What Simple Method Did American Airlines Use to save Thousands of Dollars in 1987?

Eliminating a single black olive per salad from the onboard meals was the method American Airlines used to save thousands of dollars in 1987. It is estimated that this cost-cutting measure saved the company around $40,000 US Dollars (USD) in one year. The idea was from American Airlines Chief of Operations (CEO) at the time Bob Crandall. He observed that many passengers did not eat the three black olives that served as garnish on the salads in the inflight meals. Therefore, he surmised that the airline could save a significant amount of money without causing discomfort to passengers.

More about air travel:

  • Airline passengers paid over $3.4 billion USD in baggage fees in 2011, according to the US Department of Transportation.

  • The first scheduled commercial air flight in history occurred in 1914. It was a 23 minute flight in Florida from St. Petersburg to Tampa and had just one passenger: the mayor of St. Petersburg, who paid $400 USD at auction for the opportunity.

  • The aviation industry contributes an estimated $540 billion USD to the world economy each year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

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