Monday, August 11, 2008

Flying on empty

Pilots and flight dispatchers are complaining that airlines are putting less fuel into aircraft in order to save money. Fuel weighs around seven pounds per gallon, so if a plane lands with 1000 gallons of unused fuel, the plan carried 7,000 pounds of excess weight. Carrying that weight is expensive. Unfortunately the airlines are unable to guess exactly how efficient a plan will be on any given flight. It may have to idle for extra long on the runway or the head winds might be stronger than expected, slowing the plane down and requiring extra fuel. It might be as simple as the pilot has a lead foot. AAA keeps telling us that driving over the speed limit cuts down on our fuel efficiency. It probably holds true for planes.

Given that they extra fuel may keep the plane in the sky just long enough to reach my airport, I think I should have a vote what I value (in weight) enough to trade for more fuel. Here’s my list:

That stewardess who sits in the extra seat, reading magazines and yells stay in your seats every time the line for the bathroom gets a little long should be left at home. She must be worth 30 gallons of extra fuel.

There always seems to be an abundance of blue water in the bathroom. I would guess that weighs about the same as fuel, therefore, I propose we only bring enough blue water for one flush per toilet. Mid-weigh through the flight, the stewardess can go through and flush the toilets. We might stink a bit when we land. I would rather land stinky and crash with a fresh pine scent. That must be worth 200 gallons.

Some flights actually provide some sort of food. The meal seems to always include boiled carrots. I haven’t seen anyone actually eat those boiled carrots and live. Therefore, I propose we cut out the boiled carrots. That must be worth 2 gallons of fuel.

Every time I’ve flown, I have had an issue finding a place to stuff my oversized carryon bags because the bins are filled with cheap dirty blankets and pillows. No one in their right mind would actually allow these germ traps to touch their bodies. Therefore, I propose removing all blankets and pillows. That must be worth 20 gallons.

I have just traded those few creature comforts for an extra 252 gallons of fuel.


Renee said...

If time is not an issue people will just start to take the train or the one enjoys being nickle and dimed.

Aaron Brand said...

As someone who has sat right in front of the bathroom on a flight during a rough landing, it's necessary to flush that thing every time. Either we had some stuff slosh over the side of bowl when the plane touched down hard, or the old guy next to me wasn't wearing good enough diapers.

Ashley Evelyn said...

way to economize!

i say screaming children (or those with the potential to scream) should exit with the useless flight attendant.

i eat the carrots!

Kristy said...

This makes me extremely glad that "I" don't like flying. I guess it's a prime example, though, that being in management doesn't necessarily require a high I.Q.!

Bas said...

Haha. Go you! It's like... Elimidate and the contestants are things you'd find on an airplane.

Pearl said...

I think airlines should charge by the passengers by the pound, whether it be their own personal poundage or their baggage. Is that mean? Obviously, I don't fly much, but last time I flew on vacation, I took a smallish carry-on, my purse, and my laptop. Bought new outfits on vacation and donated my old ones to the Salvation Army when I left. :-) Stimulating the economy all OVER the place!!


Barbara said...

I don't see why anyone flies anymore. Yeah, it's faster, but it's also dealing with rude attendants, rude people, crowding in tiny places, being charged up the, you never get there on time.

What's the fun in that? Give me a road trip any day.