Air Canada Cuts Inflatable Life Vests In Order To Save Fuel

Airlines are cutting things like entertainment units, snacks and beverages in order to raise revenue and cut fuel costs, but what about those inflatable life vests? Do we need those? Air Canada’s regional airline “Jazz” doesn’t think so.

From the Nova Scotia News:

The Toronto Star reported Saturday that Jazz, Air Canada’s regional affiliate, plans to reduce fuel consumption by dropping commercial life vests from its flights, which will amount to about 25 kilograms less aboard its Dash-8 planes with 50 seats.

The move will leave passengers holding onto their seats — or at least their floating seat cushions — in the event the plane ditches and they hit the water alive.

Transport Canada regulations allow airlines to use flotation devices, a secondary option for other carriers, instead of life vests as long as the planes remain within 90 kilometres of shore. A Jazz official said a number of its East Coast routes were adjusted so the planes met that requirement, the Star reported.

One former airline CSR interviewed for the report wondered what would happen to infants and people who couldn’t grab on to their seat cushions…

“If you have an infant (and) you don’t have a (life vest), you’re hanging on to the cushion,” he said. “Are they saying, ‘Hang onto the cushion with one arm and your baby with another?’

“I mean, who comes up with these things?”

What do you think?


Airline ditches life vests to save on fuel [NSN](Thanks, Aaron !)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Skankingmike says:

    In the unlikely event of a water landing…. you won’t live.

    so who really cares if the damn plane has life vests?

    btw Vancouver’s air port has got to be one of the worst airports I’ve ever been too. good luck with those Olympics.

  2. ohiomensch says:

    I can’t think of the last time a plane crashed into water where there were any survivors. Maybe the 70′s

  3. taking_this_easy says:

    hold on..

    so airplanes are cutting back on life vests AND extra fuel to save money?… bad combination

  4. Water weighs a lb a pint. Just remove some water from the toilet, and there’s your savings. In the event of a water landing, there’s enough water that you won’t need to use it in the BR.

  5. “If you have an infant (and) you don’t have a (life vest), you’re hanging on to the cushion,” he said. “Are they saying, ‘Hang onto the cushion with one arm and your baby with another?’

    “I mean, who comes up with these things?”

    Can infants wear vests? I would think you would have the infant on the cushion, and hold onto the cushion, so the baby is out of the water.

  6. Elcheecho says:

    i don’t think Jazz flies over than many bodies of water.

  7. BeeBoo says:

    Since the routes are not over water, life vests aren’t needed, any more than they would be on trains.

    Ships need life vests.

    What planes need are ***parachutes***, which they don’t have, yet nobody hollers about that.

    This is a non-issue.

  8. Notsewfast says:

    @ohiomensch:

    I remember hearing that there had never been a water landing with any survivors in the history of commercial aviation.

    However, I have done no investigation, and that may be entirely false.

    It always makes me laugh when I hear the instructions about your seat being used as a flotation device.

  9. What if they ditch it in one of the Great Lakes!? OH MY GOD NOOOoOOOOOOO.

    Anyway, pretty common sense approach to saving some weight and I do not recall any crash survivors claiming their vests saved them recently in land crashes.

  10. timmus says:

    As long as the planes are on a route like Saskatoon-Regina, and not crossing over the Great Lakes, I can’t see this being a problem.

  11. floraposte says:

    @Secret Agent Man: That’s incorrect. There have been several, including the 1996 widebody event with the Ethiopian 767. Ironically, some of the passengers on that flight died because they inflated their life vests aboard the plane and couldn’t make it out the exits. There’s also the incidents of planes sliding off of runways and into water (I think LaGuardia has the most recent examples of that).

    However, that’s not to say that life vests are a useful thing in those situations. And don’t commercial flights in the U.S. stick to seat flotation in the same situation?

  12. timmus says:

    I remember hearing that there had never been a water landing with any survivors in the history of commercial aviation.

    Back in the 1950s there were water landings aplenty. A Boeing 377 Stratocruiser had to ditch in the Pacific enroute to Hawaii (I think everyone made it), a 377 had to ditch in the bay near Seattle after takeoff (some fatalities), and a Constellation on a military charter had to ditch in the Atlantic; I think most of those people made it too. In recent times, they are extremely rare, though a DC-9 did ditch in the middle of the Atlantic around 1976, enroute from near PR to JFK, due to a fuel error; there were a few deaths.

