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    (Original post by Lintu93)
    Short article on BBC News about a Samoan Airline charging passengers according to their weight.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-22001256

    What are your thoughts?
    Just noticed you're op. It's okay for you short people .
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    I've been quite shocked by the opinions on here.

    I've worked for several different airlines as a flight dispatcher which means, among other things, I've been responsible for determining the fuel required for a flight, and have 1 main issue with charging passengers based on their weight:-

    The operating cost for the flight is much the same regardless of whether the aircraft is full or empty. Let's take the example of a Boeing 757 which, depending on the configuration, can carry 235 passengers, and let's say it's operating a flight from Birmingham to Malaga, which is approximately a 2.5 hour flight. The difference in fuel load between an empty and a full flight is around 1 tonne, which sounds a lot, but is based on an empty flight fuel requirement of around 12 tonnes. This is an 8% difference, which is certainly not negligible.

    However, this is not the end of the story. Airlines use a formula known as 'Cost Index', which helps them make the flight as economical as possible. There are literally dozens of parameters built into this formula, but the payload weight is one of them. Assuming all other factors are equal, if the payload weight was higher (and therefore more fuel required), then the cruising speed of the flight will be reduced, which will reduce fuel consumption (at the expense of increasing flight time), and therefore mitigating the increased fuel for payload.

    This formula is run for each and every flight, and a different cost index is produced prior to takeoff (I personally don't know the specific formula, as it's run by computers, but I do know that it includes parameters such as payload weight, flight time, trip distance, weather, air traffic control delays, flight crew salary, insurance and so on).

    Also, airlines use average passenger weights when determining the payload. The average weights used varies between airlines, but at one of the airlines I worked at, a male weight was 85kg, female was 75kg, and a child 50kg. This takes into account the fact that some passengers will be heavier than these figures, and some will be lighter.

    As far as the comparison between excess passenger weight and excess baggage weight, I agree that the laws of physics don't differentiate between the 2. However, airlines are under increasing competition and pressure to reduce airfares, yet their costs are almost identical regardless of how heavy or light a load they operate a flight with, and they do have to make money. It's just that charging for excess baggage is deemed socially acceptable, and charging for excess passenger weight (currently) isn't.
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    It makes even more sense since most flights are flown domestically in smaller aircrafts where weight can be quite an issue with the performance of the plane.
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    I don't think charging per kilogram is really reasonable because there's still only so many seats on the plane no matter how little you weigh.

    However I do think that if someone takes up more than one seat they should be charged for an extra one. How is it fair that they get 1.5 seats and I have to fit into 0.75 of a seat?
    Also that only affects seriously big people, not healthy people.
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    (Original post by Psyk)
    It's a fairly sound idea, but it is a bit unfair on tall people. A perfectly healthy tall person is going to have to pay more than a healthy short person. So it's not just fat people who are going to lose out.
    My thoughts exactly. I started off like most people by thinking how great an idea it was that fat people would get charged more - would serve them right for being obese!

    But then I realised I'm underweight at 45 kg due to my unhealthy eating and lack of excercise. Someone posted in this thread that the average male mass is 80-90kg - it just doesn't seem fair to me that I'd be getting rewarded for my unhealthy lifestyle with a plane fair almost half the price of a healthy 'average' individual.
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    Men are naturally heavier than women. So they would have to pay more. This is sexist. Even if it doesn't intentionally mean to be. But it is. Plain and simple.
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    All the people talking about tall and/or muscley people. I don't think it's supposed to be about rewarding people for being healthy.

    If they are correct in saying that weight is important (see how fussy they get about the weight of baggage), then the weight of the person should be factored in as well. It does not matter if that weight is fat, muscle, or leg bones. Weight is weight. As quoted from the article: "There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything - it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo".

    Yes, it's a genetics lottery. Isn't all of life? In the same way that a taller person must spend a lot more money on food than a short person - would you suggest that they should get discounts for being tall?

    Different people are different. All this is suggesting is that rather than having a blanket cost, the price paid should be proportional to the goods or services required.
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    (Original post by cakefish)
    Men are naturally heavier than women. So they would have to pay more. This is sexist. Even if it doesn't intentionally mean to be. But it is. Plain and simple.
    Is it sexist to prefer to employ men as builders, because they're also naturally stronger than women?

    This isn't meant to be fair, it's meant to be recognising the facts. If for whatever reason I were paid to carry people on my back, I'd be able to carry a small woman easily enough, but I'd probably need some help if it were a six-foot-tall man. Would you expect me and my helper to be paid in total the same as if it were just me on my own?
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    (Original post by Pandabär)
    Having someone sit on your leg for a long-haul flight can increase the risk of DVT (which can kill you), so instead of charging more, I'd just insist that if you can't fit into one seat, you buy a second. For the sake of your neighbour.
    agreed, but it should be discounted for the large individuals buying two seats or more.
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    Firstly are we really sure it will increase fuel costs? I mean if someone weighs 1.5x the average then maybe, but even then Im not sure a plane that weighs god knows how many tons is gonna notice that a few passengers are carrying extra weight.

