The British airline Silverjet launched daily service between New York and London last week with some attention-worthy innovations. At each airport, Silverjet's exclusive terminals allow passengers to arrive just 30 minutes before takeoff with a carry-on or 45 minutes if checking luggage.
Noise-canceling headphones, personal TVs, gourmet meals that can be preordered, and 100 cushy flat beds (on refurbished planes originally built for 300 seats) add to the smooth travel experience.
Better yet, Silverjet's carbon offsetting program--the first of its kind--donates a portion of each fare to climate-friendly projects around the globe. How does it work? The Edinburgh Center for Carbon Management assesses the level of emissions from each Silverjet aircraft and converts the amount into a per person cost, dubbed "carbon points" and included in the airfare.
To make up for the pollution, passengers choose to donate their points to initiatives such as wind-power generation in India or the distribution of energy efficient lightbulbs in Jamaica (flysilverjet.com; round-trip fares from $1,798).
Where's the catch? Silverjet departs from New York's Newark airport and arrives in London's Luton airport which, as a reader pointed out, is about 30 minutes from north London and has fewer connecting flights for business travelers than Gatwick and Heathrow airports.