Flights to cost more for overweight passengers

Nicole Lafond Contributor
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Overweight passengers flying with Samoa Air will be charged more for their seats.

Samoa Air is the first airline to start a “pay as you weigh” plan, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langston, called his company’s plan the “fairest way of traveling.” Some airlines in the United States already charge individuals who cannot fit in one seat the cost of two.

“There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything — it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo,” Langston told ABC Radio.

Not only is the policy fair, according to Langston, it is also a good way to raise awareness of weight, as standard weight is “substantially higher” in the Pacific than Southeast Asia, he said.

When booking flights with Samoa Air online, passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage. Passengers are also re-weighed when they check in for their flights. Costs vary depending on distance flown.

Samoa Air flies the Britten Norman series aircraft and the Cessna aircraft, both of which are smaller aircrafts, according to the company’s website.

By forcing passengers to reveal their weight ahead of time, flight planners can better proportion weight distribution on flights, making the flying experience safer, Peter Sereno, public relations representative for Samoa Tourism told The Sydney 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,” Sereno said.