Monday, April 8, 2013

Why not charge by weight?

Earlier this week, I saw this article on novel airline pricing by Samoa Air:
A Samoan airline that says it is the world's first carrier to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat defends the plan as the fairest way to fly, in some cases actually ending up cheaper than conventional tickets. 
Samoa Air, which opened in 2012, asks passengers to declare their personal weight during booking, which is then charged per kilogram (2.2 lb) at a rate dependent on flight length. The customers will also be weighed at the check-in counter. 
"The industry has this concept that all people throughout the world are the same size," Samoa Air CEO Chris Langton told Reuters. "Airplanes always run on weight, irrespective of seats." 
"There is no doubt in my mind that this is the concept of the future. This is the fairest way of you travelling with your family, or yourself."
Apparently, they started this futuristic pricing last November. Now, where have I heard this concept before?  Oh, yes.  Some guy wrote an excellent piece called Should Airlines Charge Per Passenger-Pound on December 30, 2009.  Here is the intro:
Changing how we pay for airfare could improve the lives of everyone who travels by air. Let me propose one big improvement. Instead of the flat per-seat fare (plus extra fees for checked baggage), charge each passenger for the total weight he/she contributes to the weight of the plane. That's body weight plus luggage weight. 
Charge by the pound. UPS and FedEx do it, and so do professional moving companies. Airlines should do it too. Charging by the pound is not a crazy idea. In fact, if you want to see something crazy, just watch chaos at the TSA screening for a couple of minutes. Aside from being what moving companies do, there are plenty of other reasons to charge per passenger-pound.
The whole article is worth a read.

1 comment:

  1. I feel this policy blatently discriminates against fat people like myself. I am proud to look the way I do. Aren't you proud of the way you look? Why should society say that because I don't look like you, it should cost me more? I don't get it.


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