Bad news for those carrying a few extra pounds: Samoa Air has become the world's first airline to introduce a pricing policy which charges passengers by body weight. Time to diet.
The pricing policy will see passengers enter their weight along with the weight of their baggage at the time of booking. The combined weight will then be used to calculate their fare—and the values will be verified at the airport, with customers being weighed. Speaking to ABC Radio, chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, explained:
"This is the fairest way of travelling. There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo."
The new policy is motivated by the fact that Samoa Air's fleet is largely made up of small 12-seater aircraft, which see passengers and baggage accounting for a much larger proportion of total takeoff weight than bigger airplaines. That, and the fact that Samoa has a serious obesity problem.
Prices will vary between $50 to $200 per 100lbs, depending on the length of the journey, but Samoa Air claims that a normal-weight family will actually see a reduction in their fare. The real question, though, is whether this may set a precedent that other airlines latch onto. [Sydney Morning Herald via Verge]