Ryanair To Flight Crew: Hey, Fatties — Lose Weight So We Can Save On Fuel

Right when you thought CEO of cut-rate airline Ryanair Michael O’Leary and his merry gang of misfit toys couldn’t introduce more ridiculous ideas in their efforts to be the cheapest in all the land, a company spokesman says they even take flight crew to task on the topic of dieting. You know, to save on fuel from not carting around so many fatties.

In an interview with the Independent, spokesman Stephen McNamara ran through the airline’s various efforts to trim the fuel bill, including cutting the size of its in-flight magazine, using less ice in drinks, and yes, having the crew watch what they eat. But not just for fuel — for fame in a company calendar!

“We cut costs wherever possible, and the changes will represent a significant reduction in weight,” said McNamara. “We also considered removing armrests, but decided against it. We even encourage staff to watch their weight — with the motivation of appearing in the annual Ryanair calendar.”

The company also supports an airline “fat tax” which would ask overweight passengers to pay more for their share of fuel.

Ryanair doesn’t want to introduce fuel surcharges like other airlines, hence the reason they’re going the dieting route.

“Fuel is an integral part of the fare — you can’t fly passengers anywhere without it,” said McNamara. “We would rather make cost reductions and charge passengers for other services.”

This isn’t the cheapo airline’s first controversy, nor will it be the last, we figure. From gloating in front of laid off workers to removing toilets from planes, Ryanair really knows how to get everyone’s duff up.

*Thanks for the tip, Rob!

Every little helps? Ryanair puts weight behind saving with extraordinary measures [Independent]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Oh yes, because appearing in a ‘tasteful’ annual company calendar is a goal which all Airline Employees strive for.

    How about something people actually give a shit about? Like a ‘Not Being Fat Wage Subsidy’?

  2. SkokieGuy says:

    Ryanair has done many offensive things, (probably intentionally, as it is great to generate publicity).

    But I don’t think this is terrible. They are not fining overweight crew, simply encouraging them to stay trim.

    I’m sure they enforce weight limits on the crews baggage too. This things all have a direct impact on the cost of each flight.

    • bluline says:

      If carrying heavy flight attendants costs the company more money, why not charge passengers and their luggage based on their total weight? Heavier passengers, or those with heavier luggage, require more fuel than lighter ones. Why should trim passengers have to subsidize the cost of carrying the fatties?

      • SkokieGuy says:

        I agree. A 125 lb passenger without a carry on should certainly pay less than a 275 lb passenger with a 60 lb carry on.

        More space, more weight, more fuel required.

        • pythonspam says:

          But if you think that companies will just use it as an excuse to raise prices on heavier (total weight) passengers without lowering it accordingly for lighter passengers, I know where you can get some cheap marsh land in Florida.

        • maxamus2 says:

          So the fact that I am 6’5″ and by no means overweight, I will still be charged more because there is no way I could way 126, 150 or 175 pounds unless I was on my deathbed?

    • BrienBear Thinks Stupidity Defies Logic says:

      Not that this’ll get noticed now, but I’m kinda sad that a person that’s at least somewhat attached to the bear community (even if it’s only on bear411) would think this.

  3. Hi_Hello says:

    i think every company should offer gym class in the morning.

    small stuff like stretches, sit up, push up. jog around a little bit. I’m sure that will wake people up so they don’t need coffee and donuts.

    • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

      Funny thing is, there are large Japanese companies that have mandatory morning exercises…

    • galligator says:

      Skanska – One of the largest global contractors does this: “Stretch and flex”

      Helps prevent workplace injuries, promotes team bonding, and gets people going in the AM

    • dolemite says:

      I’d go for free gym memberships.

    • GrayMatter says:

      Kohler (Wisconsin)

      If you use their health facilities, there is no charge. If you do not go there a certain number of hours a month (not too large), they charge you a monthly membership fee.

  4. milkcake says:

    I want to get discounts from them for my skinny body.

    • corridor7f says:

      This was my first thought. It’s still a bit mean, but positive reinforcement is better than negative…

  5. Cat says:

    This gives a whole new meaning tom the term “skeleton crew”.

  6. Schildkrote says:

    So they’re encouraging the flight crew to get fit and healthy while maintaining low prices for consumers? I don’t see anything wrong with that. This is the kind of initative that we need to fight the obesity epidemic.

    The company calendar thing is kind of silly but some people need the motivation, I guess.

  7. SomeWhiteGuy says:

    Surprised no airline has implemented a price per pound scheme. The more you weigh, the more you pay.

    • prag2 says:

      I’d like to see that. Not because I want to see large people pay more but why should a 40lb child pay the same as a 200lb adult?

      Huh, wha? Sorry, I just snapped out of it. I was about to suggest that airlines might be able to give a discount to children because they weigh less and use less fuel. Temporary insanity.

      • Doubting thomas says:

        While weight is important space is also a deciding factor. That 40lb kids still takes up a full seat.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I don’t think this would be legal in the USA, or I assume airlines would have done it ages ago. This would fall under discrimination and the ADA probably wouldn’t like it much. Better yet you would pay price per pound for the total weight of yourself and your luggage.

      • axhandler1 says:

        Well, being obese is not a protected class under the ADA, so it wouldn’t be illegal discrimination.

        • caffeyw says:

          Having a broken leg doesn’t qualify either. The item that makes weight, broken legs, etc qualify under the ADA is if they give rise to a medical disability. You can have a broken leg and still walk. Same is true with weight. However the opposite can also be true. This is why companies don’t get to determine if its a medical issue only a doctor can.

  8. rmorin says:

    The company also supports an airline “fat tax” which would ask overweight passengers to pay more for their share of fuel.

    This is the most interesting part for me. Heavier people do in fact use more fuel. I am not saying I agree with it, but how could you argue that it uses more resources to transport heavier people it? We do it with packages through the mail?

    *Barring the obvious some overweight people are that way because of illness

    • blueman says:

      So I, as a 6-foot-4, 200-pound (i.e., not overweight) guy should pay twice as much as my 100-pound daughter? I’d like to see an airline try that one.

      • rmorin says:

        Are you insinuating that fuel is literally the only cost for an airline? Even if you paid twice the “fuel cost” of your daughter, your total would not be double hers.

        Oversimplified, fake numbers: Others per passenger costs = 100$, fuel costs=50$ per hundred pounds.

        Your daughters fare: 100+50 = 150$,
        Yours: 100+100 = 200$

      • Kate says:

        True, if you are going to charge extra for short fat people, you also need to charge extra for those lazy bums that grew too tall.

        • rmorin says:

          So it’s not okay for a clothing manufacturer to charge extra for larger sizes? They have to use more resources (fabric) so they pass that on to the people that require it.

          Someone who is tall but the same weight as another person does not require extra fuel, expanding no extra resources. If airlines were considering a “space you take up fee” then it could, but we are talking about weight making your analogy a poor one.

      • bluline says:

        Yeah, why not? It costs the airline more to transport you than it does to transport your much lighter daughter. Cargo pricing is based on weight, and passengers are nothing more to the airlines than self-loading cargo. I say go for it.

  9. The_IT_Crone says:

    I’m ok with the “fat tax,” but I’d rather it be in the form of them being forced to buy a second seat. I’m tired of having elephants sitting in half my seat, sweating on me. If Ryan Air is getting to get more money for it, do it that way so that their other customers don’t suffer.

    As for the employees, have you ever seen a fat member of the flight crew? It doesn’t really happen. Maybe pilots? I think this is more of a cute gimmick, not offensive.

    • Kate says:

      How about we blame the airlines for not having decent sized seats instead the people who are forced to deal with them.

      • eturowski says:

        Right, let’s force the airlines to raise costs even more for the rest of us to accommodate the ever-expending (no pun intended) fatty population.

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          Hello! Yes I know people have gotten fatter, but the seats HAVE gotten smaller! Even average people are annoyed by them, and tall people like me who are not fatties have a hard time with our knees up under our chins. God forbid you have to get up and go to the bathroom without knocking the hell out of your seatmate!

          They only did this to cram more people on so they could make more money. I flew long ago before they did this and the seats in coach were definitely bigger and more comfortable. More people = more weight even if they’re not fat.

  10. HowardRoarksTSquare says:

    This is what Michelle Obama wanted with her “Let’s Move” campaign.

    That’s change you can believe in

  11. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    They would save on weight if they would change the stewardess uniforms to miniskirts a la Southwest in the 70s.

    Ryanair feel free to use my suggestion.

  12. fontman2008 says:

    Really – Stupid CEO very stupid

  13. dosdelon says:

    I’m not overweight, I’m big-boned!

