Samoan airline defends charging by passenger weight

A Samoan airline has defended its policy of charging passengers according to their weight
A Samoan airline has defended its policy of charging passengers according to their weight.

A Samoan airline that says it is the world’s first carrier to charge passengers by their weight rather than per seat has defended the plan as the fairest way to fly, in some cases actually ending up cheaper than conventional tickets.

Samoa Air, which opened in 2012, asks passengers to declare their personal weight during booking, which is then charged per kilogram (2.2 lb) at a rate dependent on flight length. The customers will also be weighed at the check-in counter.

“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.”

Though the airline instituted the plan last November, it caught attention last week when the carrier began international flights to neighboring American Samoa and coincided with the publication of a report by a Norwegian economist suggesting that airlines should charge obese passengers more.

The Pacific Islands contain some of the world’s most obesity-stricken countries, many ranking in the top 10, according to the World Health Organization. Samoa is ranked No. 4, with 59.6 percent of the population considered obese, said the most recent 2008 WHO report.

According to Samoa Air’s latest schedule, the airline charges up to WS$1.32 ($0.57) per kilogram for domestic flights and WS$2.40 ($1.03) per kg for its only international flight to American Samoa, around 250 miles. A 150kg person flying one-way internationally would be charged $154.50.

Children under 12 are charged 75 percent of the adult rate, with fares also based on weight. Any overweight baggage is calculated at the same rate as the passenger’s personal weight.

The plan could actually prove cheaper in some cases, such as for families travelling with small children, and Langton said customer feedback has mainly been “amazingly positive.”

“When the initial shock has worn off, there’s been nothing but support,” said Langton. “People who are up around 200kg recognize … they’re paying (for) 200kg, so they deserve to get 200kg of comfort,” he added.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.