Wednesday, June 11, 2008

To Save Fuel, Airlines Find No Speck Too Small

from the new york times:

The nation’s airlines are scrutinizing every step of their operations, from the tarmac to the sky, and from the nose to the tail of their planes, searching for new ways to cut their soaring fuel bills.

They are power-washing jet engines more often to get rid of grime, carrying less water for the bathroom faucets and toilets, and replacing passenger seats with lighter models.

The financial pain of higher fuel prices is particularly acute for airlines because it is their single biggest expense. Eight years ago, 15 percent of the price of an airplane ticket went to pay for jet fuel; now, it is 40 percent, according to the Air Transport Association, the industry’s trade group.


exactly why do airlines not change the way they do business?

let's pretend we want to send a package somewhere. what criteria is used? would we reasonably stand in line at the post office and try telling the person behind the counter that our package should somehow cost the same to transport as a heavier item, even though it can be proved that it physically takes more energy to move the object with greater mass?

the airlines should adopt a fixed fare + a pro-rated charge based on both passenger weight and their associated baggage. how can that not be fair? passenger weight directly affects fuel economy, and many people have simply become larger than they were twenty years ago.

and just because we don't like something doesn't make it discrimination.

flying has become a very unpleasant experience, given the endless waiting, cancellations, and security at airports. the airlines can pat themselves on the back for ludicrous earlier marketing practices for driving their own industry to the wall, such as $20 flights, etc.

and now they want to charge you that for a piece of baggage...

in france, they have the TGV to move people at high speed without all this hassle, but that's what you get when you vote for actually paying taxes that invest in public transportation alternatives.

taxation has become a dirty word in america, and look where it's gotten us. successive governments, both republican and democratic alike have invested in a future of essentially nothing but the automobile. didn't any of these individuals travel to europe when they young and weren't being whisked about in limos?

i guess nobody said it better than george h. w. bush.
"The American Way of Life is Not Negotiable" - yeah? well let's see how $5 gas looks for 'the american way of life' come election time.

where are the high speed rail networks linking all the major cities across the nation? if only all the tax breaks given to oil companies had been used for something benefiting the consumer...

but then what else should we expect? GM et al have already killed the electric car (how smart are they feeling now)


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