The small air carrier based in Samoa, known as Samoa Air LTD, is now charging customers based on their weight. The more you weigh the more you pay, is this airlines business model! The tiny carrier that only shuttles individuals between the small pacific islands also has one of the world’s fattest population. Obesity numbers in Samoa topped 56% in 2008. The airline fee schedule is based on a mixture of fare + weight. The Wall Street journal reports that a 160kg (352lbs) would be charged four times more than a 40kg (88lbs) person, but the larger passenger would also be assured more space on the plane. If this person is given two seats is beyond my knowledge.
For those people who don’t know their weight or like to shed a few pounds off the actual number, beware! All passengers will be weighed at check-in to ensure the estimated weight provided when purchasing the ticket is not exaggerated. Not only is this to ensure passengers are paying the fair amount, but it’s also for safety. Smaller prop planes must comply with strict weight and balance precautions to ensure safety. Heck, even I was weighed once before boarding a flight from Manila to Boracay in the Philippines!
I decided to check out Samoa Air website because I wanted to see how it worked. Upon entering the sight, flyers are greeted with the following message.
Samoa Air, Introducing a world first:
‘Pay only for what you weigh’!
We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air’fair’, you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fees, or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.
The Sky’s the Limit!
The website has a sample page where you can select your route and your weight to get an estimated cost of your flight. Routes of different length vary in cost with most routes costing between 1 and 2.12 tala per kg. Or ~ $0.43- $0.90 USD per KG.
This is definitely an interesting fare structure and great for skinny people, but could be a #DoubleWideDislike for those of larger hip sizes. What do you think? Should we all pay based of weight? After all, the more we weigh the more fuel the airline uses to get us there!
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