Samoa Air boss defends charging passengers by weight

Aeroplane seat Air Samoa said the policy meant some people would end up paying less to fly

The head of Samoa Air has defended the airline's decision to start charging passengers according to their weight.

Chris Langton told Australia's ABC Radio that it was "the fairest way of travelling".

Rather than pay for a seat, passengers pay a fixed price per kilogram, which varies depending on the route length.

Samoa Air flies domestically and to American Samoa. It is thought the move could encourage other airlines to introduce similar policies.

"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," Mr Langton told ABC radio.

Start Quote

People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago”

End Quote Chris Langton Samoa Air boss

"Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them."

Under the new model, Mr Langton described how some families with children were now paying cheaper fares.

"There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything - it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo," he said.

Air Samoa's rates range from $1 (65p) to around $4.16 per kilogram. Passengers pay for the combined weight of themselves and their baggage.

Mr Langton also suggested that the move had helped promote health awareness in Samoa, which has one of the world's highest levels of obesity.

"People generally are becoming much more weight conscious. That's a health issue in some areas," he told ABC Radio.

Mr Langton said he believed that charging by weight was "the concept of the future."

"People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago," he said. "The industry will start looking at this."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 438.

    I've been 6'3" and 90 KG's most of my adult life. Fit, healthy, not at all fat - explain to me again why I should be charged more for this lottery of genetics? Here's an idea, governments should massively reduce airport taxes (£534 tax on a £330 flight London to Melbourne!) and the airlines should stop treating us like cattle. BIGGER standard seats.

  • rate this

    Comment number 112.

    FINALLY!! As someone of average weight, I hate paying for the overly large person next to me (especially when half of their bulk ends up spilling over the armrest into my seat!). Similarly, it truly irks me that my son, who weighs 45 lbs dripping wet is charged the same as the 350 lbs person who needs 2 seat belt extenders. Airline cost are based on moving mass over distance. Charge based on that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 101.

    I would say that this would eliminate Purchasing tickets on the Internet, or ahead of time since the price per Kilo varries, and you'll never know your pre-flight weight or bagage weight. Talk about long lines at ticket counters, and every other airline has been getting rid of employees, so that customers do all their own check in and ticketing.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    It's hard to argue with the math but treating passengers even more like chunks of meat than they already do is unlikely to win the airline industry any fans--or new customers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    About time, I hope all airlines do this. As weight is a major factor in flying each passenger should have a personal weight allowance regardless of whether it is in their luggage or not.


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