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To agree Samoan Airline charging by total weight? Although DETEST lazy/rude term 'fat tax' used, as it's NOT a 'tax' on 'fat' travellers; it's a you/me pay for all of our 'total travel weight' policy?

(30 Posts)
StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 11:57:38

Just saw this piece in Telegraph today, and found myself kinda nodding.

Much as I would LOVE this policy on all airlines (both financial & personal space/discomfort reasons below), I would though NOT be in favour of it unless it very specifically exempted people who had a medical condition confirmed by their Doctor that in ANY way contributed to their 'total travel weight' - whether that be permanant or temporary (IE all & everything genuinely medically driven from Thyroid issues to being disabled to simply being much heavier at that particular time due to say having just had no choice but to take steroids for a medical reason). As long as THAT exemption was in place, here's why I would welcome it:

1 - Biggest single variable cost of an individual flight is fuel. Every single kilo on board adds to that cost (hence my/you - pretty validly - having to pay extra for additional weight travel with). Why should my/your 'total travel weight' (IE me/DCs/luggage etc) be XY, but someone else's be XX, yet we have to pay the same? IE to put it bluntly, already be paying a frickin fortune (to point where maybe simply cannot now afford to fly) but part of that being to subsidise someone else's 'total travel weight' hmm

[NB do though think it is outrageous for any airline to try to charge for wheelchairs etc as that DOES seem like a genuine 'tax' on disability per se, so ANY medical items like that should NOT - IMHO - fall into any 'total travel weight' calcs.]

2 - Know I might get flamed for this but these are simple facts & not intended to offend anyone (& I can't see why they would TBH as THEY ARE simply truths/real experiences?). I used to fly a lot work-wise plus family hols etc. Lost count of the number of times where I was - literally - wedged into my seat due to the sheer physicality of someone else's body, and to the point of real discomfort.

Not even talking about the overspill onto the seat divider/occupying armrest for whole flight etc, but literally where someone else was spilling over their seat into mine - IE one of their legs squashed up against my thigh (as in, total body contact thigh to thigh with a complete stranger??!); one of their feet in the place where I was meant to be able to put my two feet; squashing me from shoulder down to armrest level where part of their body was simply on BOTH their seat AND on part of mine?


< Only 2nd foray onto AIBU so donning hard hatgrin >

TWinklyLittleStar Thu 04-Apr-13 11:59:03

As men usually weigh more than women I don't see it getting past European sex discrimination laws.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 12:01:39

you missed this on out in your op grin

Severe over use of emphasis on your OP

Lost count of the number of times where I was - literally - wedged into my seat due to the sheer physicality of someone else's body, and to the point of real discomfort.

So, people of fatness with thyroid issues are ok, but people of the one pie too many variety are not?

How does that work then?

ZacharyQuack Thu 04-Apr-13 12:04:33

Air Samoa's weight charges are only aimed at revenue collection, not space allocation on the plane, so your second point is invalid.

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 12:07:45

Dear Holly. Apols if you don't like my writing MO, but if you are going to raise something that seems pretty pointless it and 'copy' it by way of illustration; seems fair enough that I ask you at least do that accurately? Only person who emboldened that sentance was you, not me. And it is in any event, wholly irrelevant to OP/Samoan Airline Policy that was significant enough to make international news?

whatsleep Thu 04-Apr-13 12:09:24

Would you get a refund if you lost weight between booking and traveling? and if you gained weight would you get charged extra? I personally think its the way forward but with all the laws on discrimination it will probably never happen.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 12:09:45

I asked you a question

MissAnnersley Thu 04-Apr-13 12:11:07

TBH Stoic, I agree with Holly.


nbee84 Thu 04-Apr-13 12:15:25

So if you weigh more and pay more, should you get a bigger % of seat space?

If someone weighs 120kg and you weigh 80kg they will pay 50% more for their seat - shouldn't they get a 50% bigger seat too?

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 12:18:18

Zachery - agree it's invalid in sense of will not stop that ever happening again, but if cost was to deter a 28 stone man from flying &/or his having to pay for 2 seats that would comfortably accomodate him, and also thus sparing me/anyone from that - pretty horrible - experience described above of having repeatedly had someone else being all over me; I'd be lying if said wouldn't be grateful for that (& I think anyone else who's had same experience on a long haul flight would be lying if they said they were totally cool/comfortable with it).

