AIR FARE BASED ON TRAVELERS WEIGHT

Dan Rang - Apr 8, 2013
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The pay-as-you-weigh policy that is championed by the Samoa Airlines is anticipated to be the next trend in the airlines industry – at least according to the head of Samoa Air.

The Samoa Air Chief Executive, Chris Langton, has urged other airlines to adopt the policy. In his report to CNN, Langton stressed that the policy is ideal since it is in harmony with how the airplanes work.

According to Langton's report the policy was executed in November for the domestic passengers and it had just been executed for international passengers.

Why does the Samoan Air advocate for weight-based fares? This is a question that has hit the public domain. The basis for their argument is that individuals should pay for their weight i.e. a person's weight plus that of the luggage. Period.

This policy has been received by passengers with happiness. Among those who support the implementation of the policy are families who normally travel with kids. They say that the policy is a relieve to them since they will no longer have to purchase flat-fare sits for their children.

Most of the passengers have commented that the new policy will restore fairness since everyone will pay according to his or her own weight unlike in the past where such basis (weight) was ignored.

However, Langton clarified that the implementation of the policy will experience some challenges from some groups and individuals especially those who carry some luggage. They have argued that it is an unhealthy tax mechanism that is meant to exploit. He promised that the government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that all those who are against the policy are guided so that they can receive it with positivity. He concluded that those who pay more will benefit more.

How will they be compensated? The interests of those who have more weight are taken care of. The extra that they pay will enable them to benefit from comfortable seats as well as enough space around them. For the case of tall individuals, more leg room will be provided. In fact this policy is a solution to big-bodied personalities who have been complaining of discomfort in the airplanes.

Airline analysts have also commented on this new policy. A partner at lonosphere capital, Vaughn Cordle argues that this program is best for smaller airlines, Samoa Airlines for example, because they have every reason to charge for weight. The charge-by-weigh policy is okay since it is compatible with the nature of their business model. Vaughn concluded by saying that larger airlines e.g. the U.S. Airlines may not easily implement the policy because of several challenges that will hamper the implementation.

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