  13. @Secret Agent Man: There was one a few years back off the coast of Madgascar or some other body of land off the eastern African coast. There is plenty of footage of it when some jerky boys hijacked it and the pilots managed to put it down near shore when it ran out of fuel.

  14. Werrick says:

    This is okay, actually.

    According to the Canadian Avation Regulations (CARs) there is no requirement to carry life-vests for any non-intercontinental flight travelling fewer than 100 nautical miles off-shore. Jazz is a regional airline that carries people between places no greater than a few hundred miles and doesn’t travel over any body of water greater than the Great Lakes, and even then rarely.

    They’re not doing anything wrong or unsafe. And I say that as someone who works for Transport Canada in an operational role, dealing with the regs on a fairly regular basis.

  15. AHA!

  16. bologna_wallet says:

    I disagree on the principal- sacrificing (perceived) safety to save money. But practically, one would never need thos vests on a Jazz flight.

  17. APFPilot says:

    @BeeBoo:

    ahh, but some do:

    http://www.cirrusdesign.com

  18. B says:

    Do the planes fly over large bodies of water? Either way, if you’re plummeting 30000 feet, lack of an inflatable life vest is the least of your problems.

  19. emington says:

    @Werrick, completely the case.

    @B: no, not really. lakes would be the largest bodies of water to worry about, in my opinion. there are a lot of lakes in canada but most of them are smaller anyways… the life jackets on some routes are completely unnecessary.

  20. cf27 says:

    @Git Em SteveDave displays attention-grabbing vanity: No infants cannot wear vests. Their parents can, though. I think the point is that it’s easier to take care of your infant when you have an inflatable life vest on than when you’re only trying to float on a seat cushion.

  21. cloudedice says:

    [en.wikipedia.org] has a number of “water landings” that had survivors.

  22. @BeeBoo: And if the black box is indestructible, why don’t they make the whole plane out of it. I mean, what is up with that? /Sienfeld impression

  23. plural_of_moose says:

    @cf27: If it’s not summer and a plane flying in canada crashes into water, Hypothermia’s a real possibility, and life vest or no, being stuck in lake Superior any time from say November-March for more than 30 mins gonna moot the point.
    It would indeed be easier to hold your baby if you didn’t have to cling to a cushion and the baby, but you’d better hope you’re doing it in summer.

  24. Nofsdad says:

    @B:
    If I ever find myself plummeting 30000 feet, toilet paper is going to be a bigger concern than life vests.

  25. sleze69 says:

    I will channel George Carlin…

    “Floating in the North Atlantic on a pillow full of beer farts…”

  26. AgentTuttle says:

    Every time I fly I think: If they want to dump some weight, why don’t they swap out their old CRT televisions for LCD. That’d have to be several hundred pounds on a bigger plane.

  27. sean98125 says:

    I’ve said it before – the airlines should just charge by the pound for each passenger and all of their luggage. The price of the ticket allows 250 pounds combined passenger and luggage, everything over that is a buck or two a pound.

    I can get an inflatable life vest if I’m really that concerned about it. But I’m not going to be too concerned about surviving a water landing between Vancouver and Baffin Bay.

  28. coren says:

    Actually not a bad idea if your airline is exclusively, or at least close to exclusively, flying over land (in this case obviously the Great Lakes and whatever other body of water large enough – which is probably none).

    And hey, we’re talking about about a pound per seat lighter, so for some planes that’s 400 pounds, it’s like getting a whole passenger and their luggage off the plane, maybe even two!

    …wait, that’s a significant change?

  29. AgentTuttle says:

    @sean98125: I agree with you only because I’m always stuck next to the fat guy, but they would cry discrimination. Especially because an XXL wardrobe weighs more than a Small one, so it’s a double whammy.

  30. Werrick says:

    I think the poll is misleading… it asks if it bothers us if they take life-vests off aircraft. However, there are a number of different kinds of flights. Does it bother me in this case? Nope… in fact, they were never REQUIRED to have them on the aircraft for those kinds of regional flights in teh first place.

    On the other hand, would it bother me if they removed them from trans-continental flights, or flights that travel a significant distance over water? Uh… yah!

