Why Airlines Charging By Weight Is A Bad Idea

Planning a holiday in some exotic locale? Then you better start watching your calories. And not just so you can perfect your bikini body. If the airline industry follows the example set by Samoa Air, then we might all be paying for airfares based on our body weight.

As recently reported, Samoa Air plans to start charging passengers according to their weight. Passengers will be asked to enter their own weight and that of their luggage in an online booking system and then weighed on arrival at check-in.

The prices will reportedly range from $1 per kilogram for short domestic routes and will increase to $4.16 per kilogram on longer routes.

Samoa Air would like us to believe that this change in pricing policy is driven by its concern for people’s health rather than a shameless grab for extra cash. Chief executive Chris Langton explained ‘When you get into the Pacific, standard weight is substantially higher [than south-east Asia]. That’s a health issue in some areas. [This payment system] has raised the awareness of weight.”

The idea that this is about the health of islanders is laughable. What’s next? Are the airlines going to tell us that they’re concerned about carbon emissions too, or perhaps even deep vein thrombosis caused from seats with such little legroom? Oh, that’s right, they already pretend to care about that.

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