Survey: Was American Airlines Wrong?
Environmentalists say the darndest things. Friends of the Earth is accusing American Airlines of reckless behaviour by flying five passengers from Chicago to London on a boeing 777, burning 22,000 gallons of fuel and producing 43 tons of CO2 per passenger. They say "Flying virtually empty planes is an obscene waste of fuel."
This TreeHugger agrees that Flying is Dying and thinks that we have to rework our transportation system to be more efficient in using fossil fuels and creating less greenhouse gas, but AA is a "scheduled" airline and planes follow them. AA had "a plane load of west-bound passengers stranded in London Heathrow who were due to fly back to the US on the same aircraft." They certainly didn't make any money spending £30,000 to do it.
Tim Haab of Environmental Economics notes that "The total emissions were the same whether the plane was empty or not. OK, maybe a planeful of fat Americans uses up a little extra fuel than an empty one, but you get the point."