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  1. #1
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    dirtydog's Avatar
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    Fat people to pay more for flights :)

    Airlines May Start Treating Passengers `Like Freight' (Update1)

    By Michael Janofsky



    June 3 (Bloomberg) -- Imagine two scales at the airline ticket counter, one for your bags and one for you. The price of a ticket depends upon the weight of both.

    That may not be so far-fetched.

    ``You listen to the airline CEOs, and nothing is beyond their imagination,'' said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. ``They have already begun to think exotically. Nothing is not under the microscope.'' He declined to discuss what any individual airline might be contemplating, including charging passengers based on weight.

    With fuel costs almost tripling since 2000, now accounting for as much as 40 percent of operating expenses at some carriers, according to the ATA, airlines are cutting costs and raising revenue in ways that once were unthinkable. U.S. Airways Group Inc. has eliminated snacks. Delta Air Lines Inc. is charging $25 for telephone reservations. AMR Corp.'s American Airlines last month became the first U.S. company to charge $15 for one checked bag.
    Even a cold drink may be harder to come by aloft.

    Singapore Airlines Ltd., whose shares have fallen 8.9 percent this year, is ``trying to eliminate unnecessary quantities of extra water'' to save weight, Chief Executive Officer Chew Choon Seng said in an interview.
    ``When you hear some people talking about putting showers on their planes, that strikes me as counterintuitive,'' he said.

    Logical Step

    After U.S. airlines reported combined first-quarter losses of $1.7 billion and crude oil jumped to a record $133.17 a barrel on May 21, almost double from a year earlier, fares based on a passenger's weight may be a logical step, said Robert Mann, head of R.W. Mann & Co., an aviation consultant based in Port Washington, New York.
    ``If you look at the air-freight business, that's the way they've always done it,'' he said. ``We're getting treated like air freight when we travel by airlines, anyway.''

    ``Laughter aside, the airlines are just in a desperate situation,'' said David Swierenga, president of consulting firm Aeroecon in Round Rock, Texas, who dismissed weight-based ticket sales and steep price increases as unrealistic.
    Since December, eight companies have ceased flying, largely because of fuel costs -- MaxJet Airways Inc., Big Sky Transportation Co., Aloha Airlines Inc., ATA Airlines, Skybus Airlines Inc., Eos Airlines, Silverjet Plc. and the charter- flight operator Champion Air. Air Midwest, a division of Mesa Air Group Inc., is ceasing operations this month.

    $6.1 Billion Loss

    Airlines may report combined losses of $6.1 billion this year, the worst since 2003, the International Air Transport Association said yesterday in Istanbul. Swierenga said the only meaningful way for them to reach profitability is to idle a portion of their fleets, which would allow them to reduce costs associated with fuel and labor.
    ``The solution lies in capacity cuts,'' he said.

    That's already begun. Ryanair Holdings Plc, whose shares have dropped 38 percent this year, will ground 20 aircraft this winter, equivalent to about 10 percent of total capacity, Chief Financial Officer Howard Millar said today.

    American said on May 21 up to 45 planes, most of them aging Boeing Co. MD-80s, would be dropped from its 655-jet fleet along with as many as 40 aircraft from its 305-plane Eagle regional unit.

    ``Most other airlines will have similar cuts as well,'' said Jim Corridore, an analyst for Standard & Poor's in New York.

    Measures Taken

    Airlines have also taken shorter-term steps even if they have stopped short of weighing passengers.

    Japan Airlines Corp. is using crockery in first-class and business-class cabins that is 20 percent lighter than the service items they replaced.

    Southwest Airlines Co. is flying slower -- by 72 seconds, for example, on Houston-Los Angeles flights, which now take 3 hours 14 minutes. That saves 8.7 gallons of fuel for each of the airline's four daily nonstops on the 1,387-mile route, 34.8 gallons a day overall, said Marilee McInnis, a company spokeswoman.
    Southwest comes closest to charging for weight, asking passengers to buy a second seat if their girth prevents the armrest from lowering.
    Power Change

    American Airlines has switched from using on-board power units that draw down jet fuel while planes are parked at gates to electrical generators on the ground, said Steve Lott, a spokesman for the International Air Transport Association.
    Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe's second-largest airline, is one of several that has begun washing planes more frequently, said Lott, pointing out that dirt on a fuselage increases wind resistance.

    Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd., Hong Kong's largest carrier, is ordering money-saving changes that passengers won't notice, said managing director Tony Tyler, who declined to cite them.
    ``Customers notice quickly if you start to take away service elements,'' he said. ``We operate in a very competitive market and can't afford to let the competition get a march on us.''

    One airline that is unlikely to start weighing its customers is Dubai-based Emirates, the largest carrier in the Gulf region.
    ``That is something that when I was a check-in agent in the early 70s I used to do and it was the most horrific experience, trying to get people to stand on scales,'' said Tim Clark, the airline president. ``It's not something that we would do.''

