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Airline introduces travel charges based on your weight

Posting in Government

"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 fee's [sic], or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple."

Pay for what you weigh.

That's the idea behind Samoa Air's latest scheme, which the carrier rightly calls a "world first." As obesity levels climb, CO of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, believes that it is a fairer system for those deemed overweight to pay extra. So, whether you're carrying extra weight in a bag or on your body, the fee remains the same. In Langton's words, "just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo."

See also: 10 challenges for your airline and airport in 2013

"Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them," the executive said. "This is the concept of the future."

Instead of paying for your seat, you pay a fixed price per kilogram, which can change depending on your travel route. In order to defend the scheme, Langton said that some families are now paying cheaper fares, and by combining passenger weight and baggage, the system is fairer.

Like many nations, including the United States and the U.K., obesity is on the rise in Samoa. The new policy -- which uses the stick rather than the carrot -- may promote obesity awareness by hitting people where it hurts -- in their wallet, according to Langton.

Some airlines force passengers who cannot fit into one seat pay for two, but should larger passengers pay more?

Via: Sydney Morning Herald

Image credit: Samoa Air

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— By on April 2, 2013, 3:00 AM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure