Heavier people should bear the airline fare load, says Norway academic / News / The Foreigner

Heavier people should bear the airline fare load, says Norway academic. The plight of having to sit next to a large person when squashed into an economy seat could be solved by introducing financial penalties. Lower fares could also result, a Norway-based academic believes. Bharat P. Bhatta from western Norway's Sogn og Fjordane University College believes that airlines should base their ticket prices on how much a customer weighs. The more you weigh the more you pay. In the run-up to 1 April, he points out that most low-cost airlines ask for payment to check in luggage. Others also make customers who cannot fit into one seat pay for an additional ticket.

planefares, norwayresearch



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Heavier people should bear the airline fare load, says Norway academic

Published on Tuesday, 26th March, 2013 at 09:30 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

The plight of having to sit next to a large person when squashed into an economy seat could be solved by introducing financial penalties. Lower fares could also result, a Norway-based academic believes.

An Antonov an 124 cargolifter plane
An Antonov an 124 cargolifter plane
Photo: Greg Goebel/Wikimedia Commons


Bharat P. Bhatta from western Norway's Sogn og Fjordane University College believes that airlines should base their ticket prices on how much a customer weighs. The more you weigh the more you pay.

In the run-up to 1 April, he points out that most low-cost airlines ask for payment to check in luggage. Others also make customers who cannot fit into one seat pay for an additional ticket.

The academic argues that this shows how weight plays a major part in air travel. Pilots also always have to perform a weight and balance calculation to ensure the centre of gravity is right before departing.

“Charging according to weight is standard in transporting of goods by most modes – so-called PAYW (Pay-as-you-weigh) – but not for people. The more weight in a plane, the more fuel it costs to fly; as a result it is justifiable to say that a passenger should contribute to the cost of flying the plane,” he illustrates.

Bharat P. Bhatta believes that lighter passengers are currently paying to cover the costs of heavier passengers. Pricing tickets on the weight of a passenger then means people are covering their own costs.

“The PAYW model also gives a passenger an incentive to “lose weight” because passengers pay less for their travel if they weigh less. Although this effect is likely to be minuscule in terms of body weight, there are far greater social pressures producing obesity than air fare structures, it is likely to affect the baggage they take,” says the academic.

One of the down sides to this system, however, would be that ticket prices being unknown until a passenger arrived at the airport to check in for their flight.

There are also concerns that people would not accept this type of change and that it could be seen as a form of prejudice against heavier people.

“Some commentators argue that they would sue under discrimination laws if the weight-based fares were implemented. Several warn that some heavier people may choose not to fly because they do not want to be judged or it would be too expensive for them. Some consider that charging air travelers according to their body weight is not appropriate because it treats human beings as goods,” states Bharat P.Bhatta.



Published on Tuesday, 26th March, 2013 at 09:30 under the news category, by Lyndsey Smith   .

This post has the following tags: planefares, norwayresearch.





  
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