Drop That Pre-Flight Cheeseburger: Samoan Airline Selling Fares Based On Passenger Weight

It might sound like an April Fools’ joke, but the day for such pranks is over, and this news has the ring of weird truth: Samoa Air has decided to start charging passengers for their fares depending on how much they weigh. Passengers shell out money per a fixed rate for each unit of weight, with that price varying depending on how long the route is.

While some critics are railing against what could be seen as a discriminatory measure, the head of the airline, which flies in Australia and to American Samoa, claims it’s “the fairest way of traveling,” reports BBC News.

“Airlines don’t run on seats, they run on weight, and particularly the smaller the aircraft you are in the less variance you can accept in terms of the difference in weight between passengers,” he told ABC Radio. “Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them.”

He adds that this could help out families traveling with small children, by way of reducing fares for their little ones.

“There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything — it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo,” he explained.

Flights range from about $1 to $4.16 per kilogram, and passengers pay out based on how much they weigh combined with the weight of their baggage.

The head of Air Samoa sees this not only as a potential revolutionary movement in air travel, but as a way to highlight the issue of obesity in Samoa.

“People generally are becoming much more weight conscious. That’s a health issue in some areas,” he told ABC Radio. “People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago,” he said. “The industry will start looking at this.”

Might make you think twice about that trip to Dunkin’ Donuts in the terminal before climbing aboard, eh?

Samoa Air boss defends charging passengers by weight [BBC News]