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Pay As You Weigh: Airfare & Flights That Charge By The Pound

Lose weight nowThis is going to get more than a few feathers ruffled…

As a city with one of the highest obesity rates in the world, Samoa’s national airline is charging their customer by the kilo. Your ticket cost depends on the combined weight of you and your luggage with fees ranging from 93 cents to $1.06 a kilogram. Is it fair? Many say no, but a large percentage agrees with the idea of being weighed and charged accordingly. This isn’t a new discussion, many domestic airlines are already charging larger passengers for an extra seat.

A report in the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management thinks the concept is a great pricing scheme that is both “intuitive, logical and consistent with simple mathematics and economics,” while YouGov, an internet market research company, conducted a survey from April 12-14 and the results suggest that the concept of “paying as you weigh” appeals to 4 out of 10 Americans.

Senior Vice President of YouGov, Ray Martin spoke to NBC about the results and said ,”The airlines are always looking to reduce weight or the cost of carrying it, and we’re finding that more people don’t seem to mind the concept.”

More people, but not everyone. Peggy Howell, spokesperson for the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA) doesn’t agree at all and told NBC News, “If you’re going to treat people like freight, then you have to accommodate those people the way freight carriers do. “Freight carriers don’t try to fit a big box into a space the size of a 17-inch seat.”

Point well made.

Coming from a mother’s perspective I’m just wondering how they will deal with children’s fares. According to Samoa’s rates, my 4-year-old daughter would fly for approximately $17.31. Even if they did charge my husband and I by the pound, the savings x 3 children would be more than worth the extra fees.

What do you think about the “pay as you weigh” concept? Would it be discriminatory or a smart move?

Find more of Nadia’s writing on her site Child Mode. You can also find her on Disney Baby and Hip Baby. Love social media? So does she! Follow her daily on InstagramTwitterFacebookGoogle+ and Pinterest.

Photo credit: Flickr/Alan Cleaver

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