Sweden has invented a word to encourage people not to fly. And it’s working
Sweden’s departure lounges are looking less crowded as more Swedes are deciding to take the train rather than fly. Passenger numbers at Swedish airports have dropped 8% so far this year. The fall-off coincides with the rise of Sweden’s latest buzzword: “flygskam”, or flight shame. As the full extent of climate change becomes ever more apparent, fewer Swedes are willing to travel in a way they see as harmful to the environment. The impact has been particularly felt on domestic flights, with passenger numbers down by 15% in April alone, compared with last year. In a recent survey, a quarter of Swedes said they had decided not to fly to save the planet. Swedes used to be among Europe’s most frequent fliers, travelling long-haul to escape the long Scandinavian winters. But nowadays they prefer to take the train, even for long journeys.