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neomax
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United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:25 am

 
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readytotaxi
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:41 am

Always good to save money, with the advance of IFE why not scrape it and have a E version and save a LOT more money?
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neomax
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:19 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
Always good to save money, with the advance of IFE why not scrape it and have a E version and save a LOT more money?


Someone actually asked this on the reddit thread, and another guy explained that if UA considered this, they had to also have done the cost-benefit analysis for scrapping it. They didn't do it because it is so much easier to just pick up a magazine sitting in front of them and people actually do buy stuff from those magazines and make good money off of it because it is basically a giant ad from beginning to end, and people are going to read it when they have nothing else to do.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:50 pm

This is just a theoretical savings calculation and thus only good for company propaganda. I seriously doubt that a 15 pound reduction will have an impact on the fuel burn at all. Especially when considering all the other, sometimes extremely arbitrary, factors.
 
gunnerman
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:31 pm

In 2008, EK dumped all onboard paper. At 2kg per seat and 500 seats, a saving of a tonne a flight has been made.
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:43 pm

15 pound reduction per flight really isn't much, I wonder when some airlines management will let slip that they deliberately favor hiring smaller crew to save weight :scratchchin:
 
MIflyer12
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:53 pm

The last annual report showed that United consumed 3904 million gallons of fuel in 2016. Saving 170K as noted by the OP isn't even rounding error.
 
ual763
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:44 pm

I love all the people on here just brushing this off as crumbs. Well, 170k gallons is a lot. And also, procurement costs will more than likely be cheaper as well. That money will easily renovate a lounge. All by reducing the weight of paper used. Very interesting. And yes, it is important. Let's not forget, Bob Crandall took one of the three olives in the first class salads away and calculated the savings from that. It's these cost savings, when added up, that make a huge difference! Bravo United!
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neomax
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:59 pm

ual763 wrote:
I love all the people on here just brushing this off as crumbs. Well, 170k gallons is a lot. And also, procurement costs will more than likely be cheaper as well. That money will easily renovate a lounge. All by reducing the weight of paper used. Very interesting. And yes, it is important. Let's not forget, Bob Crandall took one of the three olives in the first class salads away and calculated the savings from that. It's these cost savings, when added up, that make a huge difference! Bravo United!


Tell me about it! Honestly, people don't realize that regardless of other factors, in any case they ARE carrying less than they would be before and that's basically all that matters. Every flight is different and at a certain level, nothing makes a difference other than a change across the board across all flights universally, which is exactly what is being done here and which will result in a noticeable difference.
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:02 pm

ual763 wrote:
I love all the people on here just brushing this off as crumbs. Well, 170k gallons is a lot. And also, procurement costs will more than likely be cheaper as well. That money will easily renovate a lounge. All by reducing the weight of paper used. Very interesting. And yes, it is important. Let's not forget, Bob Crandall took one of the three olives in the first class salads away and calculated the savings from that. It's these cost savings, when added up, that make a huge difference! Bravo United!


The point is - I seriously doubt there are any savings by having 15 lb less paper on board. The engines just won't "feel" the difference. A B767-300 has an MTOW of appr. 350,000 lb - substract 15 lb from it (that's 0.5 % of 1 %): you really think it burns less fuel? In comparison - if you do a marathon with 159.992 lb body weight instead of 160 lb, do you think you would be faster?

Of course, 170,000 gallons savings would be nice, but it just won't happen.
Last edited by BartSimpson on Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Planesmart
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:05 pm

Will see a lot more of these 'stories' in the run up to Corsia, especially from those airlines that won't participate from 2020, while early adopters will save (bank) and rollout post-2020 for compliance and reporting.
 
NichCage
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:15 pm

Some airlines need to keep seatback contents (such as safety instructions) because there is no in flight entertainment system and passengers need access to it. As well, not every airline has inflight entertainment either by choice or because the plane is too small. But if airlines with inflight entertainment decided to get rid of the paper and put all the seatback contents in the inflight entertainment, it would no doubt save a little weight and a bit of money in the process.

