Every little bit helps, but it looks like United Airlines found a way for that little bit to help a lot. When you hear that United Airlines lightened the load for their flights enough to save 170,000 gallons of fuel, removing something heavy might come to mind.
Lightening the load of a flight might conjure a minds-eye vision of United doing away with some of the seats, a few sinks, or even flying with fewer passengers on board each flight. It seems like United Airlines didn’t do away with anything, they lightened their load by using a lighter-weight paper in their in-flight magazines, according to Fox News. Changing the weight of paper to end up saving 170,000 gallons of fuel might be hard to fathom, but they offer up the stats to prove it.
United Airlines reports it started printing their Hemisphere Magazine on a lighter-weight paper, this is the magazine you find tucked in that pocket behind the seat on a United flight. Other airlines have their own magazines. Using this lighter paper cut one ounce off every magazine, with each magazine now weighing 6.85 ounces, reports the LA Times.
United Airlines has 4,500 flights a day so that is a lot of ounces they cut out each day and it did add up to quite the savings. The airline also switched to a lighter-weight paper for their seatback service manuals as well, which was revealed via an Internet message to their employees. This move also saved them additional fuel and money.
United operates 744 mainline planes each day, which vary in size and number of passengers. These planes carry anywhere from 50 to 366 passengers each when used for those 4,500 flights each day.
With 11 pounds of paper cut from each flight, the stats boil down to saving 170,000 gallons of fuel to the tune of saving $290,000 in fuel costs each year, reports Fox News. This is not the first time that United made a small change to save a lot of fuel, which means money saved when all is said and done.
Because of dwindling sales, United cut out the sales of duty-free items on board their flights last year, such as liquor, chocolate, and perfumes. Taking that weight off the plane saved them about 1.4 million gallons of fuel each year which works out to a savings of $2.3 million.