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Samoans could pay anywhere from $1 to $4.16 per kilogram

Samoans will have to start paying a hefty fee to fly on Samoa Air if they're overweight. 

Samoa Air is the first airline to make customers pay as much as they weigh when flying on the airline. For overweight customers, this could mean big charges. 

"This is the fairest way of travelling," said Chris Langton, chief executive of Samoa Air. "There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo."

Customers will have to start typing in their weight when purchasing Samoa Air tickets online, and pay anywhere from about $1 to about $4.16 per kilogram (depending on whether they're traveling short domestic routes or between Samoa and American Samoa). 

Once arriving at the airport, the customers are weighed again to make sure they didn't lie online. 

Why is Samoa Air doing this? According to Langton, it's partially meant to raise awareness of obesity and health, since Samoa is often in the top 10 lists for obesity. 

"When you get into the Pacific, standard weight is substantially higher [than south-east Asia]," said Langton. "That's a health issue in some areas. [This payment system] has raised the awareness of weight."

The payment by weight system will have other benefits, such as safety measures where a plane can only handle so many overweight customers (larger passengers have to be evenly distributed on the plane for safety); families with young children could pay much less than what they're paying now, and carriers could gain the money lost on fuel for carrying heavier passengers. 

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

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RE: Fair is fair
By Gondor on 4/2/2013 10:47:57 AM , Rating: -1
They could put certain percentage of oversized seats into the economy class as well, there is no need to discriminate overweight users by offering them business class only. It is a fact that there are alot more obese people nowadays than there were decades ago and there is no reason to deprive them of the opportunity to travel by air.

Yes, they occupy more space, cause the plane to consume more fuel etc., hence they should pay more. But they should then be given wider seats for what the paid extra in any class, not just in business.

For instance if oversized seat takes up as much space as one and a half (1.5) regular seats, it should cost 1.5 times more (possibly a little extra for refitting and bigger risk of vacant seats). Instead of 3 seats in a row the company will mount 2 wider seats, fill them both up and charge the same price per row of seats as it would with normal-width seats.

RE: Fair is fair
By lagomorpha on 4/2/2013 10:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
I guess that would keep the fat people from blocking the emergency exits, just make the fat seats the farthest from :)

RE: Fair is fair
By othercents on 4/2/2013 11:08:23 AM , Rating: 2
But they should then be given wider seats for what the paid extra in any class, not just in business.

That's actually a good point. If you are going to charge by weight then you should provide more space instead of putting those same people into the same sized seats as the other passengers. The only proper way to measure this is by girth.

RE: Fair is fair
By Motoman on 4/2/2013 1:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
...until you're a normal sized person who tries to book a flight, only to be told that there's only "fattie" seats left, and you'll have to pay 150% for that ticket because the seat is 50% bigger.

No...what we need to do is stop catering to people who are that overweight. You don't want to be inconvenienced in public by the facilities that are there? Lose weight. Otherwise, deal with it.

RE: Fair is fair
By lagomorpha on 4/3/2013 9:50:14 AM , Rating: 2
Could be like one of those free upgrades to first class.

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