Airlines ‘Should Charge Fat Passengers More’
CarryingOn didn’t say it, so hold off on the protests for any political correctness infractions, but in case you didn’t see it, this was reported today in the Sky News http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/airlines-charge-fat-passengers-more-014228613.html
Seemed a Dr. Bharat P Bhatta, writing in this month’s Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, suggested it, and offered one of three formats for its deployment:
- Fare according to weight
- Base fare plus/minus an extra charge for heavier passengers
- Same fare if the passenger has an average weight, but discounted/extra fare for low/excess weight below/above a certain limit. This option results in three types of fares: high fares, average fares and low fares.
After reading the article, my mind was racing with blog post possibilities. But in this day of political correctness I was hesitant to tackle such a heavy topic. Some confidents warned, “Don’t chance it man, you must ignore the temptation to weigh in”, but throwing caution to the wind I replied “fat chance of that happening, I must engage”.
In my opinion, this one is a no brainer.
Aircraft fuel consumption is based in large part on the weight an airplane carries. The more weight the more fuel, ergo the more cost for the airline. So the rules of economics should hold here. You bring more weight you pay more and in fact, the airlines have already starting doing this with their checked bags policies, and now it’s time to get to the people.
But beyond the economics which are pretty easy to defend, there are other more personal reasons.
C’mon you know what I’m talking about, you’re just afraid to say it. How depressed do you get when you make you way to your seat and see a seat mate of size (was that the best PC way to say what I just said?).
The guy has put the arm rest up and given he is already encroaching halfway onto your real estate, there isn’t much you can do about it but slink your way in. It’s impossible to avoid contact, and after not too long you notice that the guy’s body seems to be throwing off the heat of a blast furnace, and you actually start to perspire three minutes into a four hour trip.
And that’s if you have an aisle and he has the middle, or heaven forbid you have the middle. What if you have the window and this guy is next to you and falls asleep? You’re now forced to refuse all requests to hydrate for fear you will have to climb mount fatso to get to the lav for some relief. Who among you can concentrate on email or your March Madness Picks when you’re thinking “I could be developing an embolism in my leg due to the lack of movement and fluids”. Now I ask you, is that any way to fly? No, of course it’s not and it’s time to take a stand! I say the airlines put a seat with two armrests right next to that thing that measures the size of your carry-on bag.
If Fatty Arbuckle can’t fit in the seat, he pays for two seats. Charge the guy a few extra bucks he might call Jenny Craig, and who knows maybe this becomes another way to deal with the obesity problem everyone claims we have here in America beyond another season of The Biggest Loser.
But this might make too much sense and will surely offend some, so I’m guessing this idea is destined to crash before takeoff.