What is the "flight disgrace" that has become "fashionable" throughout Europe?


Fears about climate change have prompted many environmentalists to reconsider how they travel. In fact, in Sweden, even a new word was invented for the "flying doom" – flygskam.

Climate change and travel are on the brink of most Londoners this week, according to a report released by the newspaper Standard on the protests of the group of environmental activists in the Extinction Rebellion who camped in central areas of the British capital.

Environmental activists have announced plans to acquire railway lines, prompting a reaction from the city's mayor, Sadic Han, who wrote on Twitter "damaging the struggle of all those who want to combat climate change."

Meanwhile, the Swedes embraced their rail network with all their heart. SJ, the Swedish National Railroad Company, last year announced 32 million customers. The company attributes "to the great interest", to "filmed trips", "its unprecedented economic growth".

Air travel has become almost taboo as a result of its negative impact on the environment. And in a typical Scandinavian style, a list of new words was created to describe this antipathy: flygskam (tag shake) (pride for the train) and smygflyga.

Swedavia AB, which manages 10 Swedish airports, including Stockholm and Gothenburg airports, recorded a drop in passenger traffic for seven consecutive months. In 2018, the company recorded the lowest total passenger growth in a decade.

As always, social media plays an important role in changing public opinion for air travel. An anonymous Swedish account on Instagram has conquered more than 60,000 followers to embarrass influencers who travel to distant destinations by air and hashtag #StayOnTheGround has many trends on twitter.

But it is not only the Swedes who are guilty of "carbon footprints." The Finns invented the word "slowhapea", the Dutch say "vliegschaamte" and the German "flugscham", all refer to a sense of shame around the flight.


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