  14. Blueskylaw says:

    So children who weigh 15 pounds will get to fly for about 1/10th to 1/18th the price of an adult because of low weight?

    No? Then maybe I don’t completely understand your business model theory.

  15. j2.718ff says:

    “including cutting the size of its in-flight magazine”

    RyanAir has an in-flight magazine? Where can I find it? Last time I flew with them, the seats didn’t have pockets. That’s why the emergency information is printed on the seat-back.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      That’s why the emergency information is printed on the seat-back

      No, they put it there in case the rest of the plane falls off from around the seat.

    • Snowblind says:

      It is really magazines from other airlines with RyanAir stickers over the cover.

  16. ARP says:

    Am I wrong in thinking that there used to be rules (or still are) about the height and weight of flight attendants for airlines? I though they needed to be a certain height to help with overhead luggage and below a certain weight for fuel reasons and to fit into the jump seats on some airplanes.

  17. wrbwrx says:

    at least mcNAMera makes sense when he says “fuel i an integral part of the fare”.

    • Bor&Mitch says:

      In the trucking industry it’s not uncommon for customers to be charged a floating fuel surcharge that’s based on the current national average for petrol. It protects the trucking companies from wild swings in price. If not for that they would have to raise prices high enough to cover themselves in the event fuel costs skyrocket, and the customers end up paying the same high price all year around even if gas prices drop.

      So trucking customers know how much of their costs are associated with transport services, and how much is tied to rising fuel costs. Airline customers not so much.

  18. scoosdad says:

    Empty the onboard pay toilets at every stop. That ought to be good for a few pounds.

  19. Bor&Mitch says:

    You know how there’s that metal contraption right outside the boarding area you’re supposed to put your bag in to determine whether it’s acceptable for carry-on, otherwise it needs to be checked?

    There should be something like that for people. If you can’t fit your lard ass into it, then you need to pony up more for an extra seat. Or get checked in with the cargo.

  20. shthar says:

    I hate to break it to you, but EVERY airline pressure’s ALL crew, even pilots, to not get fat.

    And if they do, hoo boy.

  21. Snowblind says:

    Oh look. Free Publicity!

  22. yurkinator says:

    Using less ice in drinks?? What? Are they that stupid?

  23. yurkinator says:

    Using less ice in drinks?? What? Are they that stupid?

  24. ktbeta says:

    If they want to charge different rates based on body weight, they should include luggage (including carry-ons/purses/car seats) in the weight count.

  25. McDoctor says:

    This is the dumbest thing that I have ever heard, and is an obvious ploy to gouge people for more money (even if it is fat people.) Sure, more weight = more fuel costs, but how much more? I looked up some quick numbers to see the difference:

    1: Weight of an empty Boeing 737-900 (capacity 189 passengers) = 93,680 lb
    2: Weight of 189 checked bags@50 lb/bag = 9,450 lb
    3: Weight of 189 carry-on bags @15 lb/bag = 2,835 lb
    4: Weight of 189 passengers@average of 175 lb/passenger = 33,075 lb
    5: Weight of 189 passengers if we increase average weight to 225 lb/passenger = 42,525

    “Fixed” Weight (1+2+3) = 105,965 lb
    Total1 (Fixed + 4) = 139,040 lb
    Total2 (Fixed + 5) = 148,490 lb

    Total2/Total1 = 1.068

    …for an increase of 6.8% in weight if EVERYBODY gained 50 pounds. So if they increase fares on fatties by more than say 5-10%, it’s gouging as far as I’m concerned.

  26. Dr.Wang says:

    can we please stop giving this nasty company free publicity? The best way to treat them is to totally not mention their name any more.

  27. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    do you get a rebate on the fat tax if you poop during the flight?

    • Bor&Mitch says:

      During the flight? No, because your product is still on board. So if you want to save some money, poop before the flight.

  28. framitz says:

    I see no problem in wanting a fit and healthy crew. Actually isn’t this a good thing?

    I see no problem charging fatties by weight, none.

    Maybe they should just charge passengers by the pound so fatties have nothing to complain about. Might even be an incentive for frequent fliers to lose weight and save money.

  29. dush says:

    If the flight crew is larger then the customers are getting more flight crew. Charge them for the extra flight crew they are getting!

  30. Cicadymn says:

    Did you know you can tax and fine the fatness right out of people?

    It works every time so let’s all talk about how much we love the idea.

  31. PaulR says:

    What if the reason you’re overweight is because you spend so much time flying?