Fat Tax by stealth? Airline charges by passenger weight – great success

via lessworkmorelurk.com/

via lessworkmorelurk.com/

Lesley Deverrall at NewstalkZB reports

Samoa Air says a controversial new policy that calculates a passenger’s fare based on their weight and the weight of their luggage is proving successful.

The airline introduced the policy in January, saying it would make flying safer.

You have to love the fact that this is done in Samoa.  It took some real courage to do this when a fair few of your customers are built like a brick outhouse.

He says because they are charging by weight rather than by seat, some families are finding a family of two adults and several small children can travel considerably cheaper than previously.

Rates range from a dollar a kilo on the airline’s shortest domestic route to about $4.16 per kilo to fly from Samoa to American Samoa.

In real terms it means fares don’t fluctuate too much for people with normal weight ranges, but it does provide a good penalty for those who are seriously or even morbidly obese.

If this sort of charging scheme was implemented elsewhere, then there could be a good commercial incentive for people stop loading half a lunch bar a day into their stupid faces.

What do you think, should Air New Zealand start charging this way on domestic flights?


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  • Dave

    YES, Air NZ should start charging in weight ranges. Under 50K 10% off. 50 to 75KG normal fare, then $1 more for every extra KG per sector short haul, $3 per KG for every sector long haul. Anything over say 125 KG has to go business class, buy 2 seats or walk.

    Pity they don’t pay welfare on this basis. Drop the benefit one percentage point for ever percentage point a beneficiary is over their ideal BMI

  • metalnwood

    It’s an interesting one.. I am 100kg, not overwieight, I am tall. There are many people 20kg’s less weight than myself who are a lot more ‘overweight’

    As far as paying by weight, I guess I dont mind. I would pay more, my wife would pay less, it would even out.

    I do think obese people like pictured should get two seats or business class. I dont feel any better that the airline has charged them more when they are still using my armrest and half in my seat.

    • Michael

      I agree, I’m 10kg overweight but because I’m in the top 1% of human height range my ideal weight is actually 88-93Kg. At that weight most average height people would be obese. I can comfortably sit in an economy airline seat without my ass or belly spreading over anyone elses seat. However, legroom can be an issue on Jetstar.

      I agree with the principle that if you can’t fit a single seat, you have to been advised to buy a second seat (if available) or denied boarding.

  • Get a grip

    Get a grip all you people who think Air NZ or other large airlines should adopt this.
    Couple of observations….
    a) How do you tell the weight of someone booking on line.
    b) You would have to weigh every passenger when boarding to check they have been charged the right fare……
    Imagine loading a 777 on this per KG nonsense, to the US or Asia. ferkkkkkkkkkk
    Boarding time would be extended by at least 60 minutes……
    Get a grip chaps

    Not saying that you couldnt have a single weight limit (sorta like a bag weight limit ie over ?200kg? you pay the extra) but multiple fares based on a KG weight….ya must be joking…..

    • island time

      Scales just need to be shifted from the side of the counter to the front of the counter no big deal. Any weight discrepancy just adjusted for at check-in. Its not about being over weight – its about the method of charging. People already make payments for excess luggage so its no big deal. Good on Samoa!!!

    • peterwn

      a) – The passengers have to ascertain their weight and baggage weight and declare this when booking.

      b) – As ‘island time’ says no big deal. Scales like those in veterinary clinics would be ideal. And if they are ‘overweight’ they can buy an overweight voucher to present when boarding.

  • Phil

    I’d say you buy your weight allowance online when booking. So if I’m 80Kg and plan to bring up to 20Kg in checked and carry on luggage then I just need to weigh in at 100Kg or less. Anything over what I have booked get’s hit at a much higher p/kg rate.
    This needs to include carry on luggage so scales would need to be added at the security counter.

  • Constance Lee Furious

    Is that farrar pre-stapling?

  • Simon

    Sorry fat tax doesn’t work. The ONLY people to be rewarded will be the airlines. It
    doesn’t actually help joe traveler. I really don’t care about the weight of a traveler.
    I ONLY care if they fit in their flamin seat. I don’t see why I should not be
    allowed to enjoy the FULL seat I have paid for because somebody is overhanging
    into it? The airlines will charge extra BUT STILL expect us to sit next to them
    and share our seat. Easy answer. Do it like a theme park. Have a seat at
    checkout. Anybody who looks like they won’t fit, make them try it. Then they
    pay for an extra seat or cant board. Simple. Also an interesting thing. If you
    photo the person next to you overhanging. You can make a claim to the airline
    for your seat. They have failed to provide what they sold you. simple.

    • Seems to me

      Seems to me that you have nailed it!!!
      Measure the sad arses before they get on board!
      Forget all the problems with weight.
      With modern scanner technology measure the width of their arse!!!!!!!!
      or a Narrow boarding channel!!

  • Callum

    You want to charge me for my 110kg’s? Better make your fucken seats fit my 6′ 3″ height. Couldn’t fit in the bloody thinks when I weighed 63kg’s.

    • Travis Poulson

      I’m 6’1″ and found it bad enough flying to Cairns last Feb. Then the pricks in front want to put their bloody seat back into your knees. Thinking about going to Europe later this year, but doubting I’d make the trip with functional legs at the end of it.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    How do you weigh them? With shoes on? With their clothing on? That could easily add 2-3 KGs etc….

  • Forget the weight – go for size. I don’t care how much the person next to me weighs, I care how much they spill over onto my seat.

  • It shouldn’t be done on weight but girth, as muscle is heavier, so you’ll have some fat guy encroaching on his neighbours weighing less that a body builder who fits in the chair.

  • John1234

    Great idea, but in fairness, they should be offering larger seats to fat-arses who have to pay more. If you take up more weight you pay more. That is fair. But if you pay more, you should also get more space. After all, you paid for it. It also means the poor bugger next to lard-arse doesn’t have the rolls cascading over the armrest into his space.