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Should Airlines Go ‘Pay-As-You-Weigh’?

airplane seats

It may have only a slim chance of succeeding, but a pay-as-you-weigh idea has been bouncing around at some airlines. Heavier passengers would pay more for their plane tickets and lighter ones less under plans put forward by a Norwegian professor.

Basically under the plan every passenger would pay…let’s say $2 per pound for their airfare. So if you were flying from Los Angeles to New York and you weighed 120 pounds you would pay $240 for your flight, another person weighing 180 pounds would pay $360 for the same flight and someone weighing 220 pounds would pay $440. Charges for your luggage would also be added to that fare.

“Charging according to weight and space is a universally accepted principle, not only in transportation, but also in other services.” said Dr. Bhatta. “As weight and space are far more important in aviation than other modes of transport, airlines should take this into account when pricing their tickets.”

Samoa Air, a private operator, is already charging by the pound. Its website proclaims: “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.”

Southwest Airlines already requires oversized passengers to buy two seats. Air Tran, recently acquired by Southwest, has started doing the same. You pay for carry-on bags, checked bags, overweight bags, front of the line boarding passes, etc. After all, we’re all just “freight” to the airlines anyway.

What do you think?

Would love to get your comments on this one!

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