is joining the list of corporations looking for points from the environmental movement, saying it will give customers the chance to have a tree planted anytime they buy a ticket.
Starting June 1, travelers who make online reservations will be able to pay an extra $5.50 when they buy a domestic ticket and $11 when purchasing an international ticket, and the money will be used to plant trees.
The idea is that the trees will help offset the carbon emissions produced by the flight. Within the next year, passengers will also be able to make contributions while flying.
The carrier is partnering with the nonprofit Conservation Fund, a group that works to protect land and water resources. Initially, trees will be planted in the Southeast.
On a conference call with reporters, Delta COO Jim Whitehurst said that about one-third of the airline's tickets, or about 35 million annually, are sold online.
Though it can't be known how many fliers will take part in the Delta program, Conservation Fund President Larry Selzer said about 2% of those eligible participate in a program that enables
customers to make donations to offset carbon dioxide emissions that result from powering computers.
The effort "bubbled up from employees asking what they can do
and customers asking what they can do," Whitehurst said. "Customers care about
this, and we need to address those needs."
Delta will also make a contribution to the fund for every passenger it carries on Earth Day, April 22, and it will have a tree planted for each of its 47,000 employees.