    Secondly, it is completely ludicrous to think that increased ticket price will provide and incentive to lose weight! If People don't consider the risk of early death from heart disease an incentive (which they don't) then they certainly won't consider an extra £40 on their plane ticket to be worth it.

    Furthermore 'price per kg' would be impossible to implement considering the amount people's weight fluctuates, people would lie and pull all kinds of tricks to get their weight Down for a flight and this would just cause stupid amounts of hassle at the airport, people's weight is a very sensitive issue; if they had to be weighed several times for flights some people (not just overweight people but other self conscious pepple) just wouldn't fly. The airline companies wouldn't do this.

    That said, I think the key is to just have bigger seats (1.5 size seats) which larger passengers or any other passengers who fancy more space can Pay extra for. Passengers who are exceptionally large must upgrade to these seats.


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    It sounds fair tbh, but my problem is this. Is it just your weight that is measured or would they take your height to weight ratio into account. For example at 5' 11" I'm 73 kg. But if someone at only 5' 2" weighed the same as me they would be fat, but we'd still be charged the same, so how the hell is that targeting overweight people??
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    (Original post by askew116)
    I've been quite shocked by the opinions on here.

    I've worked for several different airlines as a flight dispatcher which means, among other things, I've been responsible for determining the fuel required for a flight, and have 1 main issue with charging passengers based on their weight:-

    The operating cost for the flight is much the same regardless of whether the aircraft is full or empty. Let's take the example of a Boeing 757 which, depending on the configuration, can carry 235 passengers, and let's say it's operating a flight from Birmingham to Malaga, which is approximately a 2.5 hour flight. The difference in fuel load between an empty and a full flight is around 1 tonne, which sounds a lot, but is based on an empty flight fuel requirement of around 12 tonnes. This is an 8% difference, which is certainly not negligible.

    However, this is not the end of the story. Airlines use a formula known as 'Cost Index', which helps them make the flight as economical as possible. There are literally dozens of parameters built into this formula, but the payload weight is one of them. Assuming all other factors are equal, if the payload weight was higher (and therefore more fuel required), then the cruising speed of the flight will be reduced, which will reduce fuel consumption (at the expense of increasing flight time), and therefore mitigating the increased fuel for payload.

    This formula is run for each and every flight, and a different cost index is produced prior to takeoff (I personally don't know the specific formula, as it's run by computers, but I do know that it includes parameters such as payload weight, flight time, trip distance, weather, air traffic control delays, flight crew salary, insurance and so on).

    Also, airlines use average passenger weights when determining the payload. The average weights used varies between airlines, but at one of the airlines I worked at, a male weight was 85kg, female was 75kg, and a child 50kg. This takes into account the fact that some passengers will be heavier than these figures, and some will be lighter.

    As far as the comparison between excess passenger weight and excess baggage weight, I agree that the laws of physics don't differentiate between the 2. However, airlines are under increasing competition and pressure to reduce airfares, yet their costs are almost identical regardless of how heavy or light a load they operate a flight with, and they do have to make money. It's just that charging for excess baggage is deemed socially acceptable, and charging for excess passenger weight (currently) isn't.
    Exactly, I was about to comment along the same lines. This is not a decision made 'to be fair' it's a decision they've made to make more money. Someone who weighs, say, 40kg more than the average man is only going to affect how much fuel an aircraft needs to carry by about 1kg (for, say, a 2 hour flight) and 1kg of jet A1 fuel costs a major airline about £0.50. I'm guessing the price for the passenger is going to go up by quite a bit more than just £0.50.
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    (Original post by geetar)
    91% of Samoans are overweight/obese. Lol.
    Pretty similar to the US then.
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    (Original post by jolene25)
    Did you know -

    The whole world and all the people in it are not real. There is only one life, it exists from the perspective of one person who gets to view the world.

    All the people of the world are scripted to think they are real and have their own separate existence.



    jolene36

    Woah...that's deep, man...woah...
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    Think its wrong? How much will they charge per weight. Im a slim guy myself but I have had family memebers who are about the avereage weight; and this would make them feel bad that they have to declare their weight for a flight.

    If you can't fit into your seat then yeah you should pay more for a larger seat. I have a cousin who is younger than me still in school; however weights around 2st than me. He is not fat average size/weight for someone my age. at around 11st.

    So he'd have to pay more than me which would put pressure on whoever is buying the ticket for him, when he should be paying child fare!!

    Again idiots making up rules without thinking it through. Makes me so angry.
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    (Original post by TomRichie)
    Secondly, it is completely ludicrous to think that increased ticket price will provide and incentive to lose weight! If People don't consider the risk of early death from heart disease an incentive (which they don't) then they certainly won't consider an extra £40 on their plane ticket to be worth it.
    People really go into denial about future health risks they can't see or touch though. I think you'll find direct immediate financial penalties to be surprisingly motivating!

    Not that this policy is anything to do with public health.
 
 
 
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