  31. bohemian says:

    They can go 90km offshore sans life vests.
    “Transport Canada regulations allow airlines to use flotation devices, a secondary option for other carriers, instead of life vests as long as the planes remain within 90 kilometres of shore.”

  32. SpdRacer says:

    @coren: Depending on the moment arm it very well could be. (Weight and Balance issue)

  33. Kierst_thara says:

    I tend to fly WestJet whenever I can in Canada, (never had a bad experience with them, whereas Air Canada has lost family members’ luggage on more than one occasion), and I think since WestJest started out as more of a discount, no-frills airline, they never had inflatable vests to begin with. Doesn’t bother me much, because like other posters have said, if the plane goes down, you’re probably screwed anyways.

  34. cmdrsass says:

    @AgentTuttle: “Especially because an XXL wardrobe weighs more than a Small one, so it’s a double whammy. “

    Their wardrobe isn’t heavy, it’s just big-boned!

  35. mmmsoap says:

    @Git Em SteveDave displays attention-grabbing vanity: Um…when’s the last time you used the toilet on an airplane? There’s no water in those things!

  36. freelunch says:

    Lets be serious here….
    a life vest is most likely to save your life if you have it on and are involved in an accident – and it’s inflated… since I am not jumping out of the plane until it is already in the drink, my chief concern is getting out of the plane – NOT grabbing the life vest or seat cushion…
    I can always take my pants off and turn them into a make-shift life vest if I REALLY need some assistance staying afloat – or just climb on top of the large gentleman that hogged my armrest the entirely flight.

  37. no.no.notorious says:

    I personally find this to be sort of scary. Vests are a safety device that are rather *nice* in the event of an emergency. Whats wrong with spending money on places where it’s needed? Companies need to realize that they have to spend money in things that are fairly necessary. I’m sure the c.e.o. is still making wayyy more than those flying their damn planes.

  38. GreatWhiteNorth says:

    This just means I will fly Westjet everywhere it is an option. Of course Westjet is a superior service anyway compared to Air Canada, actually compared to most other carriers it is a superior service.

  39. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @sean98125: Your shitting me right? I’m 6’3″ 270lbs (in good shape), so your’re saying that including luggage, you think I should pay an extra $100 each way?

    Fascist much? Acutally, no, fascisim is making everyone have the same ideals, I cant control being 6’3″, so that would be nazism.

  40. BeeBoo says:

    What really surprises and amazes me about all of this is that Canada, a country with a population about the same as that as the State of California, has its own airline. They need to work on publicizing this “Air Canada” airline–it could be a source of national pride and international recognition. Blog posts like this are helpful, but maybe they could take out banner ads and some radio and television spots.

  41. EarlNowak says:

    @Elcheecho:

    Yeah, because they don’t have to make an approach over Lake Ontario to land in Toronto, or over Flushing Bay to land at NY/LaGuardia.. Looks like jazz has cut it’s Toronto-New Orleans flight, but anyone who’s landed in New Orleans knows the North/South runway approach is over Lake Pontchartrain.

    Crashes happen, most often, on take off and landing and lots of airports are set up on coastlines.

  42. CrownSeven says:

    @BeeBoo: I don’t know if you’re being serious or condescending. I hope its the former.

    You do know that Air Canada has one of the safest flight records in the world?

    [www.aircanada.com]

  43. DuncanBleak says:

    I hope they keep the inflatable Auto Pilot….

  44. WEGGLES90 says:

    @Elcheecho:
    The only major bodies would possibly be the great lakes.
    I wouldn’t be too worried about no life vests.

  45. Moonshadows says:

    Westjet is definitely a superior airline to Air Canada and they do have life vests. They also have more room in each seat, more comfortable seats and actual service.

    On a recent flight some yahoo had stuck gum under the armrest and at one point I brushed against it and had gum stuck to my cotton skirt. They brought me ice to help clean it off, a dry cleaning voucher to pay for the cleaning, and a free drink to make up for the inconvenience. AND your first 2 bags are still free.

  46. @timmus: Even the great lakes wouldn’t be an issue. Unless the wings were to completely shear off, the plane could probably glide to the nearest shore for an emergency landing. Lake Huron is the widest at 183 miles (max). So unless the plane is near the middle of the lake, they could still get to land.

    Of course, most aircraft accidents happen during take-off and landing, so airports near water might be an issue…

  47. Scoobatz says:

    This is not a big deal. The crew of the Titanic made a similar decision, and I seem to remember things working out just fine.

