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things that just are

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Passengers Weighing Down Airlines
As if airlines didn't have enough problems, a new study finds they've also got to worry about pudgy passengers. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that U.S. airlines were forced to burn some 350 million extra gallons of fuel in 2000 than in 1990, costing them some $275 million extra dollars, just to account for the net 10-pound gain in the average American's weight during the decade. Burning all that extra fuel also meant that an extra 3.8 million tons of carbon dioxide were released into the air.

The study, published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, hasn't been confirmed by the Air Transport Association of America, but "does not sound out of the realm of reality," ATAA spokesman Jack Evans told the Associated Press. With jet-fuel costs soaring, airlines have been figuring out ways to shed weight, including dumping magazines and switching from metal utensils to plastic. But most airlines probably won't try to penalize heavy passengers. "Passengers gain weight, but airlines are the ones that go on a diet," Mr. Evans said. "It's part of the conundrum we face right now."

From the WSJ Afternoon Report


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