I love reading about little changes that make a big difference. The airline industry seems to be a great example.

This article talks about how American Airlines made some small changes to save a lot of fuel:

For instance, pilots were instructed to taxi around the airport with only one engine turned on, a measure that would save about $4 million a year…

And today I saw an article about how airlines are starting to fly slower to save fuel. JetBlue has been flying slower for two years (JetBlue adds an average of just under two minutes to each flight, and saves about $13.6 million a year in jet fuel). Southwest and Northwest are experimenting with it now:

Southwest Airlines started flying slower about two months ago, and projects it will save $42 million in fuel this year by extending each flight by one to three minutes… On one Northwest Airlines flight from Paris to Minneapolis earlier this week alone, flying slower saved 162 gallons of fuel, saving the airline $535. It added eight minutes to the flight, extending it to eight hours, 58 minutes.

It’s a good reminder that while big changes can have a big impact (like American Airlines grounding some of their Super 80 gas guzzlers), sometimes little tweaks (like flying slower) can have a big impact too. Always keep an eye out for the little things. There’s usually a lot of low hanging fruit.