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Fuel efficiency sees airlines trash cutlery, mags, glasses

plane2.jpgGreenbang once had the pleasure of flying business class. On arrival she was asked by a smiling stewardess: “champagne or orange juice?” Greenbang assumed this was a trick question, posed by the powers that be to assess her suitability to be flying among the great and the overly monied. She of course did the decent thing and asked for both.

In future, in the alternate reality where Greenbang travels regularly on business class flights, her champagne will be served in plastic rather than glass. It’s all part of a plan by airlines to cut the weight of their aircraft and so be more fuel efficient, according to Wired and the Associated Press.

Among the weight cutting initiatives practiced by airlines are slashing the weight of meal trolleys and even cutlery and in-flight snacks, while some odds and ends like magazine racks, heavy wiring and ovens are getting dumped entirely.

Other airlines are preferring to cut out weight from their passengers: The Houston Chronicle says United is taxing those bringing on more than one bag, Air New Zealand is reportedly thinking about it, and some budget carriers like Australia’s Jetstar are already doing it, tiering fares depending on luggage.

With all that cost cutting, let’s pray there’s not more of this sort of behaviour on the cards…

1 Comment

  • Peter
    Posted April 9, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    Too much to hope they might give thought to the shunting of litres and kilos of duty free hither and thither, especially when we all prefer to buy in a mad panic once we get through Passport Control? Singapore Airlines had a neat scheme (I recall when.. ain’t flown much of late) where you pre-ordered and picked up t’other end on the ground before customs -seemed a plan.

    I once had an airline client and even pre-enviro-junkie days kept coming up with what I thought were awesome wheezes. One was a suggestion that the classifieds and TV sections got taken out of the complimentary papers, as they could be of no use where they were going and would be out of date upon return.

    I got my head patted, and my tush kicked a lot back then. It was 15 years ago, mind. Ahead of my time, I guess..

    It just all seems very little… very late. Isn’t this an industry that prides itself on being cutting edge? Heck, any small car now is costcut to the penny and lighweighted to the gram these days. Yet still they thought a steel elbow-shattering battering ram of a trolley was the best way to convey lunch up and down…. until now???

    Next you’ll be telling me some airlines reckon having gold fixtures would be a neat idea!

    At least they cottoned early onto saving the planet by recirculating the TB and Bird Flu-soaked air around the passenger cabins, those little eco-tinkers.

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