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March 27th, 2013
02:21 PM ET

Should airlines use weight-based fares?

CNN's Lisa Sylvester looks at a proposal for airlines to save money by charging passengers by their weight.

Post by:
Filed under: Lisa Sylvester
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Timothy S

    At first I liked the idea. I do think that there is an obesity problem in the nation and this might be incentive for people to find healthier lifestyles. After that short-sighted perspective wore off, I started thinking about the classes of people this type of charging "scale" might be descriminating against. Obviously, obese people have a case. Not sure if they would win, but it would get ugly in court. The class of people that I think truly have a discrimination case are, of all unlikely classes, men. I'm a very fit, 6'1", 170lb adult male. There is no way, I plan on loosing any weight and if I did, it would be a health hazzard. I don't know the correct numbers, but I would say, on average, a fit adult woman of any age would weigh anywhere from 20-80lbs less than me. As a person who cannot and should not loose weight, I would think charging me for 20 to 80 more pounds than a woman of similar fitness and slender body type for the SAME SERVICE is PURE DESCRIMINATION.

    April 3, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • Timothy S

      Aside from my personal argument, if you just look at it from a pure numbers perspective. I don't have accurate numbers, but I'm confident that the average weight of a woman is less than the average weight of a man of the same age, for any age and race. As as those umbers hold up, it is unjustifiable to charge the average man more than the average woman just because they, on average, weigh more.

      April 3, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • violetyoshi

        Oh really? Then I guess you must know that due to nature having decided women are the ones who give birth, it's natural for them to have more fat then men, because the idea is they need it for protection for their baby.

        April 3, 2013 at 10:23 pm |
    • violetyoshi

      Wait wait wait, so you liked the idea that those naughty fatties would be humiliated for their own good, because they're obviously healthy after all they're obese. Then when it affects you, because you shouldn't lose weight, you have a problem with it? How utterly hypocritical and selfish of you. Fat people cannot lose weight for various reasons too, you have the audacity to suggest they must be humiliated, but you don't deserve that? Unbelievable!

      April 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • violetyoshi

      So fat people deserve to be punished and humiliated on your presumption they must be unhealthy, but you are too good for that? Guess what, thin people can be unhealthy, it's true! They can eat poorly, and not exercise! You should be just as worried for their health as you do fat people.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  2. Kevin

    On initial reaction it doesn't seem fair to charge more by weight. Upon further consideration on why it wouldn't be fair it is because you are not receiving any additional value. So how about this? As a larger frequent traveller I would expect a proportional seat size if an airline were to implement weight based pricing. Ie. if I weigh twice as much as you and I am paying twice as much I had better receive twice the space and service.

    March 30, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  3. Befuddle

    MeMe Roth says on Saturday morning on CNN that obesity is a's not genetic. What are her credentials to say that aside from having come from an obese family? That's what she said her reasons are to be an anti-obesity activist. Sounds to me as if she's an anti-obese PERSONS activist. She seems to have great animosity toward them. I think the way we DRESS is not's a choice (affected by income of course) – but I think the way we choose to DRESS ourselves is not genetic – and HER choice for being on television this morning was quite unappealing ~ should she be discriminated against for bad taste in wardrobe? Maybe if she were a nicer person, the bad wardrobe choice wouldn't be so noticeable to me, along with her painfully thin size. No, I'm not obese. Just saying she didn't seem to be the kind of "expert" CNN might want to have on for a discussion of this matter.

    March 30, 2013 at 10:03 am |
  4. thor7

    I have been saying this for years, a set rate for up to 250, then another rate for the next fifty, then another rate for the next fifty. Then some kind of formula involving zones to the different parts of the world and country. This would be a huge incentive for people to lose weight before they travel and just in general!!!

    March 28, 2013 at 8:46 am |
  5. Ron Long

    Absolutely, "NOT". Exploitation of overweight and overindulging human beings should be considered a crime. They shouldn't be accused of eating too much. You know as well as I do, the people responsible for these crimes of obesity, heart problems, seating that is too small for larger people. This society which is becoming more and more obese should blame all of this Glutney on eating establishments, food production factories, Holidays, banquets, and all of those fat producing industries that make a ton of money on junk and high calorie foods. These larger, obese jet passengers are NOT to blame. We are!

    March 27, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  6. Matt from San Francisco

    I am against it, in order for it to even be considered the following would need to be true:
    1) The weight is a combination of the individual and any luggage checked in or not. Not more paying for luggage if we are doing weight.
    2) Larger individuals should get larger seats. If we are essentially paying by how much of the plane's power we use, we should also get the space.

    I'm a big guy, not fat: 6'3" 240lbs, seat design on plans already is not designed with size in mind. The would need to be consistent in plane usage as the individual pays for it.

    March 27, 2013 at 4:33 pm |
  7. Rocky

    Samoa Air ceased to operate many years ago.

    March 27, 2013 at 3:02 pm |

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