A South Pacific Airline is introducing a new pricing model that other airlines may follow. Samoa Air that flys passengers on short trips to nearby islands will charge $0.92 per kilo or 42 cents per pound per flight. The rate is universal for whatever board the plane, adults, children and luggage. Logistically from the airlines perspective, there are good reasons for this, 56% of adult Somoans are obese (compared to 32% in the US and 25% in the UK) and Air Somoa uses small propeller planes that seat between 3 and 10 passengers and thus a grossly overweight passenger could affect a planes capacity. Also, the airline will ensure that those who pay more get more space.
The airline is only around since last June but it plans to introduce this pricing model in their yet to be introduced larger Airbus planes later this year.
Professor Touts ‘Pay-As-You-Weigh’ Model For Airline Tickets « CBS New York
According to a recent study by an economics professor from the University of Norway..
Bhatta published his controversial findings saying “Charging according to weight and space is a universally accepted principle, not only in transportation , but also in other services.”His arguments stem from the notion that the more weight a plane is carrying, the “stronger an engine is needed and the more fuel it requires to carry” that weight. He also states that additional space is required to accommodate a heavier person.
The end result being a ticket cost that is “not fairly distributed among passengers,” according to Bhatta.
Personally, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, given that these days, airlines weigh your luggage almost scientifically, like it was ounces of Gold. Ryanair which is probably an extreme case, but if you are one Kg in excess of your checked luggage allowance, the penalty is 20 Euros per kilogram. Meanwhile the guy standing behind you weighing 50Kg more than you is ultimately adding a lot more weight to the plane. That said, I don’t even think Ryanair would try this one, well maybe O’Leary might try it for some publicity. Well it would be the death knell for the “Ryanair coats”.