Airlines cutting down on extra weight

Next time you fly, don't be surprised if the plastic fork and spoon you get with your airline meal are Airline_food shorter than your little finger. Airlines are trying to reduce the weight of items on the plane, hoping to save on fuel costs.

In the United States, Northwest Airlines has excluded spoons from its cutlery pack if the in-flight meal does not require one.

It is not alone, according to Paul Steele, director of the environment at IATA.

Another carrier, JAL of Japan, took everything it loaded from a 747 and put it on the floor of a school gym to see what it really needed.

As a result it shaved a fraction of a centimetre off all its cutlery to cut weight.

"When you are talking about a jumbo jet with 400 people on board, being served two to three meals, this can save a few kilos," he said.

"You work out how much fuel that consumes over a year, and you can be talking about a considerable amount of money". [The Telegraph]

A few kilos can make a big difference, which makes me wonder why a passenger who isn't carrying any extra baggage still has to pay the same for a ticket as a sumo wrestler.

It would be discrimination, of course, to charge heavier passengers more, but shouldn't they be the ones to get the shorter spoons? They could also be asked to share the bag of peanuts, forgo the dessert, and visit the restroom before boarding.

Some other ways airlines can keep the weight down:

Photo by Straußer

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. You may be interested in knowing that in India, they are working on producing eatable cutleries.
    And on your list, you may add that the airlines may prevent people who have failed in their love since they might have a heavy heart.

  2. Edible cutlery? My kids would love that.
    No heavy hearts … Good one, Sundar!

  3. Loved this write! “Free treats to parents who accidentally forget their children in the airport”… good incentive!

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