Amid all the arguments about whether or not obese airplane passengers should have to pay for an extra seat (they should not), the small carrier Samoa airlines has taken it a step further by charging not just the obese, but everyone, a fare that is calculated based on how much that person weighs.
The airline seems pretty proud of this innovation in fat shaming, declaring right on the front page of its website:
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!
That’s right: you “decide” how much you pay. Because as everyone knows, how much a person weighs is 100% determined by how much they wish to weigh.
According to Reuters, they’ve been doing this since last November, but the practice only gained notice in the news when the airline started doing international flights. “The industry has this concept that all people throughout the world are the same size,” Samoa Air CEO Chris Langton told Reuters. “Aeroplanes always run on weight, irrespective of seats. There is no doubt in my mind that this is the concept of the future. This is the fairest way of you travelling with your family, or yourself.”
Do we think this is actually fair? All the seats on an airplane are the same size, so I think it makes sense that each seat should cost the same amount. If anything, bigger people should pay less, because the bigger you are, the less comfortable it is to fly in economy class. And obviously, the notion that people can “decide” how much they weigh is absurd. Obesity aside, a tall person of average proportions is going to weigh more than a short person. Is that a choice, too? Not to mention, rich people are obese at lower rates than poor people. But by all means, let’s make air travel even more difficult for the working class to attain.
When fueling, most airlines currently allow for the fact that they will be conveying an assortment of human bodies from one place to another, and allow for a buffer zone in case their passengers weigh more than they expect them to, which seems reasonable to me. Is eliminating that buffer zone and saving money on fuel really worth treating human beings even more like cargo than airlines already do?
Then again, I suppose the obese could save money and work off those few extra pounds if they just jogged and/or swam where they were trying to go. Problem solved! Marie Antoinette would be so proud.
(Via The Guardian)