Thursday, 31 December 2009

A really dumb idea

It’s the end of the year and the holiday mood needs a light irreverent post. Its not a holiday around here, but since the rest of the world has caught holiday fever, we have “embraced” it as well.

Airlines are notorious for doing fairly dumb things – I think the rarified air in which they fly does some things to the brain cells. I had blogged about Ryanair’s idea of charging to use the toilets. But what All Nippon Airways (ANA) did in October takes the cake.

In October they ran an experiment. This was apparently an idea to reduce carbon emissions.

If you were to board an All Nippon Airways flight, this would be your experience.

As you queued up to board the flight, you would be met by a pleasant airline lady in uniform. Sayonara. Would you please go to the loo before you board the plane ? Its just over there. I’ll show you the way !!

In a brain dead piece of PR, ANA gave the following justification. The average human bladder capacity is apparently 15 oz. Apparently that totals to an extra weight of 63.7 kg (precisely calculated) for a planeload of 150 passengers. Carrying that extra weight means that much more CO2 emissions. ANA has estimated that it would save 5 tonnes of CO2 emissions per month by doing this. So this is a very green initiative and so must be tom tommed.

Can you even comprehend a company seriously trying something like this. ANA is not a tinpot airline. Its one of the top carriers in Asia and a global airline. And they go and do something as dumb as this.

Readers are invited to share their suggestions on how ANA could be even more green. We can then capsule this post with all the comments and send it to them.


LG said...

well, I just can't even stop (rather not allowed) LOL in the office. My choice would be, if they reduce the No. of flight services per day, it will even save: "N" no. flights X "N" no. of trips X "N" no. of days = "N" tons of CO2. Go ANA Go!!

No No..I won't suggest to push the flight by the passengers to take off :-) (I am not that Tamil Comedian) - that will even more fruitful to save MORE CO2 emission..

gils said...

//So this is a very green initiative and so must be tom tommed.//

avvvvvvvvvvv....ada aapecerungala!!! ivanga attagaasathuku oru alavay ilaya!!

A journey called Life said...

LOL!! how very innovative and no I come no where close to beating their logic, so will only do with leaving a note of praise for their innovative approach

Ramesh said...

@LG - Brilliant suggestions. We'll send them to ANA !

@Gils - Alave illai !

@AJCL - Ask Chotu for an idea please ....

Athivas said...

LOL!! How brilliant these guys are?? They could have better provided a light weight dress before boarding.

PS: Chotu definitely has so many ideas learnt from mr.bean uncle, he would be of sure help!!

Sandhya Sriram said...

As long as airlines dont charge by weight i am ok to go into flight bladder empty!! as otherwise, people like me will then end up paying double the fare

Sandhya Sriram said...

just read your earlier post. you seem to have already suggested this incredible idea - i guess, the vested you will be offered concessional fares.

First of all, by very definition, luxury is linked to seat size and meal presentation. If the boarding process is simplified, people dont have to wait long queues for collecting baggages - and if the overall turn around time is cut to less than 30 mins, people would not mind absence of sparkling steel cutlery on the flights

Ramesh said...

@athivas - another good idea, lightweight dress !!

@Sandhya - Hey charging by weight would be fine too; you are less than the average , so you'll gain !

VA said...

How about more stringent baggage measures? I have seen some domestic airlines allowing only specific Kgs of baggage only.

Or may be, can we replace those heavy food containers with some light ones, one can even look at optimizing food quantity... Just an imagination!

kiwibloke said...

Have flown ANA, one of the best airlines in the world (beats SQ easily) I guess nothing wrong in asking them to come in 'lighter' Reminds me of what American Airlines did a decade back, they eliminated ONE olive from the salad in Biz/First class lunches and saved about quarter million $. Ofcourse the motive there was to save greenbacks rather than go green. Any thing in the direction of going green is welcome, even if it means one extra trip to the loo.

Ramesh said...

@VA - Your imagination is going great guns. Light food containers; or as most airlines are doing now, no food at all.

@kiwi - Trust you to have flown every airline in the world. But surely lightening oneself is a just a bit over the top !!! Btw, have you flown in Air Tahiti ???

Ajay said...

Three telecom giants in india formed a company and put all of their passive infrastructure into that company. Now the three of them use the shared infrastructure.

Was wondering whether the same logic can be used in the airline industry where the aircrafts can be operated by a separate entity and the marketing and other activities are handled by the opco.

This could reduce the number of flights due to maximum capacity utilization and thereby leading to reduced emissions.

Ramesh said...

@Ajay - Hey, nice to see you back. Interesting idea that one - in a small way the alliances are perhaps doing that - Oneworld, Star and Sky, but a deeper integration that you have suggested may be possible. I think structurally, the industry has much too low revenues and perhaps their problem is mostly on the revenue side.

Best wishes for a a very happy year ahead.

Ajay said...

Agreed Ramesh. Revenues are low. But will they ever get high? If anything, will go further down. With improvement in communication technology, business travel will reduce. With faster trains, short distance flight travel will go down and so on.

The airlines companies got to do something really creative to survive.

In the case of Japan, merging JAL and ANA seems to be a very logical thing to do considering what's going on at JAL and how desparately creative ANA is getting!!!

Wish you a rocking 2010

Anonymous said...

I am also trying to fix my problem in posting comments. Its to do with my browser I realize now.
So, doing some trial runs while I also get a peep into your older blogs.

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