Samoan Air, flying small jumpers to places like the Cook Islands and French Polynesia, is now charging passengers by weight instead. Online bookings now include weight guesstimates, but that weight is confirmed by scale at the airport when you arrive for your flight.
From the article:
Not that the idea hasn't been floated -- several times -- in the past. In fact, ABC News reported just last week a Norwegian economist was the latest to float the idea of an airline "fat tax."There are not currently details on whether or not a particular weight gains you an extra seat for the expense, or whether you'd get a refund if you were lighter than you entered in on the reservation. Sorry to see they decided to single out the female Samoan obesity rate, though one could assume it's probably more dramatic than the male rate and that's why they chose it.
The Samoa Air homepage reads "We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air'fair', you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fee's [sic], or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple."
"Airplanes don't run on seats, they run on weight," Samoa Air's Chief Executive, Chris Langton, told Radio Australia.
If any airline were to try a pay-what-you-weigh policy, Samoa Air would make perfect sense. Obesity is a major problem in the Pacific islands. The World Health Organization reported in 2010 that 80 percent of women in American Samoa were obese.
The airline's CEO does feel that the policy is the wave of the future, and weighing passengers wouldn't be harder than adding a scale to the floor in front of the check-in counters.
What do you think?