    To contact the reporter on this story: Michael Janofsky in Los Angeles at mjanofsky[at]bloomberg.net
    Last Updated: June 3, 2008 11:55 EDT

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog
    Fat people to pay more for flights
    About time.

  3. #3
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Umm, why don't they just put their prices up if they're struggling?

  4. #4
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    I have always agreed with a fat tax and not only for airline carriers.

    you could go some way towards solving obesity issues if fat bastards were charged for the privilege of walking round not caring about themselves.

    as for airlines, it's fair and proper.

    fukk me, i got a 20 dollar a kilo surcharge on excess baggage a few years back.

  5. #5
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    if you read the article then you'll notice they all said they WILL NOT charge people by weight.

  6. #6
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingwilly
    they WILL NOT charge people by weight.
    i didn't read the article, i read DD's headline.

    i agree with it.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat Texpat's Avatar
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    Do dwarfs get a discount? Do they also weigh the booster seat?

  8. #8
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Texpat
    Do dwarfs get a discount? Do they also weigh the booster seat?
    i haven't flown for a while.

    you might ask kingwilly.

  9. #9
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    Why is it fair that someone who is 190cm has to pay more than someone who is 150cm?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Weight not height.

  11. #11
    たのむよ。
    The Gentleman Scamp's Avatar
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    Look at this fat cnut.


  12. #12
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    Why is it fair that someone who is 190cm has to pay more than someone who is 150cm?
    the fat tax needs to be fair and needs to be worked out on a body mass index thingummy.

    if you are 6 feet 4 and weigh 13 stone, you will not be taxed but someone of the same weight at 5 foot 3 will get their just deserts.

    it's a fat tax, not a weight tax that i approve of.

    i think i'm carrying 3 or 4 extra kilos myself, it would provide incentive to get in shape.

  13. #13
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Which country has the fattest people? It'll produce some interesting scenarios at the check in desks. Will be weighed fully clothed?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiangMai noon
    if you are 6 feet 4 and weigh 13 stone, you will not be taxed but someone of the same weight at 5 foot 3 will get their just deserts.
    so its not about the airlines needing to pay more for big bastards, its just a CMN feel good tax?

  15. #15
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    Marmite the Dog's Avatar
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    OK, according to the BMI, my maximum weight should be no more than 85 kgs, which is nonsense. My ideal weight is 93 kgs in reality, but according to the BMI I'd be well overweight.

  16. #16
    I am in Jail

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    I am all for it.

    Fatties smell

  17. #17
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jandajoy
    Which country has the fattest people?
    almost certainly America i suspect.

    overweight people should also not be allowed to buy chocolate in the same way as under sixteens can't buy cigarettes.

    i can imagine fatties lurking around newsagents waiting for normal weighted folk to come along to buy a cadbury's cream egg for them.

  18. #18
    punk douche bag
    ChiangMai noon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmite the Dog
    My ideal weight is 93 kgs in reality, but according to the BMI I'd be well overweight.
    needs to be a bit of leeway.

    lets say 5 kilos above the BMI.

  19. #19
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    I thought it was all about weight costing more fuel

    so any ticket should be based on weight, never mind fat or thin

    if you are a fat bastard, then you can lose weight to save money

    if you are a tall 120kg rugby player, then tough luck, pay up
    I have reported your post

  20. #20
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    How would age fit into the equation?

  21. #21
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    I think weight and width should be considered. For economy They probably can get in a couple more seats per row for the little people. Asians should be able to fly for a lot less since they are small. Space should be a consideration. Small people should be in the small people section where they'll get the seats which fit them. Then the range of passenger sizes go up. So bigger people will pay more but they will get that larger seat. Small people won't be allowed in the larger seats because it's not environmentally positive. The whole first class sections will be tossed. There will be the airlines that fly completely first class flights on the regular routes and the rest which will become known as comfortable economy (for all).

    Using weight would be great if it would allow families with kids to take more trips at fair rates.

  22. #22
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    im not fat im big boned as my granny would say

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rattanaburi
    So bigger people will pay more but they will get that larger seat. Small people won't be allowed in the larger seats because it's not environmentally positive.
    So I'll sit at the front and the wife and kids will be at the back, sounds good to me. Apart from that, it does seem sensible, however there are two issues here, weight and volume. They are getting concerned about weight because of the fuel costs, but they don't give a damn about volume because they don't care about passenger comfort really.

    I believe 50% of the airlines costs are fuel at the moment, so they should weigh your party, including luggage, and charge 50% of the current price plus a variable amount based on weight. They could then charge a premium depending on what size seat you want.

  24. #24
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    i was stuck next to some fat [at][at][at][at] on a 5 hour flight to sri lanka.

    boy was it hell, damn right they should be charged more

    ;-p..............

  25. #25
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    Happyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobbyTits View Post
    I am all for it.

    Fatties smell
    Nobody has complained about me!

    Probably too polite




    Anyway my son tells be I am not fat - just a bit robust !!!

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