Airlines to Charge for Passenger Weight?

The airlines are considering charging passengers based upon their weight. Likening people to freight, the airlines believe they should weigh people and charge them according to that weight. It is bad enough that the airlines already treat people poorly but to treat them like freight is beyond the pale.

I thought that airlines charged for seats based upon how many there are left and how close it is to flight time. Since fuel prices have increased then they should add a fuel surcharge to each ticket. The idea of charging people based upon their weight is ridiculous because each passenger, regardless of weight, receives the same benefit from the flight. The seats have the same amount of room and each person gets the same free items (drinks and snacks). If a larger person has to pay more then he should get a bigger seat. Why pay more for the same size seat?

The airlines are charging for every thing imaginable and they are still miserable with regard to performance. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that they take off and land without crashing quite a few times a day but they are not the most customer friendly business around and they have a horrible on time record.

Having said all that, why don’t they just take all the books out of the seat pockets and stop serving drinks and snacks? That would remove a lot of weight and people would not have to pay more because they weigh more.

Maybe passengers need to pick a few days and refuse to fly. That would be so devastating to the airlines they might rethink their business model, a model that pays CEOs MILLIONS of dollars for running businesses into the ground. How can they justify charging people based on their weight with those kinds of salaries?

The airlines had better stop playing games and decide on a business model that includes sensible ways of making money without screwing people who provide them with cash.

Who do they think they are, Congress?


Big Dog

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13 Responses to “Airlines to Charge for Passenger Weight?”

  1. I heard about this earlier. It’s a ridiculous idea really, how do they come up with stuff like this?

    It’s not like the extra weight is making them use more fuel, I suppose that it could be using a bit more, but the vast majority of the weight is coming from the plane itself, not the passengers.

    All this idea would do to any airline to implement it is cause them lose customers.

    Charles Lumias last blog post..Barack Obama Leaves Trinity

  2. Tim Wood says:

    At least one airline has already dropped free snacks. The other part your piece leaves out is any idea of the formulation. Are they charging per pound. Or are they charging per pound over a certain weight. As someone whose lost his armrest (and sometimes part of my seat) more than once to someone who was uhm severely weight challenged, the idea of incentivizing people to get their weight down has a (pun intended) huge appeal. Of course, the whole things really smells like someone is pulling your leg.

  3. Bill Sewell says:

    There’s talk of discrimination and milking the public but: If I pay the same as the person sitting next to me and they (because they are large) take 20% of my seat, is that fair? What right does that large person have to steal twenty cents of every dollar I spend for my ticket? Let’s get real here.

  4. al azevedo says:

    airplanes have a maximum total weight limit. they can carry only so much cargo or they couldn’t get off the ground safely. the heavier the cargo, the more fuel the engines will use. many commercial truck owners on the highways are paid by the amount of weight that can carry legally and the heavier the load. the more fuel it will take for delivery. as a retired truck driver that had never had to worry about my being overweight or my load, i believe that everyone should pay their own way.

  5. Big Dog says:

    Well Al, I am pretty sure that when I pay $800 for a plane ticket I am paying my own way. If they need to add a fuel surcharge then do so but add it to every ticket. The idea of charging people based upon their weight is ridiculous. We are not freight.

  6. Big Dog says:

    I understand that big people take up room. I have had that problem myself. I fit in my own seat and would like it if others did as well. However, the idea of weighing people at the airport is stupid. People order tickets in advance. Trains charge a price per seat, boats the same. They should figure a way to handle big people but charging for everyone’s weight is just stupid.

  7. LPS says:

    How about if restaurants charge more for skinny folks because they don’t eat as much, and it is cheaper to feed bigger folks? How about if hospitals start charging more for folks who don’t visit them as often, since they make more money off of folks who frequent them more? Where will this end? Hey, skinny folks, others industries will target you next, so watch what you wish for!!
    How about

  8. The airlines are desperate and so they are grabbing at every stupid idea out there. Probably 50% of business travel is useless and 75% of pleasure travel could be postponed. A passenger strike might work.

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  9. Sandy says:

    Isn’t this considered discrimination? I guess it will make more people lose weight than Jennie Craig or Nutrisystem or ground them for certain when they can’t get the weight off. Also, it’s crazy — why not make the oil people put a lid on the prices they are charging to bring this country to their knees?

  10. Sean says:

    Ok, so it is a ridiculous idea, yes, but they are struggling to find some way to keep alive as businesses. It’s all well and good to say that the CEOs are pocketing big bucks, but, in reality, they are currently just trying to save their companies that are about to go under.

    Two years ago, one extra can of coke pushed fuel expenditures up past the point of the airlines making money on flights. To make money, they need every seat filled with average sized people. And sure, removing the snacks and drinks are a good way to cut fuel costs, but then you would have idiots boycotting the airlines for giving them less for the same price, like they did when they stopped serving airline meals after whining that they were terrible.

    A boycott is all well and good, but it would just put the airlines directly into the government’s control, which would be one large body controlling all flights. You think they are delayed now? Wait till they are run by the same people who run your taxes.

  11. Tony says:

    I think it’s a good idea and a fair one. An airplane with 250 seats (quite typical on commercial jets) fully occupied by passengers who, on average, are 20 lbs overweight is carrying an extra 2.5 tons than if the passengers were of normal weight. Of course, some passengers are of normal weight and others are 80 lbs overweight. The lighter passengers are subsidizing the heavy ones when it comes to use of fuel. Why shouldn’t they pay less? It’s the same as a person who chooses to drive a smaller care vs. a hog in Hummer. Weigh less, pay less!

  12. Adam says:

    If it costs more for the airlines to carry fat people, why is it unreasonable to charge them more?
    This article says the extra weight of self-loading cargo (compared to ten years previously) cost US airlines $275 million in fuel in 2000:

  13. Big Dog says:

    Adam, you are assuming that it is fat people. A 300 pound body builder who is fit will have to pay as much as a 300 pound fat guy who takes up more than one seat.

    How will they weight people and how long will that hold things up?