The fuel cost crisis intensifies as one major US airline announced today that they are getting rid of all video machines on domestic flights to cut costs.

US Airways said that this cost cutting measure will save $10 million a year in fuel and other costs. The video systems add 500 pounds to a plane’s weight, thus increasing the fuel costs. Additionally, no one really wants to fork over the $5 for headsets (also of note: the rise in laptops with movie-playing abilities and soon-to-be checkpoint friendly computer bags).

They will be getting rid of all the video equipment in November of this year, unless some magical fuel miracle happens. Pray your hearts out, boys and girls.

Although this is just one domestic airline enforcing the policy now, it will not be long before all others follow suit. Unless US Airways gets boycotted or something by avid movie watching fliers. How many times do you really want to see a crappy movie like Made of Honor?

We’ve seen these cost saving tactics before. Some might even go as far as to say this summer was a “cost cutting bonanza” for airlines. They’ve gotten rid of our snacks, our free checked luggage, our frequent flier discounts, and even screwed over a few of our NBA players. But now the movie bandit has struck.

Don’t worry too much though, trips to Hawaii and other trans-atlantic flights will still have your precious movies. Do you think anyone will start listening to the in-flight radio stations as an alternative to movie-free flights? That Jeff Foxworthy channel is always good for a few chuckles, right? Nope? Ouch.

A spokesperson for the airline spoke to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Let’s see them talk their way out of this one:

“US Airways had been evaluating replacing the old system with new technology: light-weight fiber optics or Wi-Fi. The idea was that passengers would be able to swipe a credit card and have entertainment choices on a TV and touch screen at their seats.” But Christ says soaring fuel costs have forced the carrier to hold off on new plans.

“We’re frozen in time right now,” Christ explained.

Frozen in TIME! Sooo dramatic.

Will not being able to watch a film that will be out on DVD in a few weeks mid-flight stop anyone from flying this summer? Or is this just another worrisome cost-cutting trend for our nation’s airlines? Comments section!

Philadelphia Inquirer: In-flight movies fade to black this fall, July 9, 2008

USA Today: US Airways to end in-flight movies on domestic flights, July 9, 2008