DeltaMD11
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"Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:17 am

In this months edition of Popular Science (February 2005) the magazine compiled an interesting set of statistics from the BTS, US DOT, CDC, FAA, Hardee's, National Academy of Sciences, and the National Research Council. The small blurb on page 39 states that the FAA has a few concerns about the increasing weight of the average U.S. male domestic passenger. Some statstics:

8.5 -- Pounds the average U.S. adult male weight increased, 1991 to 2000

170 -- Pounds the FAA assumed an average male passenger weighed, 1938 to 2003

184 -- Pounds the FAA currently expects an average male passenger to weigh, according to an August 2004 revision of weight assumptions

14.8-- Billion gallons of jet fuel consumed by domestic air travel in 2000

350 -- Million Gallons that could have been spared in 2000 if the average U.S. adult weight remained at the 1991 average

3.8 -- Million tons of carbon dioxide emissions generated by burning 350 million gallons of jet fuel

$275 -- Million cost of 350 million gallons of jet fuel in 2000

23.5 -- Million additional gallons of jet fuel required if every domestic flight passenger in 2000 was served the Hardee's 2/3-pound Monster Thickburger en route

Please note that the above statistics were taken directly from the article. I found this to be both interesting and somewhat concerning at the same time. I want to make it clear that I'm not trying to single out anyone in this post and have brought it to your attention for intellectual reasons. I, myself, had never really thought about the potential environmental and fiscal implications as they relate to passenger weight increases. Just food for thought....(no pun intended)
Too often we ... enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. - John Fitzgerald Kennedy
 
david b.
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:37 am

Pounds the FAA assumed an average male passenger weighed, 1938 to 2003

GLad I'm still in that catagory  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
Teenage-know-it-alls should be shot on sight
 
captaingomes
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:51 am

This is an on-going concern. Just over a year ago, a Georgian Express Cessna Caravan crashed near the southern edge of Ontario by Pelee Island National Park. The Caravan crashed after encountering icing conditions. Part of the blame for the accident was the fact that the aircraft was overweight, and the passengers were heavier than the averages used.

The recommendations can be found at http://www.tc.gc.ca/mediaroom/releases/nat/2004/04-h055e.htm where:

"Males over 12 years of age = 206 lbs in winter and 200 lbs in summer (13 lb increase)

Females over 12 years of age = 171 lbs in winter and 165 lbs in summer (25 lb increase)

These weight changes include a 5 lb increase per passenger for carry-on baggage."


The big deal for airlines is the fact that this causes a serious effect on aircraft performance and range, or usable load. This costs big bucks to airlines, especially those operating in high density configurations, or those flying very long range flights, or near the range limits of the aircraft used. The good news is that these measures have been pushed back one year, giving airlines in Canada more time to make necessary changes.

"it's kind of like an Airbus, it's an engineering marvel, but there's no sense of passion" -- J. Clarkson re: Coxster
 
ozglobal
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 4:59 am

Time to treat obesity like smoking: a disease that harms yourself and the enviornment in which you live.
Response: Earlier posts mooted the introduction of an excess levy on passengers over a certain weight (Ryanair), as for baggage (nothing unjust about this, if you follow a 'user pays' argument - as we do for baggage); fine those businesses who promote over-comsumption - This is particularly a problem in the US, where food has been 'commoditized' and the value proposition is often quantity-based.

P.S QM II is currently refitting to replace hundreds of chairs. The ship, built in France, had chairs designed for 'average' weight adults. However, as there is a very high proportion of very obese passengers, hundreds of bent and broken chairs have had to be replaced with larger and stronger models throughout the ship.
When all's said and done, there'll be more said than done.
 
DAYflyer
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:12 am

23.5 million gallons of fuel is a drop in the proverbial bucket when compared with 14.8 BILLION gallons of fuel used. Thats like complaining that your neighbors car gets .001 MPG than your car does, so he uses one tank of gas a year less than you do.
One Nation Under God
 
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yyz717
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:19 am

23.5 million gallons of fuel is a drop in the proverbial bucket when compared with 14.8 BILLION gallons of fuel used.

Exactly. By the same arugment, obesity could be said to be good for the economy since these fatties are fueling growth in the fast food and beef/pork industries. Of course, gym equipment wholesalers are hurting. Really, the economic impact of a fat person is likely nil, other than health care.

The answer to obesity really is to charge all passengers by body/luggage weight, in an ideal world. While not practical, any move to charge excess weight is the right way to go.

I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
slawko
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 5:44 am

" The good news is that these measures have been pushed back one year, giving airlines in Canada more time to make necessary changes. "

Actually no Nuno, the airlines have been given a year to do their own study and must conduct 4 random weighings per year of random pax on random flights. The averages of all these weighings will be used to generate average pax weights to be used for the airline, if the averages are higher then the ones that transport is mandating (which is likely) then those higher weights must be used, which could cause even more problems....
"Clive Beddoe says he favours competition, but his actions do not support that idea." Robert Milton - CEO Air Canada
 
killjoy
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:25 am

"By the same arugment, obesity could be said to be good for the economy since these fatties are fueling growth in the fast food and beef/pork industries."

Sorry, that's not how it works. It's just yet another form of the classic (bad) argument about how breaking windows would help the economy, since it gives window repairmen more work.
 
JFernandez
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:49 am

I'm sure I weigh less, total than some of these skinny people who bring 6 bags of crap onto the plane, though.  Smile

Now - think about the increase in passenger weight along with the increase in passenger luggage/carry-ons. Yikes.
 
supa7E7
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Mon Jan 24, 2005 9:34 am

Actually this has a big impact. Since the FAA recalculated weight allowances based on heavier average pax, certain aircraft can take fewer pax. ERJ-145 for example are very often restricted to 45 out of 50. That's like a 10% higher fuel burn.
"Who's to say spaceships aren't fine art?" - Phil Lesh
 
L410Turbolet
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RE: "Obesity Weighs Heavily On Airlines"

Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:03 pm

Why there are no scales for the pax just in front of the check-in desk? Your weight would be chceked just as your luggage is. It would provide the airlines with more accurate data on actual weigh of the pax on board?
Would you find it offensive being weighed during check-in?

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