  48. Bryan Price says:

    @Skankingmike: Thank you for expressing my feelings on this.

  49. Tmoney02 says:

    @Wormfather is Wormfather: Oh you, going and proving Godwin’s law in record breaking time. And adding communists in the same post for bonus points! Congratulations you win one internets today!

    In reference to the issue hey I’m a 6’3 guy and your 270lb weight tells me you are either a serious couch potato or serious body builder, not just “in good shape”. Either way your are above average weight wise (most people don’t approach 300lbs) and should pay more. Do you complain at the post office about having to pay more to ship your letter/package? Do you call them communists for charging everyone only one price for their priority mail flat rate boxes? (How communist of them!)

    One wonders if there is any logic behind the rant or just pure emotional whining that being 270 lbs and carrying everything plus the kitchen sink might cost you personally an extra 100 dollars in a industry based on shipping people and their stuff. (ignoring the fact that if you had a wife you could probably give her all your luggage and only pay the $20 bucks for being a hefty boy.)

  50. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I suspect the motivation to ditch life vests has as much to do with maintenance costs as it does with weight. How often do airlines inspect the life vests?

  51. quail says:

    @Secret Agent Man: What about that flight in the 80′s out of Washington D.C. that crashed into the Potomac? There were survivors there.

  52. HIV 2 Elway says:

    I used to work for a small firm that made parts for commercial and military aircraft and weight was a huge issue. I’ve always wondered why airlines painted their fleet. Multiple coats of heavy paint seem more frivolous than life vests.

  53. cf27 says:

    @plural_of_moose: Jazz flies to Houston. That January crash may happen into the Gulf of Mexico. Of course, we don’t know if this even applies to their US flights.

  54. Veeber says:

    @Git Em SteveDave displays attention-grabbing vanity: Wouldn’t you rather wear the vest and therefore have two hands free to hold the baby on the flotation cushion?

  55. Atlantys says:

    @WEGGLES90: Uh… Vancouver Island to the mainland?

  56. Colage says:

    @Atlantys: Vancouver Island is like a mile wide – I don’t think staying afloat for a long time is a big concern there.

    The fact of the matter is that the inflatable life vests aren’t a big deal if you’re not flying over the ocean. Most transcontinential airlines don’t keep them around, but that’s not the story here. Air Canada decides to do away with something that’s only marginally useful on small airplanes and they get hammered for it as though they’re all evil.

    If you end up ditching anywhere near a coastline, they’ll have rescue teams out there in a blink, and the seat cushion still floats just fine.

  57. S-the-K says:

    @Secret Agent Man: There have been cases where aircraft have slid off the runway into water. I don’t recall which airport it was, but I seem to recall one bitterly cold winter day a commercial aircraft slid off the end of the runway into a river.

    There’s your water landing. Fortunately, with the ice cold water, you’ll die of hypothermia before you drown. Or your muscles will seize up and you won’t be able to hang on to your seat cushion and you’ll drown.

    But like that Swiss Air flight whose allegedly Muslim pilot and copilot sent the aircraft into a nosedive into the North Atlantic, you hit the water at high speed, you’re dead. Fugedaboudit! Only in the “Airplane” movies of the 1970s did people survive water landings.

  58. @S-the-K: There was an episode of AirWolf where a plane crashed in the water and survived underwater w/a minor leak until the end of the episode when they were saved.

  59. RagingBoehner says:

    What if it becomes a BYOLV policy? You’d have to pay for the extra weight of course, unless it was your personal item.

  60. floraposte says:

    @Colage: The rescue teams don’t, unfortunately, always come in a blink, as the National Airlines crash and others make clear. It can take awhile before people know what happened, where to go, and who to send. For USAir 5050, the ATC saw that the plane was going to go off the runway and activated the crash alarm before the crash even happened, and it still took 10 minutes to activate boats. You can certainly drown in 10 minutes. For what it’s worth, some passengers on flight 5050 who attempted to use the flotation cushions said they didn’t actually work.

    I’m not arguing that vests have to be carried–there’s no evidence they’d have reduced mortality on 5050, for instance–just pointing out how these things have gone.

  61. floraposte says:

    @floraposte: Sorry, that was Air Florida, not National, in the Potomac. Fading memory.

