Airline Implements 'Pay as You Weigh' System
While some American airlines might deal with obese passengers one way (namely, refusing to let them on flights, or making them pay for two seats), Samoa Air has decided to tackle the obesity issue a different way: by making people pay by the pound (or kilo).
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that under the new system, passengers type in their weight plus the weight of their baggage. Rates run from $1 a kilogram for the shortest domestic route to $4.16 a kilogram. These weights are double-checked at the airport.
"This is the fairest way of traveling," Chris Langton, chief executive of Samoa Air, told ABC Radio. "There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything — it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo."
Not only does Langton hope that this promotes awareness surrounding the obesity issue, but it's also safer when it comes to traveling, especially with small aircrafts. "When you're only fitting eight to 12 people in these aircraft and you've got some bigger Samoans getting on, you do need to weigh them and distribute that weight evenly throughout the aircraft, to make sure everyone's safe," Langton said.
We're not sure how we would feel about any airlines stateside doing this, considering that we tend to cram our carry-on with everything from laptops to cameras. Our tiny suitcase might be more than half our weight.