We’ve all thought ‘I hope you don’t end up sitting next to me’ when we’ve seen an obese person waddling down the aisle on a plane; we’ve all heard tales of fat flyers being forced to buy a second seat and not even getting the benefit of a second meal. But should fat people pay a surcharge to cover their excess fuel costs? One former Qantas economist says yes.
Picture by Tony Alter
Given that airlines already charge large amounts for excess baggage, the idea of charging people more based on their size isn’t entirely inconsistent. Former Qantas economist Tony Webber says the idea is simple enough to implement:
You’d have to work out the total weight of the baggage and the person and then have a critical weight, say 90 kilos or 100 kilos, above which you’d impose a surcharge.
Apart from the potential brand damage, one obvious issue with this approach is forcing the passengers to get weighed, which is tricky given that you can easily check into most flights without ever actually seeing a person. Do you think the idea has merit? Share your thoughts in the comments.