  62. Hongfiately says:

    @plural_of_moose: Very true. Reminds me of the Air Florida Flight 90 crash into the Potomac in 1982. There were 79 passengers and crew and only five survived. Only one drowned; the rest died from the crash injuries or from hypothermia.

  63. seamustry says:

    Let’s get rid of the plane altogether…which will eliminate all the weight.

  64. Quilt says:

    How much does the co-pilot weight? What do we need all these goddamn seats for anyways? Get rid of the damn passengers, they weigh far too much!

  65. harvey_birdman_attorney_at_law says:

    “In the unlikely event of a water landing… Does this sound suspiciously like CRASHING INTO THE OCEAN?”

    RIP Carlin.

  66. @Quilt: And all those fancy knobs, lights, and dials. They can’t possibly need them all. Like flaps? Why do we need such a big control for the back door on old fashioned pajamas. And rudders. Those belong in boats, not planes, so get rid of em.

  67. Benny Gesserit says:

    People, people, this is Air Canada Jazz – they don’t fly they just taxi from airport to airport.

  68. legoninja says:

    Canada is more than just Vancouver and Ontario. For example, from here in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jazz flies to Boston, New York, DC, etc. All of which are over the Atlantic Ocean.

    Canadian Law states that vests are needed for any flights which venture more than 90 KM from shore – so to get around the law Air Canada is modifying it’s routes to within 90km to be able to legally drop the vests.

    Which begs 2 questions:

    What is the difference between 90KM and 91KM out at sea that dictates whether I need to be wearing a vest with emergency flasher device, or clinging to a floating rectangle?

    If dumping the vests saves fuel, how does modifying the routes affect mileage?

  69. maines19 says:

    Note that the way you use the flotation cushion is you wrap your arms around it and clasp your hands: unless you have three arms, you’d have a hard time holding onto a baby, small child, or infirm or injured adult. Whereas with a vest, your arms are free.

    True, survivable water landings don’t happen often, but safety devices exist to increase our chances in the event of the unlikely. The argument is presumably that there isn’t enough potential for lives saved to justify the expense in this case, but one has to wonder, if the vests aren’t really necessary, how did they make the calculation that they WERE sufficiently necessary to be worth buying and putting on planes in the first place?

  70. drharris says:

    I think it’s a great idea, as long as the planes aren’t really flying over water. My answers to two common statements:

    1. This can’t possibly save much money.
    On a Boeing 777, it costs about $0.15 to transport one pound for about 3.5 hours (above and beyond the cost of flying an empty plane). Assuming a smaller plane and a slightly lower average flight time, let’s estimate about ten cents per pound per trip. Let’s also assume they can eliminate 100 pounds on each plane, a total savings of $10 per flight. Now, multiply that by the number of flights per day (750 average), and 365, and you get a total savings of about $2.7M per year. In reality, this is probably a high estimate, but since you’re talking about savings in the millions of dollars, it makes a lot of sense. Not to mention that if they can increase profit margins even slightly, employees get a better profit sharing deal, which results in happier employees, and potentially more sales. Think of what they can save by not providing a few pounds of snacks.

    2. Why is the 90km number so magical?
    My best guess is that this is the distance a plane under control could glide on water toward land, or get pretty dang close. Assuming it’s an emergency landing and the pilot has decent control, he might be able to glide the plane this far (or most of the distance). It would take a Boeing 757 about 5 minutes to glide this difference at cruising speed, which is probably still too much to ask for, but it at least gets the crash in good location of quick coast guard response.

  71. Bad_Brad says:

    This is a regional airline with very few overwater hops. Not sure why them getting rid of life vests is an issue. If anything, it seems to make perfect sense.

  72. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    @Tmoney02: Let’s not start a fight, and calling another user out of shape is pretty likely to start one. Cool it.

  73. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Why is the 90km number so magical?

    In 1983 a Boeing 767 operated by Air Canada ran out of fuel at 41,000 feet due to a metric conversion error. Unable to reach Winnipeg the pilot (a former glider pilot) diverted to an abandoned airstrip at Gimli and was able to stretch out the glide to a safe landing.

    The pilot achieved a 12:1 glide ratio (5,000 ft drop in 10 nautical miles).

    So… at 90km (48 nautical miles) out a plane could theoretically glide without power from 24,000 feet to reach land. Having an airport in range is another matter but possible given a typical cruising altitude of 30-40,000 ft.

