FRIHOST FORUMS SEARCH FAQ TOS BLOGS COMPETITIONS
You are invited to Log in or Register a free Frihost Account!


"Pay per pound" air travel?





quex
Just read this over on CalorieLab:

Quote:

The reality is that we may be approaching a point at which no weight-reducing measure is too drastic [for an airline to consider], even if it inevitably results in passenger irritation, inconvenience, embarrassment and alienation. If the industry numbers crunchers ever determine that, economically, passengers above a certain weight cost more to carry than they pay for a standard ticket, the impetus to begin actually levying some kind of passenger weight surcharge will become difficult, if not financially impossible, to resist.


I have mixed feelings about this. If an individual is heavy because they choose to eat more and exercise less when they have the option to do otherwise, then I think it's entirely fair to charge by the pound, just as people pay extra for checking additional luggage. But what about people who are genetically heavy, or genetically tall (and thereby heavier)? If you're 8 feet tall, even if you are on the slim side of a healthy body weight for your height, you are still going to weigh much more than the average 5'8" passenger at a normal weight. You didn't choose to be tall, though, so you could legally argue that you're being discriminated against. And what about babies? And children? If the pay-by-weight idea is instituted at face value, then children's tickets will cost much less than they do now, and the airlines will lose money there... unless a minimum charge is established, in which case a whole new set of legal arguments is spread out on the table.

Could you see this happening where you live? Do you think it's fair?
ocalhoun
Its fair enough. If it costs (significantly) more to move your massive bulk, then naturally, you would expect to pay more.

I doubt that passenger weight is really a big concern though. Most passengers would vary less than say, 100 pounds each, which wouldn't make noticeable changes in the plane's fuel economy.

Anyway, extremely obese people are already forced to buy two seats, if they can't fit into one.
Bikerman
I think it is bollox.
By the same argument particularly small/light people should get a discount. Do they?
The fact is that air companies calculate their loads/costs on an average passenger weight. That is the way things are done. Nobody is weighed at the airport prior to boarding are they? Large people are already discriminated against by the small size of economy seating.
quex
ocalhoun wrote:
Its fair enough. If it costs (significantly) more to move your massive bulk, then naturally, you would expect to pay more.

I doubt that passenger weight is really a big concern though. Most passengers would vary less than say, 100 pounds each, which wouldn't make noticeable changes in the plane's fuel economy.

Anyway, extremely obese people are already forced to buy two seats, if they can't fit into one.


From the article:

Quote:
Alaska Airlines switched to a new beverage cart that is 20 pounds lighter resulting annual savings of $500,000 and noted that pulling just five magazines from each airplane would equal $10,000 in fuel savings per year.


When you multiply the reduced weight by the number of trips performed with each plane, any reduction becomes worthwhile to a struggling airline.
quex
Bikerman wrote:

By the same argument particularly small/light people should get a discount. Do they?
The fact is that air companies calculate their loads/costs on an average passenger weight. That is the way things are done. Nobody is weighed at the airport prior to boarding are they? Large people are already discriminated against by the small size of economy seating.


If they did, would you agree with the idea? o.o?

I think that the weighing of passengers is the single, biggest snag that would stop this from happening. Too time consuming to be feasible... although, there is definitely technology available to make it faster and, ultimately, possible. Think of electronic scales under a moving walkway...
Bikerman
quex wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

By the same argument particularly small/light people should get a discount. Do they?
The fact is that air companies calculate their loads/costs on an average passenger weight. That is the way things are done. Nobody is weighed at the airport prior to boarding are they? Large people are already discriminated against by the small size of economy seating.


