Will This Become a New Way of Calculating Air Fares?
A Sydney Australia newspaper is reporting that Samoa Air will charge fares to their passengers based on their weight.
“This is the fairest way of travelling,” chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, told ABC Radio. “There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.”
As it is with many Pacific island nations, obesity is a serious problem. Frequently ranked in the top ten, Mr. Langton believes this policy will also increase the awareness of the country’s citizens regarding the overweight and obesity problem.
“When you get into the Pacific, standard weight is substantially higher [than south-east Asia],” he said. “That’s a health issue in some areas. [This payment system] has raised the awareness of weight.
When booking flights on Samoa Air online, there is a space for the weight of the passenger and their baggage. They are reweighed at the airport, to ensure fairness and accuracy. The fees range from $1.00 per kilogram on shorter flights, to as much as $4.16 on longer ones.
He says that families may benefit the most from the new policy.
“A family of maybe two adults and a couple of mid-sized kids … can travel at considerably less than what they were being charged before,” he said.
Public relations and marketing representative for Samoa Tourism, Peter Sereno, said he believed that the policy would also help with safety standards.
“When you’re only fitting eight to 12 people in these aircraft and you’ve got some bigger Samoans getting on, you do need to weigh them and distribute that weight evenly throughout the aircraft, to make sure everyone’s safe,” he said. “At the end of the day, I don’t care who they’re weighing or how they’re weighing them as long as it’s safe.”
So, is this the advent of a new way to travel by air? Probably not. But it may work well for this small airline.
Weight is a problem for all airlines and aircraft, but for smaller planes it is crucial.
Columnist-The Guardian Express