I wish more airlines would do that. While not related to airlines, many video games have scrapped paper instructions to put them inside the game or the console instead. Even getting rid of a little paper helps.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:40 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
ual763 wrote:
I love all the people on here just brushing this off as crumbs. Well, 170k gallons is a lot. And also, procurement costs will more than likely be cheaper as well. That money will easily renovate a lounge. All by reducing the weight of paper used. Very interesting. And yes, it is important. Let's not forget, Bob Crandall took one of the three olives in the first class salads away and calculated the savings from that. It's these cost savings, when added up, that make a huge difference! Bravo United!


The point is - I seriously doubt there are any savings by having 15 lb less paper on board. The engines just won't "feel" the difference. A B767-300 has an MTOW of appr. 350,000 lb - substract 15 lb from it (that's 0.5 % of 1 %): you really think it burns less fuel? In comparison - if you do a marathon with 159.992 lb body weight instead of 160 lb, do you think you would be faster?

Of course, 170,000 gallons savings would be nice, but it just won't happen.

It is just basic physics. It's not about what an engine "feels". Every pound that has to be lifted to 30,000 feet takes the same amount of energy, and every gallon of fuel is able to supply a certain amount of energy to lift things. At the margins it is not that simple, but in the normal operating range of UAs airplanes the relationship is nearly linear.

The energy that is not used to lift those 15 lbs now doesn't have to be used. Every flight, of course has much greater variation, but every flight would have had 15 more pounds without this change.

The speed of a running human is more complicated, but less energy (calories) will have to be used for the lighter person.

Yes, the percentages are very small, but that does not mean they are not real.
 
727200
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:48 pm

Just imagine if everyone of their flight attendants lost 10 pounds. (Some of those co babes could lose 40.)

We are talking serious fuel savings then.
 
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HALtheAI
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:04 pm

Or what if flight attendants went back to wearing skimpy outfits? The airline execs in the '60s and '70s understood that everyone had to make sacrifices to help save the planet.

Sadly, the feminists disagreed.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:49 pm

Or, if the pax would shed a few pounds! I'm a big guy (weightlifter type) but I fit into the seat. The poor fella across the aisle from me on my last United flight had to sit next to a behemoth. Talk about crushed into the armrests. In all seriousness, though, every pound saved does equal fuel saved. After 9/11 and the oil price run up of several years ago, you saw a lot of airlines going after weight savings rather religiously to trim fuel costs, spec'ing everything from lighter in-service trolleys to slim line seats, which not only allow them to pack more human cargo inside but are usually lighter than the older seats we all grew up with. Plastic "silverware" instead of metal, reducing the number of magazines, it all adds up over time. Good for United.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:02 pm

Basic premise is that there is a cost to carry every pound on board.

While individual savings might be negligible, across a fleet of hundreds of aircraft operating millions of hours a years the numbers add up fast.

Most major airlines incorporate airframe and interior furnishings weight management into their fuel conservation programs.
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blueflyer
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:43 pm

HALtheAI wrote:
Or what if flight attendants went back to wearing skimpy outfits? The airline execs in the '60s and '70s understood that everyone had to make sacrifices to help save the planet..

We should also put passengers and their carry-ons on a scale and charge them by the pound.
 
IPFreely
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:48 pm

LAXintl wrote:
Basic premise is that there is a cost to carry every pound on board.

While individual savings might be negligible, across a fleet of hundreds of aircraft operating millions of hours a years the numbers add up fast.

Most major airlines incorporate airframe and interior furnishings weight management into their fuel conservation programs.


The United press release said this would save $290,000. As the saying goes, add up $290,000 here and $290,000 there and sooner or later you're talking about real money.

HALtheAI wrote:
Or what if flight attendants went back to wearing skimpy outfits? The airline execs in the '60s and '70s understood that everyone had to make sacrifices to help save the planet.

Sadly, the feminists disagreed.


Many of the feminists are also environmentalists. I suggest a movement toward skimpy outfits -- possibly mesh -- be started. We must call them lightweight or green, not skimpy. And of course the benefits are only expressed in terms of carbon dioxide.
 
gunnerman
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:49 pm

Yes, passengers' weights are important. I remembered being weighed prior to a Sunflower Airlines flight from Suva to Nadi operated by a 19-seat Twin Otter.
 
WN737MAX
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:12 pm

One other thing to consider with this is they are probably saving money on producing the magazines too. Less paper used for each magazine = lower raw material cost.
 
