Airline Waste--how to deal with it


Jun 28, 2003
Dallas, TX
"According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines produced 5.2 million tons of waste last year, and will produce over 10 million tons annually by 2030." What to do about it? Ways to reduce it? Discuss.

While some of the ideas, such as preordering meals, are already in place, they don't work as well as the article seems to imply. As someone who works in F/C almost exclusively I can tell you there are people who still insist they preordered a kosher meal for a flight from DFW to Memphis. Aside from the fact that we haven't served meals of any kind on that route since shortly after 9/11, we also have not offered special meals, such as kosher meals, in any cabin on domestic flights period since shortly after 9/11 when airlines were cutting costs at any possible point to stay out of bankruptcy.

Moreover the ones who do pre-order (which means the catering has been adjusted to accommodate the preorders) want to change their selection on the spot on board. Let's say we have a chicken dish and the non-meat selection (I won't say vegetarian) is cheese-stuffed lasagna. If no preorders, you usually get either 8 of each for 16 F/C passengers or 10 chicken and 6 lasagna. If you have over a certain number of chicken pre-orders (I don't know the exact threshhold) the catering might end up being 13 chicken and 3 lasagna. For those who want to change their order I have to explain this and tell them that I will get back to them if there are any of their new choice available after I take all the preferences.

At one time, AA tried catering F/C to the load rather than to the number of F/C seats, but it was a late departure disaster. Last minute passengers in F/C still expected the meal to magically be included though they didn't buy their ticket until 1 hour ago. Holding the flight for those meals was happening daily; so the company just went back to 16 seats = 16 meals catered. It was actually cheaper!

Not judgin'. Just sayin'.