Travel

Trainhugger rail site targets eco travellers – Business Traveller

A new rail booking site has been launched and I believe it’s the first of its type in the UK.

Trainhugger – which initially debuted earlier this year and launched its app at the end of October – will appeal to the environmentally customer and the company says it will plant a tree for every booking made.

It says the aim is to plant ten million trees by 2025.

Trainhugger works in partnership with the Royal Forestry Society which “means we will make sure all our trees are planted in the right place and looked after so that they can thrive.”

So what is the site like to use? Regular readers will know I favour the Swiss Rail website (rail.ch) for its speed and clarity.

No UK rail website can compete with the Swiss and in fairness one reason is because SBB (Swiss Rail) has simpler fares.

Trainhugger is as clean and fast as one might reasonably expect. It also displays all the operators with, at time of writing, one exception.

When I checked London-Edinburgh (perhaps the UK’s most prestigious mainline route) only incumbent LNER was open for bookings, and not new entrant Lumo.

I am told by Trainhugger that the issue concerns Lumo’s tariffs (these differ to those of conventional operators) and the issue will be fixed in the days ahead.

Another criticism of the display is that the first class fares are shown under “Go 1st class” within the strap line at the top of the booking page. Not so easy to spot.

Perhaps that’s because the eco-minded traveller doesn’t book first class as it’s less ‘green’ than standard class ?

The company claims it isn’t about “green washing” or “blah blah blah.” It says one-third of its profits will be donated to tree planting.

However this greeness does come at a cost. Trainhugger charges a booking fee of £1.50, 50 per cent of which will go towards tree planting.

trainhugger.com

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