Saving Fuel with Flash Drive Movies on Airplanes

I was flying on a US Airways flight this afternoon from Charlotte to Las Vegas and noticed an area where the airlines could save some money on fuel.  As a former accountant, this is one of those abstract things that you tend to notice.  A little thing on one plane that when its repeated over and over again on a fleet of planes adds up to a lot of money.

This particular flight had an in flight movie (The Devil Wears Prada from 2007 and getting a little old.  This was probably the 3rd time I've seen it play on US Airways).

The point is that the plane played the movie with TVs and a VCR.  Not the flat panel TVs, and not a small little VCR, but big hulking metal jobs of TV's and a VCR that took up half an over head luggage compartment.

It struck me first off that the VCR probably weighed a lot and when you multiply that across many planes and factor in $125 a barrel oil, that's the type of thing that Richard Branson should pay attention to.  They simply need to replace the VCR with a small card reader that can play movies from a flash card and they would save a ton of space and money.

Once I noticed that then I started thinking about all those 14" tv's and how much they weighed.

Now, I'm sure a retrofit costs money, but its a simple enough equation for an accountant to figure out how much it would cost and how much would be saved with a lighter load.

I could complain about the bad movie, or the lines in the TV that makes you feel like you need low vision aids when you are 3 feet away, but instead I'd rather tip off the airlines in a way to save some money and keep in the air.  At $325 for a ticket to Vegas, I sure couldn't drive that distance for that kind of money, even in a Prius.

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