The European Consumers’ Federation (BEUC) and 23 consumer associations  from 19 European countries, including EKPIZO, have submitted a complaint to the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC Network) regarding the misleading greenwashing claims of 17 European airlines .
Based on the findings of a legal study by the European Consumers’ Federation (BEUC), these claims violate European legislation on unfair commercial practices.
In particular, they request the competent authorities to launch an investigation into these airline policies and practices, as well as into the wider industry, in order to stop giving consumers the false impression that air travel is viable.
These allegations are not valid as air travel is not viable and will not be in the near future.
And where airlines propose that consumers pay additional ‘green’ charges based on such misleading claims, the authorities should require airlines to compensate their customers.
Examples of misleading claims by airlines targeting consumers:
Claims stating that by paying extra for extra points consumers can “offset”, “zero” or “restore” the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of their chosen flight are in fact inaccurate, as the environmental benefits to offset the reduction in emissions are highly uncertain, while the impact of harmful CO2 emissions from air travel is certain.
In addition, they mislead consumers when they ask for extra charges on the grounds that they contribute to the development of ‘Sustainable Alternative Aviation Fuels’ (SAF). These fuels are not ready for the market and the recently adopted EU legislation sets very low targets for the degree of contribution to the fuel mix used by aircraft. It is noteworthy to mention that by the time these fuels are mass marketed – after the end of the 2030s – they will represent at best only a small share in the kerosene storage tanks of aircraft .
The impression that air travel can be ‘sustainable’, ‘responsible’ and ‘green’ is highly misleading. None of the strategies implemented by the aviation sector are currently able to prevent greenhouse gas emissions. It is important to stop these claims, as with the increase in air traffic.
In conclusion, airlines must stop giving consumers the false impression that they are choosing a sustainable mode of transport. Before making any of the covered types of ‘green claims’ to consumers, the claims should be verified and substantiated with scientific evidence to provide a full and accurate picture of the environmental impact.
In addition, competent authorities should investigate eco-claims and push for solutions that provide consumers with credible, attractive and viable alternatives. Consumers are demanding more sustainable modes of transport to achieve reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impacts for a fair and green future.
 Arbeiterkammer (Austria), TestAchats/TestAankoop (Belgium), Асоциация Активни потребители (Bulgaria); Forbrugerrådet Tænk (Denmark); CLCV and UFC-Que Choisir (France); Kuluttajaliitto – Konsumentförbundet ry (Finland), EKPIZO (Greece), Tudatos Vásárlók Egyesülete (Hungary), Altroconsumo (Italy), Forbrukerrådet (Norway), Fundacja Konsumentów and Federacja Konsumentów (Poland), DECO (Portugal), Spoločnosti ochrany spotrebiteľov (Slovakia), Zveza potrošnikov Slovenije (Slovenia), ASUFIN, CECU and OCU (Spain), Sveriges Konsumenter (Sweden), Fédération romande des consommateurs (Switzerland), Consumentenbond (Netherlands), vzbv (Germany) sent letters to several companies.
 Air Baltic, Air Dolomiti, Air France, Austrian, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings, Finnair, KLM, Lufthansa, Norwegian, Ryanair, SAS, SWISS, TAP, Volotea, Vueling, Wizz Air
 European Parliament press release “Fit for 55: Parliament and Council reach deal on greener aviation fuels”, 25/04/2023