B737900ER
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:00 pm

IPFreely wrote:

Many of the feminists are also environmentalists. I suggest a movement toward skimpy outfits -- possibly mesh -- be started. We must call them lightweight or green, not skimpy. And of course the benefits are only expressed in terms of carbon dioxide.

After my last few flights I have to ask. Do you really think that’s a good idea?
 
ltbewr
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:36 pm

Almost any airline of decent size, just like any other business, has staff that works on ideas to hold down or cut expenses. With the magazine example here, they have copied what many traditional magazines and newspapers have done, they are smaller in number of pages, individual pages are smaller, use tighter fonts to put more on each page, all to hold down or reduce production, distribution, mailing postage and other costs. That is just good business sense. The magazine example at UA is just one that is more visible to passenger-customers that many others done.
 
JustSomeDood
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:56 pm

blueflyer wrote:
HALtheAI wrote:
Or what if flight attendants went back to wearing skimpy outfits? The airline execs in the '60s and '70s understood that everyone had to make sacrifices to help save the planet..

We should also put passengers and their carry-ons on a scale and charge them by the pound.


Given obesity levels are only rising throughout the world, this just might be good enough incentive to manage it, I wonder when FR will start implementing this policy....
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:58 pm

Just get rid of the passengers, if weight saving is the idea. That’d solve the customer relations problems, too. Heck, the way UAL treats ‘em that might be the goal here.

GF
 
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Super80Fan
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:02 am

I bet they'd also save a lot of money if some of their employees, ahem, maybe hit the gym during layovers? :P
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airzona11
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:51 am

Aliqiout wrote:
BartSimpson wrote:
ual763 wrote:
I love all the people on here just brushing this off as crumbs. Well, 170k gallons is a lot. And also, procurement costs will more than likely be cheaper as well. That money will easily renovate a lounge. All by reducing the weight of paper used. Very interesting. And yes, it is important. Let's not forget, Bob Crandall took one of the three olives in the first class salads away and calculated the savings from that. It's these cost savings, when added up, that make a huge difference! Bravo United!


The point is - I seriously doubt there are any savings by having 15 lb less paper on board. The engines just won't "feel" the difference. A B767-300 has an MTOW of appr. 350,000 lb - substract 15 lb from it (that's 0.5 % of 1 %): you really think it burns less fuel? In comparison - if you do a marathon with 159.992 lb body weight instead of 160 lb, do you think you would be faster?

Of course, 170,000 gallons savings would be nice, but it just won't happen.

It is just basic physics. It's not about what an engine "feels". Every pound that has to be lifted to 30,000 feet takes the same amount of energy, and every gallon of fuel is able to supply a certain amount of energy to lift things. At the margins it is not that simple, but in the normal operating range of UAs airplanes the relationship is nearly linear.

The energy that is not used to lift those 15 lbs now doesn't have to be used. Every flight, of course has much greater variation, but every flight would have had 15 more pounds without this change.

The speed of a running human is more complicated, but less energy (calories) will have to be used for the lighter person.

Yes, the percentages are very small, but that does not mean they are not real.


Great post @Aliqiout.
 
prebennorholm
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:52 am

It seems very real to me. My back of the envelope says:

4,500 flights per day 365 days = 1.6 million flights/yr.
170,000 gal saved on 1.6 million flights = 0.107 gal saved per flight.
0.107 gal jet fuel is what? Aeh, some 0.75 lb.

Saving 0.75 lb fuel for transporting 10-15 lb "cargo". Seems fair. Relatively less saving on short haul, and more on long haul. On average roughly a quarter saved on each and every flight. Not many flights, and there you have a full dollar. But a small fraction of a cent per passenger, so don't expect cheaper fares.

When companies are so big, then the numbers grow to figures which the human brain cannot master, when it was designed to master a single household.

Imagine the world wide savings if all passengers remember to pee before boarding. Or contact lenses became mandatory for passengers replacing glasses. Or if planes always left on time so we didn't need to bring a book to kill waiting time. And I haven't even mentioned haircut yet. There are plenty of low hanging fruits with the potential to reverse the global warming. :o
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:36 am

But remember, it is still an infinitesimal amount of money out of a six BILLION dollar budget. If this is that important, they should go to the wall to have the flight crew (cockpit and cabin) lose 15 pounds. Imagine the savings over a career.

