Category Archives: airlines

Pay What You Weigh: What Do You Think?

samoa-air

So recently, Samoa Air introduced “Pay What You Weigh” pricing.  Basically, each kilogram that you weigh costs 93 cents.  So, if you’re an average-weight American male, you pay about 40 dollars less than the typical airline rate.  So yes, a tricky way of both encouraging people to fly Samoa air and stay healthy.  Mmmmk.  A couple of things:

  1. This is a Samoan airline.  In Samoa, I’m willing to bet they don’t have the obesity and eating disorder problem that we seem to have here in the US; it’s been reported that the pricing seems to be going just swimmingly there.*  I’m also willing to bet it would be met by cries out outrage here in the U.S.  Some of those cries might be mine (see the next number).
  2. What about people like my partner, who is gorgeous and tall and naturally weighs more because he’s tall?  They have to pay more?  That sucks.  That’s where the motivation to be healthy doesn’t add up – you can be healthy AND weigh more.
  3. Plus the fact that yes, it could  be embarrassing, humiliating, or triggering to some.  Weight is a private issue for some people.  I do think that airlines need to collectively come up with a solution to seating obese individuals, but I’m not sure weighing them is the answer.  That’s usually reserved for a doctor’s office or the Ground Round circa 1985, during their “Pay What You Weigh” dinner era (shudder).
  4. Aaaand…is it proper to basically financially penalize someone because they weigh more than the next passenger?  Isn’t that insulting?  Isn’t that basically shaming people for weighing more?

What do you think?

(Image provided by gizmag.com)

* Those flying Samoa Air are always weighed before boarding because the planes flying there are so small.