Aviation: Should Airline Seats Be Charged by Passenger Weight?


A clear majority – 59% – of international travelers polled by global travel search site Skyscanner are in favour of an airline ‘Fat Tax’, which would see airlines charging more for seats booked to overweight passengers.

Which begs an obvious question: shouldn’t skinny passengers then get a discount? When push comes to shove, one size does NOT always fit all!

The Skyscanner poll follows a call by Norwegian economist Dr Bharat P. Bhatta, who thinks that the cost of airline tickets should based on a passenger’s weight.

This, he argues, would result in cheaper fares and reduced carbon emissions.

That sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

Samoa Air, which operates in the South Pacific, already charges passengers according to weight in what it says is a “world first” cost-per-kilo fare system.

To be fair, however, after checking out the airline’s website – its airliners, if you can call them that, are a bit small, seating only a handful of passengers. More like general aviation aircraft, by the looks of it.

A publicity stunt, perhaps?

Say What?

The Sunday Times of London, meanwhile, reports that Air India has told cabin crew aged 40 or over that they could remain grounded if they were found to be unfit or overweight following a series of new medical tests.

Which raises ANOTHER issue!!!

Does that mean it’s okay for flight crew UNDER the age of 40 to be unfit or overweight – and then suddenly they’ve got to get their acts together the moment they reach 40?

I would be interested to hear what a lawyer would have to say!

Fat Tax

“The so-called ‘Fat Tax’ is a highly sensitive issue for airlines, who clearly don’t want to cause offence to their larger passengers,” says Skyscanner’s Sam Poullain.

“However, we were surprised to see that among the general public, there is a significant majority who would welcome a tiered pricing for passengers depending on their weight.”

But not everyone agrees. More than 40% of travelers in the study were against the introduction of the so-called ‘Fat Tax’ stating that it was unfair to discriminate against those that were ‘gravitationally challenged’.

When all is said and done, I must say … I find it tramatic enough having to put my suitcase on the scale and hoping that it’s not over weight … Can you imagine having to climb up on the scale, as well?


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