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How Airlines Can Cut Costs

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Running an airline is a tricky business, requiring flexibility as the needs and number of passengers fluctuate over the years. It can be tough to predict financial stability in such an environment, so it's up to airlines to find ways of cutting costs without sacrificing their customers' satisfaction and safety. Here are a few ways airlines are saving money to preserve their financial futures.

1. Automated Tasks
From boarding pass kiosks to office management software, many airlines are finding that automating easier tasks is a great way to cut down on personnel costs within airports. This can be something as simple as eliminating in-person check-ins, allowing customers instead to check in online or when they get their boarding pass.

Automating a process like this makes the experience much less time-consuming for customers, and allows airlines to keep their hiring costs lower. As you look for ways to cut costs, you should constantly be looking for "waste". Waste is anything that doesn't add to the customers' overall experience, so wasting their time is unacceptable and is an issue that should be addressed when tightening up your procedures.

2. Lighter Aircrafts
Fuel is the biggest concern for airlines when they consider cost, and fuel is directly related to the heaviness of an aircraft. The heavier the aircraft is, the more it costs to fly it, and the heaviness is not necessarily related to the number of passengers on board. There are lots of unnecessary add-ons to the process that have weighed aircrafts down more and more, and can be eliminated to save costs.

For instance, replacing drink carts with a lighter counterpart, halving or eliminating drink straws, and stretching a lime a little farther are very simple ways to make a plane a little lighter. These changes might seem miniscule and unimpactful, but if you do the same process with every plane in the airline, you'll end up saving fuel costs by dropping thousands of pounds of unnecessary weight. Some airlines have even found lighter utensils to use that save thousands of dollars in fuel every year

Of course, it's important to consider the customer when making these sorts of cuts to the in-flight amenities. If it ends up being an inconvenience to customers for their seats to have half the cushion removed, consider cutting costs elsewhere. Maintaining customer satisfaction should always take a front seat to any kind of budget cut.

3. Unnecessary Procedures
There are a lot of procedures that are automatically done during the boarding process and flight that are totally unnecessary for safety or customer satisfaction. These procedures sometimes get handed down regardless of need, just because airlines like to maintain a certain standard. Of course, appearances are important, but it's worth taking a closer look to see if some money could be saved simply by eliminating these procedures.

For instance, flight attendants are often told to count heads to make sure every passenger is accounted for. However, with current boarding methods, it's usually unnecessary to do so, and ends up wasting hours of time a day. Other appearance-based procedures, such as crossing or re-buckling seat belts, take up lots of time while serving no real purpose.

In reality, most customers are not going to notice these little touches, much as they might show the airline's effort to make things look nice. By cutting down on unnecessary procedures like these, you can save the airline's time for other, more important tasks, like servicing cabin bathrooms before a flight. If saving costs is truly the priority, the airline will have to be willing to sacrifice some of the niceties for a more practical approach.

Cutting costs for an airline isn't going to happen overnight. Instead, you have to be willing to stay vigilant and detect waste when you see it. Over time, these small changes will add up to an enormous financial benefit for the airline, and will give customers a more streamlined and cost-effective experience.

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