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 12:20:31

The logical conclusion to this is to realise that as the human race evolves, access to better food and medicine, people are getting taller and wider, thus seat sizes should be increased proportionately.

Rosa Thu 04-Apr-13 12:20:55

Check the fleet of Samoa Airlines ..

No in flight service ..hostess with a trolley etc etc in fact I doubt It has any cabin crew...
So in this case I think what they are doing is pretty ok its a tiny aircraft and easier to calculate the exact weight of the plane thus the fuel...

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 12:21:09

nbee Yes, I do think they should as that seems wholly fair both in terms of their direct cost of flight, and also with regard to others. Think that would be utterly fair - agree with you totally.

Rosa Thu 04-Apr-13 12:21:40

And Holly in this case they would be a bit stuffed if they tried to expand the seat size..... Reckon they must take 12 pax max.....

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 12:27:05

Holly Your question - I was knocking 15stone as on Steroids for Acute Toxic Shock, to charge me for that (or anyone with a medical cause for their obesity - as I was 'obese' in medical sense & directly due a medical condition) seems genuinely discrimantory. I don't think it would have been discrimantory if I had elected to eat a hundred too many pies as their is obv a huge diff between the two.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 12:27:25

Quite odd Samoan Airlines are doing this. Some races are predisposed to certain characteristics, people from the Pacific region tend to be somewhat ummm sturdy, that's a good word, sturdy! So my guess is that Samoan Air is the equivalent of Ryanair and on a money making racket!

whatsleep Thu 04-Apr-13 12:29:46

Good point nbee, the seats would have to be a bench design with movable arm rests to separate each seat so you would get the amount of space you pay for!!

Fairenuff Thu 04-Apr-13 12:36:38

I think if you pay more because you are bigger and get allocated a bigger seating area that would be great.

My dh is over 6 foot tall and hardly ever has enough leg room. If he had to pay more than me, because he weighs more than me, and was given a seat that he could comfortably travel in, I'm sure he would welcome that.

Rosa Thu 04-Apr-13 12:37:11

There are no arm rests...... And yep they look like padded benches with backs.....

Rosa Thu 04-Apr-13 12:40:30

And they are certainly no way like Ryan Air........

MrsKoala Thu 04-Apr-13 12:50:03

But even if someone is larger because of the medical condition, surely the effect on the person sitting next to them would be the same - unless they had bigger seats. My DH is 17 stone and 6ft2 and has massive shoulders. I'm over 5ft10 and my shoulders are also pretty broad (wider than most blokes i know). We are uncomfortable on most flights and anyone sitting next to us gets squished. This is not either of our faults tho. There is no option for wider seats and even if they were, why should we pay more for something which is no fault of our own?

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 12:54:23

Whatsleep - what you said to nbee, genius idea (genuinely, before you think I'm taking the piss or being sarky - is a genius idea). Would ensure we all paid our 'own' costs of the actual flight, AND would facilitate Fairenuff's - and others - travel mares.

Know Samoan fleet is slightly atypical of other airlines (understatement) but I do think that as fuel becomes even more expensive this is a policy that will likely be the norm in 10 years. And it's one I can't see any valid reason to disagree with (as long as it didn't become an unfair 'tax' on those who may be disabled or have any other medical condition which meant their 'total travel weight' was genuinely out of their own hands).

And mention of Ryanair & their proposal/policy to charge for wheelchairs is a bang-on EG of how unfair it is. Total travel weight of an 11stone man plus his essential wheelchair would be less than that of an XXstone bloke - yet the wheelchair user should pay MORE than the other bloke who did choose to 'eat one too many pies' as Holly so succinctly put it? How is THAT remotely fair?hmm

whatsleep Thu 04-Apr-13 13:18:09

Today I am a Genius..... grin

EuroShaggleton Thu 04-Apr-13 13:24:43

I took an internal flight on a seaplane a few months back. They weighed everything carefully, including my small handbag. But not the people. confused The weight difference in the people must have had a much bigger influence on the fuel needed than whether my handbag weighed 2 or 4 kilos!

StoicButStressed Thu 04-Apr-13 13:35:02

<passes 'Genius Trophy' to whatsleep>

< whatsleep thanks her friends, family, and everyone that knows her in speech of magnifcent proportions, but avoids at all costs weeping on stage a la Gwynnie with THAT speechgrin >

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