Fatty Fares, make them pay

Finally someone has stated the obvious. Make fatties pay per kilo with airfares.

IT may only have a slim chance of succeeding, but a pay-as-you-weigh airline pricing scheme has been suggested.

Heavier passengers would pay more for their plane tickets and lighter ones less under plans put forward by a Norwegian professor.

Writing in this month’s Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management publication, Dr Bharat P Bhatta said weight and space should be taken into account when airlines price their tickets.

Dr Bhatta, of the Sogn og Fjordane University College in Norway, has put forward three proposals. 

* Fare according to actual weight: Charging passengers according to how much they and their belongings weigh, fixing a rate for kilograms per passenger so that a person weighing 60kg pays half the airfare of a 120kg person;

* Base fare minus or plus an extra charge: This option involves charging a fixed base rate, with an additional charge for heavier passengers to cover the extra costs. Every passenger could have a different fare according to this option;

* Same fare if the passenger has an average weight, but discounted/extra fare for low/excess weight below/above a certain limit. This option results in three types of fares: high fares, average fares and low fares.

“Charging according to weight and space is a universally accepted principle, not only in transportation, but also in other services,” said Dr Bhatta, who thinks the third option is most suitable for implementation.

“As weight and space are far more important in aviation than other modes of transport, airlines should take this into account when pricing their tickets.”

Allocate a set amount per passenger including their luggage and weigh them all together…over the limit you pay extra, under you get a discount…put the incentive on the passengers to either pack less or eat less.


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  • Dave

    Simple solution! Plane seats are for passengers @ (say) 100 kg pax max. Anyone over that pays for business class (to max 125kg) or fatty seats 50% wider and 50% dearer! Anyone over 150kg walks as they obviously need the exercise!!

    • fozzie2

      So at 55kg I should be able to a) fly for half price – or increase my baggage limit to account for the difference – be great for those overseas shopping expeditions – or better still b) I should be able to sell my unused 45kg to a fat person ……

      • Dave

        Would need a transitsion to that Foozie, unless your prepared to share your allocate seat with someone else of a similar small frame! My argument has always been we pay for an allocated seat to our destination, anything less than that is forfeited, anything that doesn’t fit in the seat, pays for 1.5 or 2 seats or doesn’t fly at all!

        • fozzie2

          No like the carbon emissions system I should be able to sell my unused kg to a fat person – how does than need translation Davey ?

          • Dave

            Apologies for misspelling your name Fozzie, was unintentional, large fingers on a small keypad.

  • steve and monique

    Have cargo planes for heavy crap.Just bang some more seats in them.

  • GregM

    What a good idea. A dog arsed little bastard like me should be able to get to Welly for about 50 cents.

  • PlanetOrphan

    Great , one more reason to diet before/on Holiday!.
    Just imagine trying to book a flight for your mother in law …
    I swear M8, she’s was only 50kg last time I looked.

    • Dave

      Best idea is to book a flight for the mother in law in the opposite direction to anywhere you are travelling!

  • island time

    Its the travellers who pile on board with shit loads of luggage that give me the shits. There is meant to be a limit but it is never enforced and then if you are not early enough you are stuck with shit around your feet.

  • Polish Pride

    At 95Kgs that idea is as dumb as a post..

  • Honcho

    Makes sense, heavy people pay a ‘baggage allowance’, lighter people have more allowance for baggage, but there are set limits to how much can be put into the cargo hold, not only in terms of the volume of space available, but also in point loading of cargo floors and aircraft weight and balance … there is a reason why on certain planes you will find passengers packed like sardines at the back with empty seat rows at the front or vice versa.
    But getting back to the point, if a 40kg model wants to travel with her 20 pairs of shoes, and everything else save for a kitchen sink she should well feel entitled to without being stung heavily.

    Conversly I would feel better the next time I am forced to fly next to some fatty who is literally spilling over the arm rest that they paid twice as much as I did and subsidised my travel and so my displeasure is justified in some way, status qou not so much.

  • Michael

    Go Jetstar and don’t worry about it. If you get there you won’t care about who you sit next to…

    • Dave

      You mean If you get there not when!! More cancelled flights than forgotten labour promises.

  • Homunculus

    this sort of stuff really pisses me off – I am 6ft 4″ – I can’t help it but in this procrustean bloody world, the dwarfs are king. I have to pay extra on a plane unless i want to spent 24 hours with my knees tucked under my damn chin – tell me how that’s fair?

    • Mediaan

      Fly business, you mean fellow.

      Or discover the A380 aircraft, where space is more generous.

    • rouppe

      I’m with Homunculus. I’m 6’3″ and hover around 98kg. Not a fine athletic specimen but in no way can I be called fat or overweight.

      This all stems from fat people taking up too much room. A 80kg short and wide woman is a much more inconvenient neighbour to fly with than a 90kg 6 footer.

    • Mediaan

      Homunculus, check out what peterwn said (seat 71D) and also seats 80A and 80K on the Qantas A380. Room for long legs. Economy.

      And if flying on anything, check seatguru early on, and book pro-actively, using seatguru which gives maps of cabin layout.
      Example http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Qantas_Airways/Qantas_Airways_Airbus_A380.php

  • cows4me

    It’s an idea way long overdue. Strangely passengers been charged the same rate is a very socialist solution , why should GregM subsidise some fat bastard. Usually if the wife and I are lucky enough to take a trip on a plane our luggage is small enough to put in an overhead locker. Why should we subsidise those that travel with enough shit to circumnavigate the world ten times over.

  • P1LL

    what have you been inhaling today Cam?
    You do not like discrimination but you think it is OK to discriminate against over weight people?
    Do you know why some people weigh more than others ?

    I remember when you were taking medication for depression that you were a rather large person, would you have been an advocate of a weight pays scheme then ?

    What about the people with thyroid problems ?

    What about people like me who suffer chronic fatigue due to brain injuries who eat bugger all but cant exorcise

  • Mediaan

    Weight equity? Don’t be silly, we haven’t even managed to teach the airlines to charge everyone the same for the same ticket, yet. The chances are, you will have paid $300 but be sitting next to somebody who paid $29.

    When they get their faces out of the Predatory Pricing pig trough, we still have to teach them we are not there to have two hours of frigid discipline from an authority-intoxicated hostess who wants to treat us like Prison detainees.

    Then, if we ever win that consumer fight, we still have to fix the pig trough junk food.

    Following that, those obnoxious airport security workers could sometimes do with a razz-up.

    My next on the list is letting fresh air into the cabin more generously, and issuing coughing or sneezing passengers with packets of handkerchiefs.

  • Ururoa

    Oh yes PLEASE! Sick to death of the neighbouring blubber overflowing the armrest onto my lap. By all means give em a bigger seat, as long as I don’t have to pay for it.

    Shit, airlines already charge freight by weight, why not humans?

    • rouppe

      It’s not about weight, it’s about composition. A short 80kg fattie is going to overflow much more than a 95kg 6 footer

  • Dave

    NZ as a country can not afford this until new laws are enacted to force MP’s and Public Servants to pay any (& all) fat barstard charges themselves. Imagine the extra cost of flying Public servants and MP’s around I mean, Brownlea and most maori MP’s look like they need 2 seats on every flight and 2 meals at every Koru Trough stop!