IELTS Writing Task 2 essay with model answer

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task. Write about the following topic

Some people say cheap air travel is good because it enables ordinary people to travel, others argue that it is bad for the environment. Discuss both views, and include your opinion.

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

One of the highly controversial issues today relates to whether air travel and increased number of airports are negatively impacting the environment or that they have enabled more people to travel to various destinations around the world without having to be out of pocket. I strongly agree with the latter view due to several reasons that I will discuss in greater detail in my essay. 

On one side of the argument there are people who argue that the drawbacks of increased air traffic considerably outweigh its advantages and that governments should mitigate the negative influence of cheap air flights by inflicting more taxes on the carriers of these flights. The main reason for believing this is that the increasing number of airports and the stupendous number of flights have remarkably affected the environment. This is seen in the unprecedented levels of air pollution and noise pollution recorded in the past two decades. One good illustration of this is the excessive air pollution levels that are recorded in big industrial cities such as Beijing in China and Jubail in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it is easy to see why this argument has gained support.

On the other hand, it is also possible to make the opposing case. It is often argued that, nowadays, low-cost flights have enabled people to travel to far away destinations that they otherwise could have never visited. A second point is that affordable air travel can unquestionably contribute to booming of international trade and tourism, hence creating more job opportunities for many people around the globe. A particularly good example here is a study conducted by the European tourism bureau which concluded that the number of European tourists visiting France trebled in the period after low fare flights were introduced in Europe. Thus, it goes without saying that this viewpoint is credible and realistic too.   

After having discussed the most pertinent points of this issue, I feel that the only logical conclusion is that the advantages reaped by low fare flights such as the flourishing of tourism and international trade outweigh their disadvantages. Hence, I am inclined to the opinion that supports low fare air travel.


Total Words: 360

Task Achievement: 8

Coherence & Cohesion: 8

Lexical resources: 8

Grammar: 8

Overall Score: Band 8

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Comments are closed.

  1. Leo 4 years ago

    There is no mentioning of increased taxation in your introduction. The actual question, in my opinion is whether or not heavy taxation would make any difference. In your introduction you argue between cheap flights and pollution, this idea is not reflected in your introduction.
    What do you think of this intro:
    It is sometimes claimed that due to cheap flight prices increasingly more airports are being built and the number of aircrafts in the sky is growing respectively. Since this has resulted in increased levels of pollution and noise, governments ought to consider rising tariffs on air travel. While I agree that the rise in air traffic is affecting the environment both directly and indirectly, I believe that imposing heavy taxation might only bring a short-term solution.

  2. Author
    IELTS Online Practice 4 years ago

    Dear Leo,

    You are right about intro. It does not paraphrase the topic clearly. Your suggested intro is good and with your permission, I would like to use it in this essay.


  3. Leo 4 years ago

    Hi Atul,
    Thank you for your reply and appreciation.
    By all means feel free to use the intro. However, I wrote this piece before I saw your answer so my essay paragraphs are tailored according the intro. First is about the environmental effect (similar to yours), but the second is about taxes bringing only a potentially immediate reduction in air travel and in order to find a long-term solution governments should find other ways such as clean energy sources and quieter engines.

  4. Author
    IELTS Online Practice 4 years ago

    I had a closer look at the essay and realized that the topic mentioned in this post was incorrect. The essay was about “cheap air travel” rather than “effects of higher taxes on air traffic”. Have a look at this essay for the latter topic:

    Sorry about the confusion.

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