GF
 
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BartSimpson
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:42 am

Aliqiout wrote:
It is just basic physics. It's not about what an engine "feels". Every pound that has to be lifted to 30,000 feet takes the same amount of energy, and every gallon of fuel is able to supply a certain amount of energy to lift things. At the margins it is not that simple, but in the normal operating range of UAs airplanes the relationship is nearly linear.

The energy that is not used to lift those 15 lbs now doesn't have to be used. Every flight, of course has much greater variation, but every flight would have had 15 more pounds without this change.

The speed of a running human is more complicated, but less energy (calories) will have to be used for the lighter person.

Yes, the percentages are very small, but that does not mean they are not real.


I am not an engineer so you are of course welcome to correct me. I understand that in principle the savings are there, but I can not really imagine that in reality engine settings can be adjusted to this tiny impact.

Let us compare the two scenarios - with exactly the same plane, the same weather, the same route (incl. the same altitude change), etc. so that the only difference in the scenarios is the weight (15 lb less weight in the second scenario). Are the fuel pumps (or whatever is responsible for injecting the kerosine into the engines) really able to adjust the amount of needed fuel in such infinitesimal quantities? I'd rather say that the only "saving" will be that the vertical and / or horizontal accelaration is a tiny (most certainly immeasurable) fraction higher in the second scenario.

With other words, the savings depend on the technology and not on the actual physics.
 
SpoonNZ
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:00 am

BartSimpson wrote:
Let us compare the two scenarios - with exactly the same plane, the same weather, the same route (incl. the same altitude change), etc. so that the only difference in the scenarios is the weight (15 lb less weight in the second scenario). Are the fuel pumps (or whatever is responsible for injecting the kerosine into the engines) really able to adjust the amount of needed fuel in such infinitesimal quantities? I'd rather say that the only "saving" will be that the vertical and / or horizontal accelaration is a tiny (most certainly immeasurable) fraction higher in the second scenario.

Yes. This is how physics works. That tiny bit more acceleration (and cruise speed) might mean the plane arrives 5 seconds earlier. That’s about a lb of fuel burn saved in an A320...
 
mjoelnir
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 10:29 am

WN737MAX wrote:
One other thing to consider with this is they are probably saving money on producing the magazines too. Less paper used for each magazine = lower raw material cost.


Or same amount of pages, more expensive paper used = higher cost to produce the magazine.

Lighter paper does not have to mean less costly paper.
 
Aliqiout
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Re: United reduces fuel consumption by 170K gallons a year by switching to lighter paper

Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:20 pm

BartSimpson wrote:
Aliqiout wrote:
It is just basic physics. It's not about what an engine "feels". Every pound that has to be lifted to 30,000 feet takes the same amount of energy, and every gallon of fuel is able to supply a certain amount of energy to lift things. At the margins it is not that simple, but in the normal operating range of UAs airplanes the relationship is nearly linear.

The energy that is not used to lift those 15 lbs now doesn't have to be used. Every flight, of course has much greater variation, but every flight would have had 15 more pounds without this change.

The speed of a running human is more complicated, but less energy (calories) will have to be used for the lighter person.

Yes, the percentages are very small, but that does not mean they are not real.


I am not an engineer so you are of course welcome to correct me. I understand that in principle the savings are there, but I can not really imagine that in reality engine settings can be adjusted to this tiny impact.

Let us compare the two scenarios - with exactly the same plane, the same weather, the same route (incl. the same altitude change), etc. so that the only difference in the scenarios is the weight (15 lb less weight in the second scenario). Are the fuel pumps (or whatever is responsible for injecting the kerosine into the engines) really able to adjust the amount of needed fuel in such infinitesimal quantities? I'd rather say that the only "saving" will be that the vertical and / or horizontal accelaration is a tiny (most certainly immeasurable) fraction higher in the second scenario.

With other words, the savings depend on the technology and not on the actual physics.

I don't know enough about airplanes to tell you if such small adjustments can be made, but the physics says it doesn't matter from a fuel savings perspective. If everything stays the same except the 15 pounds and the controls keep the same amount of fuel burning during flight, that amount of fuel will allow the plane to reach cruising altitude sooner and arrive at the destination sooner, thus less fuel burned.

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