Flight Shame Is Disrupting The German Domestic Travel Market

Flight shame is becoming more and more well known within Europe. However, if you’ll pardon the pun, it is really taking off in Germany. The result? The domestic travel market is experiencing huge change as the number of passengers opting to fly is falling month on month.

Germany, Domestic Travel, Flight Shaming
As the flight shame movement grows, Germany is seeing a fall into domestic passengers. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

A significant drop in domestic passengers

The biggest clue that flight shame is taking Germany by storm is the drop in domestic passenger traffic experienced by the nation. This has become significant since July according to figures spotted by Bloomberg. This has coincided with a number of “climate strikes” held throughout Germany, including the global climate strike in late September.

According to the figures from the ADV German airports association, the number of domestic passengers in Germany has been steadily dropping each month since July. However, European travel is also starting to take a dip, as the flight shaming movement gathers momentum in Germany, and throughout Europe.

Germany, Domestic Travel, Flight Shaming
Domestic passenger numbers are diving! Image: Simple Flying | Data Source: ADV German Airport Association

From July to August traffic experienced a dip of 3.2%. This grew to 3.9% in September and 6.6% in October. However, the biggest drop was in the figures for November, which revealed a fall of 12.3% from the previous month.

How are people traveling?

The overall number of Germans traveling domestically is unlikely to have changed that significantly. Instead, they are changing how they travel, with an increased focus on bus and train. In fact, on Saturday, Greta Thunberg shared a picture of herself sitting on the floor of a train while traveling through Germany. However, instead of complaining, she stated that “Overcrowded trains is a great sign because it means the demand for train travel is high!”.

Additionally, with the rise of long-distance buses, passengers have been able to adapt how they travel. FlixBus started out as a small long-distance bus operator in Germany and has grown to conquer Europe since, now also offering trains.

Germany, Flight Shaming, Domestic Travel
Domestic passengers are switching away from flights. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

As a matter of fact, one of FlixBus’ USPs is that it is much better for the environment. It is also often cheaper too, with the only drawback being the increased travel time. Other companies are now seeing the potential of the long distance bus model, and passengers are clearly using it.

Have you stopped using planes for short hops? Do you think flight shaming is behind the drop? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!