Frequent Flyer Tax Could Raise Billions for Climate

Could a mandatory frequent flyer tax help combat global pollution? Some climate scientists and researchers say yes.

depiction of people in an airport terminal for frequent flyer tax story
(Image credit: iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Frequent flyers contribute more carbon pollution than other people on the planet. That’s a takeaway from researcher Sola Zheng, who focuses on the environmental impacts of commercial aviation. In a piece written for TIME magazine, Zheng points out that frequent flyers (i.e., people who took more than six flights in 2019) “flew more than 98% of the world population.”

That air travel — Zheng and some climate scientists argue — presents an opportunity for people who log many more air miles than others to help lower carbon emissions by paying a mandatory tax.

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Kelley R. Taylor
Senior Tax Editor,

As the senior tax editor at, Kelley R. Taylor simplifies federal and state tax information, news, and developments to help empower readers. Kelley has over two decades of experience advising on and covering education, law, finance, and tax as a corporate attorney and business journalist.