What could possibly go wrong?

Extra fuel is joining peanuts and magazines on the list of things American Airlines wants to ditch at the gate. The airline announced plans this week to save cash by using “scientifically precise” computer models to load less fuel. If pilots want more, they’ll need to submit a request in writing.

I would think retiring the world's largest fleet of ageing MD-80 would do more to reduce fuel consumption than these penny pinching schemes. They still call 1c coins pennies in the US, right? I found an Aussie penny in a drawer yesterday from before decimalisation. It had King George The Something on it.

Back to this flight nonsense, it's almost as if they have an ulterior motive with these decisions… say for example being able to land earlier than other planes in holding patterns above airports because they're running out of fuel sooner, or so they can pretend to appeal to greenies while saving themselves a few bucks, or so they can blame pilots for more problems. "Hey it's not our fault for that, the pilot didn't fill out form 23A…"

I’ve got an even better idea

Anyway I've got an even better idea (you just said that Ruben) to reduce fuel consumption in places like the US and Australia: ditch domestic flights altogether and replace them with cross-continent high speed rail! They'd be more comfortable, more convenient, vast airport land could be reclaimed for parks and other such Hippie draws, and best of all we could wire them up to renewable energy sources like geothermal for baseload and solar in the centre where very little rain falls. It's genius, I tell you!

Hey, I can dream, right?

Photo of an American Airlines MD80 being deiced by PhilipC on Flickr.