Adoption of Commercial Standards for Seat Spacing and In-Flight Food Service Would Reduce Contract Airlift Costs and Conserve Fuel

LCD-76-211: Published: Oct 5, 1976. Publicly Released: Oct 5, 1976.

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A comparison was made of standards for seat spacing and food service on Military Airlift Command (MAC) charter flights with commercial standards. MAC seat spacing of 38 inches falls between commercial first-class and coach-class spacing. Specifications for meals are for higher quality than for those served on commercial flights. GAO found that reduced seating capacity on MAC charter aircraft and more costly meals contribute to higher rates per seat-mile. Adoption by MAC of commercial coach class seating standards would be an acceptable means of reducing the number of flights resulting in fuel conservation and a savings of $10.2 million. Further economies can be realized in food service. The MAC should be required to adopt commercial coach seat spacing and commercial standards for food service.

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