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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 Motoman on 4/2/2013 1:48:08 PM , Rating: 5
It's not unfair at all. Regardless of your height/weight ratio.

The irrefutable fact of the matter is that the actual, real cost-to-serve for an airline is weight. Period. No other factor matters at all. Not for people, anyway, for which a seat is provided as the "space" you're going to occupy (air cargo gets billed out using a concept called "dimensional weight" that also takes into account the volume that the box occupies in addition to it's actual weight, but in the case of people, seats are seats).

So, if you want actual honesty in airline pricing...this is it. If you're 7 feet tall and weigh 300 pounds, and you're fit as a fiddle...good for you. But it's still going to cost you twice as much to fly as the 4'11" girl who's 50% overweight at 150 pounds.

BMI is irrelevant - you're trying to introduce some kind of "morality" into the equation...the notion that the 7' man is "morally correct" in his weight, wheras the 4'11" girl is "morally incorrect" in her weight. The problem is that it makes no f%cking difference to the actual cost-to-serve. So no...Shaq should not get a break on his airfare because he's "supposed" to be that weight, as opposed to Kirstie Ally in blimp-mode, because she's "not supposed" to be that weight.


RE: Fair is fair
By futrtrubl on 4/2/13, Rating: -1
RE: Fair is fair
By Motoman on 4/2/2013 4:26:03 PM , Rating: 2
My point is that you shouldn't vary pricing based on BMI. Because it has no basis in the reality of cost-to-serve.

The airline says that it's partially to "raise awareness of obesity and health" - that's fine. But they're not basing their pricing on BMI, or any other such measure. All passengers are being treated the same - simply charged by weight. Ergo, the pricing is not based on BMI.


RE: Fair is fair
By Fritzr on 4/2/2013 4:57:22 PM , Rating: 3
They are "raising awareness". They are not penalizing the obese.

If someone is overweight and flies with this airline regularly, this pricing scheme encourages them to lose weight to get a better ticket cost.

Yes it "unfairly" impacts those who are simply big, but it is completely fair in that no one is singled out as special, everyone pays a flat rate multiplied by the reading on the scale ... no health tax modifiers are included.


RE: Fair is fair
By Motoman on 4/2/2013 6:04:32 PM , Rating: 3
I dispute the notion that those who are "simply big" are unfairly impacted.

All people are impacted exactly the same way. All are treated the same. Ergo...fair.


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