Samoa Air begins charging customers based on their weight

Samoa AirSamoa Air has become the first airline to charge customers based solely on their weight.  Many thought it was an April fool’s Joke.  It is not.  The airline, which does not use commercial planes, is susceptible to weight variances on their smaller planes.  The airline is the first to actually implement such a system.  A Norwegian economist recently proposed the idea of charging a “fat tax.”

The Samoa Air homepage reads:

“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.”

Customers are instructed to visit the airline home page.  There they will be instructed to enter their estimated weight.  (Don’t worry you will be weighed at the airport).  So in effect you would be entering an estimated amount and would later be the refunded or charged the difference.  The airline says the new policy actually favors families.  Normally families pay per seat, even for small children.  Families would be charged based on their cumulative weight.

As someone who is overweight I have a problem with being weighed.  I reluctantly think it would be okay to have to pay for 2 seats if I couldn’t fit in one, but there is something embarrassing about being weighed in front of others at the airport.  I think you would be shaming overweight people (Daniel Callahan would approve!).

I have a few questions for this airline though.

Men usually weigh more than woman.  So is it gender discrimination to charge men for something that is beyond their control?

What if someone has a thyroid issue, or is exceptionally tall?  Would they get some type of exemption?

Tall and overweight people also have larger clothes, which of course weigh more.  Don’t they get shafted twice in this situation?

I wanted to point out that not all “overweight” people weigh a certain weight by choice.  I simply have a fundamental problem with this policy.  I of course have the choice not to use their services.

What do you think?


Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate


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About adrakontaidis

A conservative who doesn't pander to the GOP.

3 responses to “Samoa Air begins charging customers based on their weight”

  1. JF Owen says :

    I used to fly dozens of times per year. I stopped when the airlines started nickle and diming the customers to death, when the flight attendants started making being rude a job skill metric, when the airlines re-sized the seats to add another 10 people to the plane load and when the TSA made going to an airport a pain in the neck.

    From a business perspective, there is very little that can’t be accomplished via internet conferencing and from a personal perspective, domestic flying is seldom an absolute requirement. I’ll go overseas again when they perfect transporter technology.

    The nice thing about being a grumpy old engineer is that, when someone asks me to fly and I give them a look of disdain before turning to walk away, no one argues with me. I’m close to retirement. What are they going to do, fire me?

    If I can’t drive I don’t go. My truck doesn’t care how much I weigh and it doesn’t mind if I want to pull into the nearest convenience store to get a Pepsi and a Moon Pie.

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