and the need for everyone to play their part.
On the one hand I can understand that they want their privacy and need to feel secure but, on the other, you can’t escape the fact that, as royals, they are role models and if they talk the talk, they must be prepared to walk the walk.
You can see how the average person on the street who has to struggle to pay their bills might raise an eyebrow at some of the excesses that have been on show recently with multi-million renovations and lavish trips.
In sport there are times where it might be necessary to charter a private plane.
In tennis that’s usually in pretty exceptional circumstances where you might have played in a final on the Sunday and have to get to another continent to start the next tournament the following day.
I’ve been on private flights with Andy a couple of times and it’s not difficult to see the attraction.
You can rock up half an hour before departure – which is usually from a private airfield – flash your passport, hand over your bag and off you go.
Once on board, you have your own space and are fed and watered to your heart’s content. It’s an absolute luxury but, in certain circumstances, it can also be a necessity.
I’m not sure a private holiday trip can ever really be classed as that, and Kate and Wills’ decision to take a budget flight to Balmoral on Thursday suggests they’ve been following the recent headlines.
Elton defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s use of his jet by saying he’d ensured it was carbon neutral by making a donation towards an environmental project. Other celebs have spoken in the past of doing the same thing, with Chris Martin of Coldplay apparently paying for 10,000 mango trees to be planted in India to offset the emissions created by his private flights. It’s a nice idea but if reports are to be believed, at least 40% of those trees have since died.
Really they are paying to neutralise their own consciences rather than their carbon emissions.
Common sense would tell you that, for those who feel passionate about saving the planet and promoting green causes, it would be better not to do unnecessary damage in the first place, rather than tie yourself up in knots in an effort to undo it.
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