Man overboard: Jazz Airlines removes life vests to lighten load

Airlines have had a rough go of it lately, what with skyrocketing fuel costs and fewer passengers traveling. Most airlines have already raised fares to the max that the market will allow, but they're still going deeper in debt, so they have to find ways to cut costs wherever they can.

This means charging for everything that used to be free -- checked luggage, meals, snacks, even blankets and pillows -- but it also means taking steps to reduce fuel consumption. That's why Air Canada's regional carrier, Jazz, has removed life vests from all its planes to save weight and fuel. At approximately one pound apiece, this takes about 50 pounds off each plane.

Defending the safety of their flights, Jazz reminds passengers that all seat cushions double as flotation devices, and all the carrier's planes fly within 50 miles of shore, never crossing the ocean.

I just wonder -- is 50 pounds per flight worth the PR headache?

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