It was inevitable that an airline would open the door to the [not so] brave new world of charging passengers by weight. According to a recent Reuters report by Michael Sin, “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.”
I quite frankly don’t know that this will fly with many consumers in many countries, but Samoa Air’s latest move certainly opens a controversial pandora’s box that has been bubbling under in the airline industry for some time. Should a passenger with a combined weight [luggage and person] of 300lbs [136kg] pay the same fare when travelling in the same class as a passenger with a combined weight of 200lbs [91kg]? What is the actual cumulative fuel and cost savings, if any? Do any potential savings “outweigh” the bad publicity or just a bad service policy? And is Samoa Air taking into account the weight of luggage as well?
Clearly Samoa Air does not have the reach or passenger numbers that many international airlines do, but as with anything else, once one company takes a step in a particular direction, it is likely another may follow.
What do you think?