Airlines are doing whatever they can to recoup the money their losing to high oil prices, whether that means charging $100 for checking a bag or adding a fee for families who want to make sure that their seats on the plane are together.
Recently, American Airlines chose to trim the fat where the company could spare it and made changes in their food and beverage carts to cut costs. WebJet.com says that the new prototypes of the food and beverage carts weighed an estimated 12 pounds less than the older models. The company is hoping that carts that weigh less will make the aircraft lighter, and the less weight the airplane carries, the less jet fuel it uses. American Airlines executives claim that when multiplied across the 19,000 carts which are used in their fleet of aircraft, the lighter weight lowers jet fuel consumption by approximately 1.8 million gallons over the course of a year. By using less fuel, the airline stands to save an estimated $5 million a year.
It’s not just the food and beverage carts that are lightening up. American Airlines is also looking at reducing the weight of the aircraft – and thereby saving on fuel costs – by introducing lighter seats, bins, and TV monitors. They’re also hoping to use more tugs to help move their planes to and from gates, in order to use less gass.
Though lessening the weight burden on planes is one way to drive down expenses and create a larger profit margin, there might be other tactics to consider. Maybe having more crazy-cheap ticket sales – like the one that Southwest Airlines is having – will bring the airlines more customers and, therefore, a bigger profit. Money aside, there are other advantages to the lighter carts – mainly, when one of them hits your elbow when it passes your aisle seat, it might hurt less.