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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 4:36:45 PM , Rating: 4
You're the one trying to game things.

You've got a 220,000 pound cargo capacity - I'll assume for the sake of argument that that's a correct value.

Now, look at the cost to operate the plane with no luggage and no passengers. I'm going to make some stuff up here - let's say it costs $10,000 to fly the plane empty for a 1,000 mile trip.

Then, look at the cost to operate the plane at full capacity...let's say that costs $100,000 to make the same 1,000 mile trip.

There's $90,000 to allocate over 220,000 pounds. Roughly $0.41 per pound.

So, if you weighed 200 pounds your apportioned cost from that flight is $82. If you weighed 300 pounds, it'd be $123. Which, coincidentally is 50% more cost for 50% more weight. Likewise, if you weighed 100 pounds your cost would be $41 - half the weight for half the cost.

As noted those numbers are all made up, the the point is valid. There's a predictable, fixed cost to transport stuff by weight. Figure out what that cost is, and apportion it fairly.

That's it.

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