Samoa Air: Pricing by weight is the ‘concept of the future’

A couple of weeks ago – reacting to SWA charging for an overweight bag – I asked the question:

If airlines charge for overweight bags, why don’t they charge fore for overweight passengers?  After all, a pound is a pound is a pound.

See: Why don’t airlines charge more for these bags?

Specifically, I opined:

There’s a societal cost to somebody’s ample butt hanging over onto somebody else’s seat.

Here’s a novel plan: how about a base ticket price for the first 175 pounds and then $75 for each 50 pounds (or portion thereof) over the limit.

Price the human  heavyweights,well, just like the overweight bags.

Then, rent the seat belt extenders for say $20.

Profit improvement for the airlines and major step forward in the war on obesity.

As President Obama likes to say: “It’s common sense.”

I took some heat for the idea but at least one airline thinks we’re onto something.


According to The Guardian, Samoa Airlines the first-mover to tilt the scales in favor of fit & trim passengers.

Here’s the skinny on the Samoa Air plan …

Samoa Air says charging passengers by weight is ‘concept of the future’

A Samoan airline has become the world’s first carrier to charge passengers according to their weight.

People wishing to travel with Samoa Air have to submit their weight, including their luggage, when booking to calculate their fare.

Proclaiming the “pay only for what you weigh” scheme, the company’s website says: “Booking a flight with us is as easy as inputting your approximate weight into our online booking engine (don’t worry, we will weigh you again at the airport) – you then can prepay your ‘guesstimate’, guaranteeing you that much weight is allocated to you for that flight … with Samoa Air, you are the master of how much (or little!) your air ticket will cost.”

Samoa Air’s chief executive said charging by weight was the fairest method since “airlines don’t run on seats; they run on weight … and, anybody who travels has travelled at times when they feel like they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them.”

Families have been “pleasantly surprised” by the pricing policy, since they end up paying less for their children.”

= = = = =
Did you know?

Samoa appears regularly in lists of the top 10 fattest countries with more than 80% of the population aged 15 and over overweight.

Among the airline’s other destinations, American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Niue also feature in lists of the top 10 countries by percentage of overweight people.

I knew we were onto something …

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One Response to “Samoa Air: Pricing by weight is the ‘concept of the future’”

  1. Norwegian economics professor jumps on the scale … endorses “pay what you weigh” | The Homa Files Says:

    […] For details, see Samoa Air: Pricing by weight is the ‘concept of the future’ […]

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