When American Airlines announced that they were planning on phasing out the paper in-flight charts in the cockpit in favor of the iPad, some of us smelled a PR maneuver. How could a couple of breakable $500 tablets in each plane be cheaper or easier than just printing out some maps?
As it turns out, though, paper’s heavy… and merely by switching to the iPad in every plane, American Airlines could save up to $1.2 million every year in fuel costs alone.
The math’s pretty simple. Each bag of in-flight maps and charts weighs as much as thirty-five pounds or more. Since an iPad weighs less than 2 pounds, that’s over thirty pounds shaved off the fuel prices of each flight… and if you fly as much as American Airlines does, those costs add up.
As usual, expect those savings to be passed on to you, the flyer, by way of lower fares, better service, greater baggage allowance and better Frequent Flyer perks. Ha ha! Just kidding.