If they did, would you agree with the idea? o.o?
No I would not. I think the idea is discriminatory. I'm not overweight (well, maybe a few pounds), and I'm not an advocate for overweight people, but we should also consider that height has a strong correlation with weight. Do we, therefore, charge tall people more than short people? Maybe we should charge more for blind passengers since they need a braille version of the safety information? People who don't speak English should also be charged for translating cabin information into their language. Let's introduce a standard fare for a 5'10", 11 stone, English Speaking, able-bodied person and charge everyone else more...bollox. I don't like the idea one bit, and I don't see that it is necessary (apart from the airlines being able to grab more money). Air flight is already cheap in Europe, compared to other forms of transport. If the price needs to increase, as the average weight of people goes up, then so be it. I do not wish to see a world where we start to discriminate on height and weight, to add to existing discriminations.
quex
Bikerman wrote:
No I would not. I think the idea is discriminatory. I'm not overweight (well, maybe a few pounds), and I'm not an advocate for overweight people, but we should also consider that height has a strong correlation with weight. Do we, therefore, charge tall people more than short people? Maybe we should charge more for blind passengers since they need a braille version of the safety information? People who don't speak English should also be charged for translating cabin information into their language. Let's introduce a standard fare for a 5'10", 11 stone, English Speaking, able-bodied person and charge everyone else more...bollox. I don't like the idea one bit, and I don't see that it is necessary (apart from the airlines being able to grab more money). Air flight is already cheap in Europe, compared to other forms of transport. If the price needs to increase, as the average weight of people goes up, then so be it. I do not wish to see a world where we start to discriminate on height and weight, to add to existing discriminations.


Read, and agreed. I think we ought to rely on the path of better technology before we resort to monetary penalties accorded to one's weight or disabilities. However, if the technology doesn't become available soon, most carriers in the US are going to have to find another way to stay in/get into the black. I fear that they are indeed desperate enough to implement pay-per-pound prices.
coolclay
I think it is a pointless idea. If they currently use an average weight to determine the price then I don't see any point. The only way they would make any more money is if the had a minimum price say charging everyone under 100 lbs the same, but then everyone else an increased price. They won't do it though, to many lawsuits. If they are loosing that much money then bump up the average price. Of course I don't want to pay higher prices but I certainly don't want airlines going bankrupt either.
quex
coolclay wrote:
I think it is a pointless idea. If they currently use an average weight to determine the price then I don't see any point. The only way they would make any more money is if the had a minimum price say charging everyone under 100 lbs the same, but then everyone else an increased price. They won't do it though, to many lawsuits. If they are loosing that much money then bump up the average price. Of course I don't want to pay higher prices but I certainly don't want airlines going bankrupt either.


They are, actually, but they're "doin' it wrong," if you'll allow the colloquialism. Most airlines (in the States, anyway) keep adding "fuel surcharges" that get tacked on to the given price of the ticket AFTER you agree to the base price. If they raised the base price (as a function of the average weight by which they calculate), the numbers they would have to show to their customers on websites and fare charts would be higher, and presumably result in less marketability... BUT, by adding multiple surcharges in the final steps of purchase as they are doing now, the community of consumers are getting the sense that the airlines are greedy, or dishonest, or verging on bankruptcy. Using a sliding weight scale would, at the very least, create a sense of openness between consumer and company that has been lacking for several years. You weigh more, you pay more. No "extra-FCC security charge" or "present market fuel adjustment." Definitely would offend a lot of folks, though...
Jinx
We pay by weight when we ship freight. Why should we be any different just because we are living freight? As long as the charge isn't based on some "average human weight" and is simply a per lb (or kg) charge I would see no problem with it. It takes less fuel to move an infant weighing only a few pounds than it does to move a 400lb man or woman. So why shouldn't an infant's ticket be cheaper?

If you wanted to send a 200lb piece of furniture across the country via air-freight, wouldn't you expect to pay more than you would for something weighing only 20lbs?
Bikerman
Freight is charged by weight AND volume. A crate of ping-pong balls weighing 5 kilos will cost a LOT more to ship than 5 kilos of lead. People are allocated a standard volume of space based on their ticket price. To be consistent you would have to allocate more space to passengers who paid more because they weighed more. This won't, of course, be done.

I am told by a friend who works in the 'biz' that carrying several passengers who are very overweight makes no significant difference to the fuel burn* and that the proposal has nothing to do with that - it is driven by the fact that overweight people occupy more seating space on planes which have 3 or 4 seat 'aisles'.

*The fuel burn is much more a function of other factors such as weather and cruising speed/flight path.

If the proposal was to allocate more room per weight - ie larger seats for heavier people at a slightly higher cost, then I could see that it could be fairly implemented. This is not the proposal, however, and nor could such a system be practically implemented.

