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Weigh more, pay more: Fair or Fatism?

NYCKY

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A South Pacific Airline is introducing a new pricing model that other airlines may follow. Samoa Air that flys passengers on short trips to nearby islands will charge $0.92 per kilo or 42 cents per pound per flight. The rate is universal for whatever board the plane, adults, children and luggage. Logistically from the airlines perspective, there are good reasons for this, 56% of adult Somoans are obese (compared to 32% in the US and 25% in the UK) and Air Somoa uses small propeller planes that seat between 3 and 10 passengers and thus a grossly overweight passenger could affect a planes capacity. Also, the airline will ensure that those who pay more get more space.

The airline is only around since last June but it plans to introduce this pricing model in their yet to be introduced larger Airbus planes later this year.

Professor Touts ‘Pay-As-You-Weigh’ Model For Airline Tickets « CBS New York

According to a recent study by an economics professor from the University of Norway..

Bhatta published his controversial findings saying “Charging according to weight and space is a universally accepted principle, not only in transportation , but also in other services.”
His arguments stem from the notion that the more weight a plane is carrying, the “stronger an engine is needed and the more fuel it requires to carry” that weight. He also states that additional space is required to accommodate a heavier person.
The end result being a ticket cost that is “not fairly distributed among passengers,” according to Bhatta.

Personally, I don’t think it’s unreasonable, given that these days, airlines weigh your luggage almost scientifically, like it was ounces of Gold. Ryanair which is probably an extreme case, but if you are one Kg in excess of your checked luggage allowance, the penalty is 20 Euros per kilogram. Meanwhile the guy standing behind you weighing 50Kg more than you is ultimately adding a lot more weight to the plane. That said, I don’t even think Ryanair would try this one, well maybe O’Leary might try it for some publicity. Well it would be the death knell for the “Ryanair coats”.

 


EvotingMachine0197

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I read this during the week. On relating the story to friends, they said it was an AF joke.

Not.

To me, it is fair. Very non-PC, but fair.
 

Mercurial

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Most people aren't responsible for how much they weigh, so it's not fair to charge them differently.
 

spotty

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This might be a good thing. If there's one thing would induce Spotty to finally go on a diet it would be the chance to take money off that bollix O'Leary.
 

Mercurial

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Of course it's fair. More weight - more fuel.

You want community rating on airline tickets?
Men weigh more than women on average, but they're not responsible for the fact that they're men. Since they're not responsible for the additional cost, the total cost should be born by all passengers equally.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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Men weigh more than women on average, but they're not responsible for the fact that they're men. Since they're not responsible for the additional cost, the total cost should be born by all passengers equally.
I accept the men v women argument. For the moment.

What about the fat v thin? Should a 150Kg man get to fly at the same price as a 75Kg man ?
 

ibis

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Most people aren't responsible for how much they weigh, so it's not fair to charge them differently.
Shrug. It's not the airline's fault that it costs more to fly a heavy person than a light one, either. And since that is true, you need to justify discrimination against lighter people, for whom it should be cheaper to fly, rather than the other way round.
 

Mercurial

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Shrug. It's not the airline's fault that it costs more to fly a heavy person than a light one, either. And since that is true, you need to justify discrimination against lighter people, for whom it should be cheaper to fly, rather than the other way round.
There's no discrimination if individual people's weights aren't taken into account.
 

Mercurial

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I accept the men v women argument. For the moment.

What about the fat v thin? Should a 150Kg man get to fly at the same price as a 75Kg man ?
It would depend on whether we can be certain that the overweight person is responsible for the fact that they are overweight. In the case of very overweight people, many airlines make them pay for an additional seat.
 

ibis

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There's no discrimination if individual people's weights aren't taken into account.
There's discrimination if they're not. You're choosing to claim as discrimination a simple fact - that it costs more to fly heavier people. And the laws of physics can't be accused of discrimination, the concept is meaningless.

What is your justification for charging some of a heavier person's costs to a lighter person?
 

Cellach

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Mercurial

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There's discrimination if they're not. You're choosing to claim as discrimination a simple fact - that it costs more to fly heavier people. And the laws of physics can't be accused of discrimination, the concept is meaningless.

What is your justification for charging some of a heavier person's costs to a lighter person?
The fact that the heavier person is not usually responsible for the fact that they are heavier, plus the claim that it's unfair for a person to be disadvantaged through no fault of their own.

My view is non-discriminatory since it holds that airlines should not discriminate based on weight.
 

ibis

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The fact that the heavier person is not usually responsible for the fact that they are heavier, plus the claim that it's unfair for a person to be disadvantaged through no fault of their own.

My view is non-discriminatory since it holds that airlines should not discriminate based on weight.
No, your view is discriminatory, since it holds that heavier people should not bear the full costs of flying them, and that the excess charge should be applied to lighter people, who, by your own argument, equally bear no responsibility for their weight.

Positive discrimination, which is what you favour here, is still discrimination, and somebody, here lighter people, loses out as a result of it. You're not even attempting to justify that, you're simply claiming that charging everybody the same is "non-discriminatory", which is clearly not true.
 

EvotingMachine0197

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It would depend on whether we can be certain that the overweight person is responsible for the fact that they are overweight.
Do you have any ideas on how this can be ascertained at an airport? Apart from chubby cheeks.


In the case of very overweight people, many airlines make them pay for an additional seat.
Do you agree with this policy?
 

Carlos Danger

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Most people aren't responsible for how much they weigh, so it's not fair to charge them differently.
To a point I'd agree with you, but I'd like to know what your definition of "most people" is, before engaging.
 

NYCKY

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Only one of the causes though (education and job status are also mentioned). Samoa is a particularly unique case when it comes to obesity.
In fairness, Tonga has an even higher obesity rate at 60% and Nauru even higher again at 71% (as an aside they do have some decent Rugby teams). Obesity does seem to be somewhat prevalent among those Pacific islands. I cant' say if it is diet related, genetic/heriditary or due to lifestyle, it's probably some combination of the above.
 

elliebee

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I read this during the week. On relating the story to friends, they said it was an AF joke.

Not.

To me, it is fair. Very non-PC, but fair.
So you think it's fair that larger passengers pay more than slimmer ones. How would that work for children who should be more or less able to travel for free? Should parents who bring two or more children pay more than parents who bring only one.

And all this in the name of skimming off more profit for the airline companies.
 

Carlos Danger

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It would depend on whether we can be certain that the overweight person is responsible for the fact that they are overweight. In the case of very overweight people, many airlines make them pay for an additional seat.
Oh, I see your definition now.

All they need do is to not eat so friggin much, and couple it with an exercise routine.
If they have a medical condition, like a thyroid problem, fair enough, but outside of that, tough flipping luck.
 


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