Air Canada Jazz Ditches Life Vests, Who Cares?

Looks like Air Canada’s commuter, Jazz, has decided to take life vests off its planes. 08_08_27 lifepreserverThis will save a little over 50 lbs per plane, and you know the story from here. (Less weight = less fuel, blah blah) As usual, some people are up in arms suggesting that passenger safety is at stake. Come on, really?

Who can tell me the last time those life vests actually came in handy? I seem to recall a hijacked plane crashing into the Atlantic off the West African coast awhile ago. Since it was a controlled descent into the ocean (ran out of fuel when the hijackers wouldn’t let them fill up), there were survivors. Maybe they got some use out of those things.

But let’s be honest. For the most part, if a plane goes into the ocean, there’s not much left of it or anyone onboard. Back in the day, those flying boats could easily ditch into the ocean and wait for rescue. But now with planes flying faster and higher, the results aren’t usually so ideal. Then again, planes are forced to ditch far less often (almost never) than they did back in the old days.

Even if you think life vests are valuable, most domestic aircraft don’t have them. You know the ones – they have the “seat cushion that can be used as a flotation device.” Jazz has just decided to move two routes a bit closer to land so that the life vests aren’t required at all. Doesn’t seem like a big deal to me. I’d probably make the same decision.

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