    More on the “Gimli Glider”: [en.wikipedia.org]

    Another Canadian glider (what’s with these guys?) was an Air Transat Airbus330 that ran out fuel over the Atlantic and was able to reach the Azores with a descent rate of about 2000 ft/minute (forward airspeed unknown). [en.wikipedia.org]

  74. usa_gatekeeper says:

    Oooh, I smell a new retail product coming on. As soon as AA, USair, et al hear about this, there’ll be a flood of “used but not used” life jackets available on the secondary market.

    A good entrepreneur can pick them up for a song then maybe resell them as “flight experienced!!”, via shops at the airports … right beside the flight insurance machines.

    /kidding … I think.

  75. LogicalOne says:

    25 kilograms is about 55 pounds. Two people each bringing an extra suitcase on board negates that miniscule weight savings. What’s next, weighing the passengers and charging them extra based on their weight?

  76. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It’s not just weight. Life vests are expensive, have a shelf life, and have to be regularly checked, maintained and certified.

  77. RedmondDesomma says:

    I still want a life vest. Even if Jazz flights are within the 160 nautical
    mile limit for no vests, that’s a long swim. It’s a couple kilos per chair,
    just get over it. I’d rather pay a few dollars more and have enough fuel
    and safety equipment.

  78. Meathamper says:

    Someone came up with this idea in the Accounting department. They don’t travel.

  79. timsgm1418 says:

    @Secret Agent Man: I believe there were survivors back in the 80′s when a plane hit the 14th street bridge in Washington DC. I think it was Flight 91.

  80. c_gaun says:

    For longer flights Air Canada Jazz uses their CRJ regional jets, for the shorter flights they use their Dash 8′s. I don’t see this as a problem. As much I love the Dash 8′s, trust me, you wouldn’t want to be on a Dash 8 for more than 2 hours
    The Dash 8 would probably make an excellent glider anyway, the wings have a high aspect ratio – similar shape to the wings on a glider.

    For people asking about the 90km distance welcome to the wonderful world of CARS, Canadian Air Regulations.

    @B:
    Good luck getting a Dash 8 up to 30000ft anyway =)

    My user name approves of the Gimli Glider talk ;)

  81. sean77 says:

    The funny part is the note in the wikipedia entry that said how many passengers were killed after being trapped in the plane because they inflated their life vests before exiting.

  82. RandomZero says:

    Jazz DOES fly over major water (try getting to/from YVR, YYZ, or YHZ without it). I highly doubt, though, that they do it to a distance of 100 nm, or anywhere outside the vicinity of the above hubs.

    Even if they did, in 35 years, Air canada has had one incident of ANY kind involving the aircraft Jazz would use. A pilot overcorrected and there was a bumpy landing. No fatalities. I’m hardly concerned if they leave out equipment that they historically have never needed, that would be of use only in a ridiculously rare circumstance (aircraft incidents almost NEVER happen except on approach or takeoff), and only where there are already SAR teams, Coast Guard, and military support available.

  83. vladthepaler says:

    If they were smart, like United, they wouldn’t just discontinue life vests: they’d start selling them.

  84. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    @Tmoney02: All I’ll say is 5.7% bodyfat, not ideal, but by no means excessive. I never mentioned communisim. If it was communist then we’d all get on the plane and the short skinny people would balance out the taller heaver people alla from each man’s ability to everyman’s need…

    OMG that’s how it is now, sniffle, I not a communist, sniffle.

    Still, you think customers at the airport are ornery now, try and get every female on the plane to get on a scale and get weighed. Tears, anger, drama, it’ll all be there.

    “But, but, it’s just water gain from my period”

    Ya see, men have enough to deal with, we dont need angry spouses going on crash diets because they have to weigh in for a flight next week.

  85. CapitalC says:

    Good on ‘em. As skankingmike said, if the plane crashes, you’re best off to use a corpse as a floatation device since not many people will survive the impact anyhow.

    While they’re at it, I think they should ditch all sorts of other unnecessary crap as well:

    - emergency slides which double as life rafts
    - the $8 blanket and pillow packages
    - those often-fondled-but-never-read safety pamphlets
    - the complimentary “headphones”
    - footrests for business class travellers (they can use the backs of the economy-class passengers)
    - cans of Molson Canadian beer