What will happen in reality is that the proposal (if agreed) will be used by the airlines to penalise overweight people with no benefit to any passenger.
j_f_k
unless it s a very small plane the weight of a person hardly matters to the cost of operating a flight - even with spiralling fuel prices so i don't think such a move is on part

the only good thing such an excercise will do is dis-incentive fatties from travelling and therefore making travel comfortable for other people in economy. Maybe t hey should have 'fat' rows where the seats are wider but obvioulsy cost more and then say to fatso's that only those seats are available to them.
thejam
I recently read this article that some airlines need to make their seats wider, because some people do not fit in the standard chairs. Sorry but this is crazy. People are just way overweight if they cannot fit in those chairs. And thats not a matter of a beerbelly, or a chubby ass, thats tons of fat food, and no exersice at all. People have a free choice of living a lifestyle like that. They are the first ones that get punished by all fysicall restrictions, but i think its not fair people who DO live a healthy livestyle compensate financial losses airlines make by overweight. This is not just fat people on airlines, but also insurences and so on.
TomGrey
More airlines should require people over a certain weight to pay for a larger seat "upgrade", with fewer seats per aisle but at a higher price.

I don't like sitting next to fat people on a crowded bus, nor on a plane. It's less comfy than sitting next to a smoker.

The technology for rapid weighing of people, as they check in their luggage and/or while waiting for security shouldn't be so tough.

It certainly IS discrimination tho. It's also a bit of fairness.
Bikerman
If the extra price bought a bigger seat then I would have no problem with it. It is obviously ridiculous to expect airlines to plan seat-size based on the 'worst case' scenario, and perfectly reasonable to expect them to use 'average+x' instead. If a person is simply too big for a standard seat then I see no problem in asking them for more money (it should be in proportion to the extra space required, which should not be a huge amount).
Indyan
Kind of seems unfair on people who are fat because of may be genetic problems or other issues like hypothyroidism.
Bikerman
Indyan wrote:
Kind of seems unfair on people who are fat because of may be genetic problems or other issues like hypothyroidism.
Firstly hypothyroidism can and should be treated before a person becomes morbidly obese. Secondly 'genetic problems' don't make you morbidly obese. There is thought to be a 'fat' gene (the FTO gene on chromosome 16) which is associated with obesity and type-II diabetes. In essence it means that people with the gene will absorb fat more readily than those without. There is, however, something you can do about it - EAT LESS FAT.

I am getting tired of hearing obese people blame their genes, their glands, their metabolism, their 'large bones', their parents, their doctor and any other cause they can cling to. I am not unsympathetic to obese people - we all have bad habits (including me - I drink too much and I smoke).
If you are obese then I've got no problem with that - it is your choice, just like smoking is mine. What I cannot be doing with is this attempt to throw off any personal responsibility - it insults my intelligence as a science-literate person.
I've lost count of the people I've hard saying really stupid things like:
1) I eat almost nothing and still pile it on (a lie)
2) I just have to look at a cream-cake to put on weight (a lie)
3) I eat and exercise more than x and x isn't fat. (Probably a lie, but even if true then just eat less and exercise more).
4) I have a slow metabolism so I don't burn off the fat. (a lie - unless they specifically suffer from hypothyroidism which is rare).

If you are obese, you eat too many calories for the amount of exercise you do.
That's it. End of story. Either live with it or do something about it - don't whine.
TomGrey
Hey Chris, I totally agree with you.

Fat is a combo of two bad habits: too much not good (for you) food and too little exercise.

I've got a bit of a pot belly now, because of them -- too much blogging, sitting in front of the computer, not enough walking around and doing other things.
Related topics
how many visitors you get per day ?
Are pay-per-lead/sale programs dead?
Pay per Action???
Pay per view?
Global Warming
new trend... pay per play? Anyone else tired of beeing scamd
Airport Tax
any good pay per view advertizers left?
Chris Benoit & Family Found Dead
The Future of Internet????
Pay per play audio ads - the next revenue stream?
Travel by Sea in the philippines
Tea Party Protests
Reply to topic    Frihost Forum Index -> Lifestyle and News -> Discuss World News

FRIHOST HOME | FAQ | TOS | ABOUT US | CONTACT US | SITE MAP
© 2005-2011 Frihost, forums powered by phpBB.