There are a few ways that passengers can get different prices for a ticket on the same flight — timing, perks and booking sites can come into play. But an airline recently announced what it considers to be the fairest pricing system — “pay only for what you weigh.”
Somoa Air, established in 2012 to connect the Islands of Samoa, announced itself as the world’s first airline to charge people based on their total weight. This includes not only your body weight but luggage as well.
“We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh,” the airline’s website stated. “You are the master of your Air’fair’, you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage [fees], or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.”
Comments on Somoa Airlines’ Facebook page about the announcement include mostly positive feedback, but some see it as “Immoral and discriminating!”
Here’s how it works, according to the airline:
Step 1. Select ‘book online’, and choose your flight
Step 2. Enter your details, including your estimated weight(s) of passengers and baggage
Step 3. Your airfare is then calculated using your weight.
Step 4. You travel happy, knowing full well that you are only paying for exactly what you weigh… nothing more.
Just to make sure all the inputted measurements check out, the person and their luggage are weighted again that the airport, but the “guesttimate” weight can be prepaid.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported rates depending on distance flown. For example, it costs from $1 per kilogram for a short domestic flight, but up to $4.16 per kilogram between Samoa and American Somoa.
“A family of maybe two adults and a couple of mid-sized kids … can travel at considerably less than what they were being charged before,” Somoa Air Chief Executive Chris Langton said on ABC Radio, according to the Morning Herald.
Some also believe there are safety enhancements that go along with the new system as well.
“When you’re only fitting eight to 12 people in these aircraft and you’ve got some bigger Samoans getting on, you do need to weigh them and distribute that weight evenly throughout the aircraft, to make sure everyone’s safe,” Samoa Tourism marketing representative Peter Sereno said according to the Morning Herald. “At the end of the day, I don’t care who they’re weighing or how they’re weighing them as long as it’s safe.”