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Nubo
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:40 pm

2k1Toaster wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:14 am
As mentioned, the bad emissions per passenger per miles flown, flying is better than driving. And first class vs. economy is silly. It comes down to "per passenger"....
Exactly. You're not responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection. I suppose one might argue that if everyone chose to suffer in economy then the airlines would eliminate 1st-class and cram in more seats. Not a practical argument imho.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:27 pm

Nubo wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:40 pm
Exactly. You're not responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection.
In the medium to long term, you are absolutely responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection. If fewer people fly first class, then the airlines will shrink first class; the airlines reconfigure cabins all the time.

So when you choose to fly 1st class, you are using more airplane space, and are responsible for a greater fraction of the overhead carbon emissions than if you fly coach.

Cheers, Wayne

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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:50 pm

wwhitney wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:27 pm
In the medium to long term, you are absolutely responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection. If fewer people fly first class, then the airlines will shrink first class; the airlines reconfigure cabins all the time.

So when you choose to fly 1st class, you are using more airplane space, and are responsible for a greater fraction of the overhead carbon emissions than if you fly coach.

Cheers, Wayne
Sounds noble but first class isn't going away no matter how much you suffer in the back.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:09 am

Nubo wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:50 pm
wwhitney wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:27 pm
In the medium to long term, you are absolutely responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection. If fewer people fly first class, then the airlines will shrink first class; the airlines reconfigure cabins all the time.

So when you choose to fly 1st class, you are using more airplane space, and are responsible for a greater fraction of the overhead carbon emissions than if you fly coach.

Cheers, Wayne
Sounds noble but first class isn't going away no matter how much you suffer in the back.

This is about responsibility, not nobility. Big SUVs aren't going away either, but that is no excuse to buy one.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:35 am

LeftieBiker wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:09 am
Nubo wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:50 pm
wwhitney wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:27 pm
In the medium to long term, you are absolutely responsible for the configuration of the aircraft because of your seat selection. If fewer people fly first class, then the airlines will shrink first class; the airlines reconfigure cabins all the time.

So when you choose to fly 1st class, you are using more airplane space, and are responsible for a greater fraction of the overhead carbon emissions than if you fly coach.

Cheers, Wayne
Sounds noble but first class isn't going away no matter how much you suffer in the back.

This is about responsibility, not nobility. Big SUVs aren't going away either, but that is no excuse to buy one.
But the link here is so tenuous as to be meaningless. You are going to have precisely zero effect on airline configuration. I can see avoiding jet flight altogether as a valid strategy. But this idea of "I'll sit in economy so that some future airline will make more efficient use of space"? Come on, man. One's choice of vehicle does make a difference. Being part of the .001% who will think to sit in economy as a long-term environmental strategy, just doesn't. Taking a completely ineffective action doesn't exercise responsibility.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:13 am

One of the quirks of human nature is that the population tends to be affected by the individual even when the link between the two is tenuous at best. If no one thinks to do something different, nothing changes. If one person changes, then a few others change, the change spreads, slowly, across some segments of the population, and change eventually occurs. But not if no one changes first.

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bellwether
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:48 am

GRA wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:10 pm
Which is the point being made - first class pax take up more space per pax, thus the a/c can hold fewer people and the energy cost per pax goes up (although it drops some due to the lower weight of pax and fuel AOTBE).

See the comparison chart here for general numbers comparing different modes of travel: https://www.withouthotair.com/c20/page_128.shtml
It seems to be a lot more complex. Longer flights are more fuel efficient per passenger mile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_767

767-400ER
Empty (EW) plane is 103,872 kg.
Payload is 45,813 kg
Fuel is 73,364 kg
Max takeoff MTOW is 204,116 kg

Max passengers is 375 people, at 100kg for person + luggage that is 37500kg

So on a trip to near maximum safe economical range, MTOW-EW-Fuel = 204,116-73,364-103,872= 26880 kg payload, or 268 passengers max. This is why the longest flights have large business class or first class sections. As a large fraction of the fuel is burned at takeoff and initial climb, and a more direct route is likely traveled, one long flight is likely is more fuel efficient per passenger than two shorter flights. The most extreme example is this:

https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media ... -take-off/

Which isn't economic, as is beyond that maximum safe economical range. Payload had to be reduced to improve range.

Shorter flights are both far less efficient per passenger mile and are more efficient the more people that can be stuffed on the airplane. So yes, first class costs more if there isn't enough freight to fully load the aircraft to maximum payload. Almost the same cost if the aircraft is near maximum payload.

Complex reality doesn't match simplistic statements.

A train might be almost as fast on a shorter flight, much more efficient and allow much more space per person to reduce the stress of travel.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:25 pm

WetEV wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 9:48 am
GRA wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:10 pm
Which is the point being made - first class pax take up more space per pax, thus the a/c can hold fewer people and the energy cost per pax goes up (although it drops some due to the lower weight of pax and fuel AOTBE).

