Airline Tells Passengers to Pay What You Weigh

Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Airline Tells Passengers to Pay What You Weigh
10
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 10:11am

I was just reading this interesting article about how an airline in Somoa is going to start charging people by weight. "Samoa Air, a small island-hopping operation within the U.S. territory of American Samoa, will calculate ticket prices based on a person's body weight. Passengers can expect to pay between 93 cents and $1.06 per kilogram (2.2 pounds), depending the length of the flight...Samoa Air claims it's the fairest pay model, and says that in some cases their tickets will cost less than conventionally priced airfare. But will it really? ....Will this pay model be catching on in the rest of the U.S. anytime soon? Samoa Air seems to think so, calling it “the concept of the future.” rest of article

Hmmmm, your thoughts? 

Karla
Community Leader
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Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Mon, 04-08-2013 - 1:52pm

Going by BMI means nothing to an airline trying to make sure their planes aren't too heavy to fly.  You could have two people w/ the same BMI, one is more muscular and weighs a lot more. Or you could have a child w/ a high BMI but is only 50 lbs. I don't think it would be legitimate to charge the child more when he/she would be so much less than an adult.  This isn't really as much an issue of what people have control over as much as how the airlines handle that society is getting larger and larger.  I agree w/ kel that whatever Somoa air does will never afffect what we do here--I can't ever see airlines charging for weight, and getting away w/out too many protests.






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
I have been thinking about this one. First, no one has control over their height, but they do have control over their weight. Height contributes to weight. I get really annoyed with oversized people when they sit next to me and they overflow into my seat. Perhaps they should have some wider seats that cost more, that you are required to purchase based on BMI? I don't know...since I have a longer torso, I am on the higher BMI side with a lower clothes size than other people my height. I don't think that we should be penalized for things we don't have control over.
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 1:12pm

I'd also imagine that in Somoa,like many countries, being overweight isn't considered a bad thing, like it is in the US.  I'd read that there's a store in Africa called "Fat Lady" or something along those lines. It would never go in the US but there, it's a factual thing only, like petite or tall.  We put such a label of thin being "good" and fat being "bad" in this country.  Well, not just this country but the western world.






iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 9:52pm
I used to fly on Cape Air a lot, and they always asked your weight. If you were late they thought nothing of yelling across the terminal 'Add another 150 pounds to flight 123'. I liked flying with my mother..I would subtract some from my weight and add it to hers....I am watching 'The Biggest Loser' On Demand (missed it in Poland) and despite the contestants results, I definitely think America is losing the obesity battle...I think paying by weight is as fair as anything else.
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 4:01pm

I see the denial thing all the time now with working w/ the advice clients. They have their special exams and so many people are surprised to see themselves fall into the obese, unfit category.  I can't imagine the wide scale effect at an airport.  






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 3:59pm

I've always wanted to do those hopper flights. I'm all about cheap travel!  I am happy to hear, as much of a pain as it must be, that they do go by weight.  Can you imagine if they let that slide?  I'm thinking of how it would work logistically for Somoa--"We have 189 lbs left for the flight? Who meets that criteria?"






Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 2:19pm
Jean, on some of the smaller planes here in the states they do move people around or take baggage off it the plane is too heavy. They did that once when I was flying on a smaller "puddle jumper" plane to an army base, they had a lot of military personnel and their luggage on their and the non-military people had to have their baggage sent separately because the plane was too heavy to fly with it all on there.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2004
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 12:52pm

In the era of struggling to NOT define ourselves in terms of weight, this is a giant step backwards.  

Aside from that, I don't think Americans would go for it.  It would interfere with our denial.  Tongue Out

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 12:34pm

I heard this on the radio yesterday.  I can't imagine that it would work for a larger airline--can you imagine if they had to weigh everyone?  I'd have to avoid flying TOM!  Seriously, though, the DJs were saying that Somoa has some of the heaviest people and it's probably important on small planes that it's not too heavy. I wonder if that means they'd stop selling seats when the flight was heavy.  I have thought, though, when I have to pay for heavy luggage that I'm lighter than the average person so I shouldn't have to pay more for a few more pounds of luggage since my total is still less.






Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 10:31am

I would love to pay 93 cents for my 40 pound 5 year old even one way instead of the standard $225 minimum round trip to go from Texas to Michigan to see the grandparents, that's for sure.  I assume for adults it may end up being equal or possibly more for tickets, but it would depend on if that is round trip or one way, etc.  It would definitely work out better for last minute flights instead of the airlines jacking up the price three fold just because you may have an emergency that makes it necessary to fly on short notice.

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