It’s “the fairest way of traveling,” head of the Samoa Air airline Chris Langton told Australia’s ABC Radio.
Samoa Air has become the world’s first airline to implement a new pricing policy which determines passenger’s fare based on the combined weights of themselves and their baggage.
“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,” Langton said.
Since November of last year, the small, two-plane, charter passenger airline has adopted new fare rates which start at $1 per kilo (or 2.2 pounds) and run as high as $4.16 per kilo on all international flights, including those between American Samoa and Samoa.
According to the Miami Herald, “That means the average American man weighing 195 pounds with a 35-pound bag would pay $97 to go one-way between Apia, Samoa, and Pago Pago, American Samoa. Competitors typically charge $130 to $140 roundtrip for similar routes.”
To make up for the increased fee, Langton has said that passengers who need more room will be given one row on the plane to ensure comfort and that families with children can now qualify for much cheaper fares.
Still, despite the airline’s hopes to the contrary, the new fare model is unlikely to be adopted by commercial airlines, having already faced a flurry of accusations regarding the potential sexism and discrimination of the model and its overall unfairness. Some netizens have suggested that instead of basing whole fares on weight, airlines should instead install a surcharge, considering a plane’s total operating costs are not based on fuel usage alone, but also include staff costs and taxes, among other things.
Others have praised the genius of the idea, asking why more airlines didn’t think of this sooner.
Kinda makes us wish those Dunkin’ Donuts Bacon Salad Wraps didn’t taste so good.
H/T Consumerist, Miami Herald, BBC + PicThx Business Insider