See the comparison chart here for general numbers comparing different modes of travel: https://www.withouthotair.com/c20/page_128.shtml
It seems to be a lot more complex. Longer flights are more fuel efficient per passenger mile.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_767

767-400ER
Empty (EW) plane is 103,872 kg.
Payload is 45,813 kg
Fuel is 73,364 kg
Max takeoff MTOW is 204,116 kg

Max passengers is 375 people, at 100kg for person + luggage that is 37500kg

So on a trip to near maximum safe economical range, MTOW-EW-Fuel = 204,116-73,364-103,872= 26880 kg payload, or 268 passengers max. This is why the longest flights have large business class or first class sections. As a large fraction of the fuel is burned at takeoff and initial climb, and a more direct route is likely traveled, one long flight is likely is more fuel efficient per passenger than two shorter flights. The most extreme example is this:

https://www.qantasnewsroom.com.au/media ... -take-off/

Which isn't economic, as is beyond that maximum safe economical range. Payload had to be reduced to improve range.

Shorter flights are both far less efficient per passenger mile and are more efficient the more people that can be stuffed on the airplane. So yes, first class costs more if there isn't enough freight to fully load the aircraft to maximum payload. Almost the same cost if the aircraft is near maximum payload.

Complex reality doesn't match simplistic statements.

A train might be almost as fast on a shorter flight, much more efficient and allow much more space per person to reduce the stress of travel.

Actually, there's apparently a range sweet spot that's well short of max. range. I'm not up on the details, but Mackay discusses this lightly, and provides a reference:
Optimizing the hop lengths: long-range planes (designed for a range
of say 15 000 km) are not quite as fuel-efficient as shorter-range planes,
because they have to carry extra fuel, which makes less space for cargo
and passengers. It would be more energy-efficient to fly shorter hops in
shorter-range planes. The sweet spot is when the hops are about 5000 km
long, so typical long-distance journeys would have one or two refuelling
stops (Green, 2006). Multi-stage long-distance flying might be about 15%
more fuel-efficient; but of course it would introduce other costs.
https://www.withouthotair.com/cC/page_278.shtml

The technical chapter on flight of the above, Chapter C, runs from page 269-282.

The reference is to this:
Green, J. E. (2006).
Civil aviation and the environment – the next frontier for the aerodynamicist. Aeronautical Journal, 110(1110):469–486.
Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a version that isn't behind a paywall.

As for trains, we're in total agreement that high-speed rail is the way to go (where the traffic density will support it) for inter-regional trips up to maybe 400 mile, although that's pushing the current tech. California's HSR plan to connect SF-LA was considered a bit extreme on range to compete with air travel, and that was 380 miles or so IIRR. I've always thought that they were stupid to start with SF-LA; LA-San Diego made a lot more sense given the number of round-trip flights on a daily basis between those two much closer cities. The Texas Triangle and some other city pairs might also make sense for U.S. HSR, but as always, the one area we know has the necessary traffic density to support HSR in the US is the NE corridor. However, the Acela is too slow to be HSR owing to its sharing track with freight and local trains, with the attendant unsuitability of track and competing traffic.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:38 pm

Nubo wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:30 pm
goldbrick wrote:
Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:36 am
The plane uses X gallons of fuel for the trip. X can be divided between relatively few 1st class passengers or many more passengers in economy. At the extreme, you have a private jet. Surely the impact from flying a plane with one passenger is higher than a fully loaded plane, at least on a per-passenger basis.
And just as surely, the plane is going to take off whether I'm in economy or first-class.

Mythconceptions

The plane was going anyway, so my flying was energy-neutral.
This is false for two reasons. First, your extra weight on the plane
requires extra energy to be consumed in keeping you up. Second, airlines
respond to demand by flying more planes
.
https://www.withouthotair.com/cC/page_282.shtml

As always, the simplest and most effective means to reduce your transportation (or any other) energy usage is to simply not use it in the first place, i.e. don't take the trip if you don't need to be physically present. Options of reduced effectiveness to that involve various means of taking the trip as efficiently as possible.
Last edited by GRA on Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: GCC: Flying first class on a single domestic round trip can contribute more greenhouse gas emissions than a year of

Fri Nov 15, 2019 4:41 pm

goldbrick wrote:
Thu Nov 14, 2019 11:37 am
Great explanation Wayne. I have to think the reason airlines charge so much more for business class and 1st class seats than economy is more about the flight costs (much of which is fuel) rather than the extra 2 glasses of wine you get or the nice silverware.
On traditional airlines (excluding Southwest in the US or RyanAir etc) economy seats generally lose money per seat on ticket price or in some cases barely break even. That's why you have so many fees and extras added on now. The business class and first class seats make the money. The economy seats justify the route in terms of passenger miles since it is more stable. Fly the route because economy seat people demand it, pack the business and first cabins as people need to make profit.

Keep in mind this is because there is the "full fare ticket" pricing for each cabin class. Almost nobody buys that. That's the price that includes a profit for every seat and is proportional to cabin and everything else. On a typical 180pax flight, there might be 2 to 4 people who paid this fare. Think last minute tickets. Most everyone else paid between 20% to 33% of full fare. 20% of a full fare business class seat can still earn a profit for butt-in-seat miles to the airline. A 20% fare in economy generally won't make a profit. Most US Airlines operate so thinly that if there are just a few open seats, they may be losing money on the flight itself. This is why they don't care about economy passengers at all. First class passengers are diamonds they will do anything to keep. Business class passengers are usually hostage to their company's policies or the airline themselves so they treat them nice enough.

The glasses and drinks are maybe what you see, but what you pay for is all the stuff you don't see.
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