Airline defends 5-passenger flight7 March 2008
Five people got the lavish ride of a lifetime as the only passengers on a transatlantic flight, causing environmental groups to criticize the major carrier for leaving a wasteful carbon footprint.
Using about 68,000 liters (15,000 imperial gallons) — or 13,000 liters per passenger — of jet fuel for the nine-hour trip from Chicago to London, American Airlines is being accused of unnecessary waste.
Each passenger left a footprint of 35.77 tons of carbon dioxide, enough to drive an average car 160,000 kilometers (100,000 miles).
American Airlines said it chose to continue with the flight because of the full load of passengers waiting at London’s Heathrow airport to return to the United States.