You Think You Pay A Lot For Fuel?

Facinating documentary last night on cable titled “A Week in the Life of American Airlines.” In this two hour program they explored the ins and outs of running the largest airline company in the country. Details about fuel costs, organized labor, why the guy sitting next to you on the plane may have payed hundreds of dollars less than you did, and how they deal with flight delays and lost luggage.

For instance, fuel for jets is the largest cost by far. You think you have a problem filling your SUV for $30? Try paying $18,000 to top off an airplane. They came up with intuative ideas for reducing these costs. One was removing all the magazines in the pocket in front of you. Another was removing equipment that is not used like ovens and larger than needed tanks of water. The reductions in wieght resulted in savings in the millions.

How much money does American Airlines make on any given flight? They gave two examples. After fuel costs, labor and food, one flight made $8.500 profit and another, trans con flight made only $200. One passenger less and they would have lost money. Is it any wonder that when asked how to become a millionare, Sir Richard Brandson, CEO of Virgin Air commented that you take a billionare and buy an airline. Sooner or later you will be a millionare. . .

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