Samoa Air charging airline passengers by weight

Have you heard the news? “Airline charges passengers by weight (Samoa Air)”. Yes, you read that right. In 2013 Samoa Air became the first airline to charge passengers entirely based on their weight.
By “weight” the airline means the combined weight of each traveler and their luggage. When booking online, passengers are required to enter the approximate weight of themselves and their luggage. The ticket price is then determined based on the combined weight with a standard price per pound/kilo. When passengers arrive at the airport, they must be weighed, along with their luggage, to confirm their weight. Some passengers may be put off by this, but it is a common procedure for all airline passengers travelling through Samoa to be weighed at the airport. This allows the airlines to ensure that the small planes used in the islands are properly balanced.

The airline has been accused of discrimination against heavier passengers. However, some passengers have said that they do not mind paying extra based on their weight as the airline has given them more room on the plane. This means a more comfortable flight for those people. Samoa Air officials have called their policy the fairest method of charging airline passengers by far. This is because each passenger is charged the same price for each pound/kilo and all passengers receive the same standard of in-flight service. This can be contrasted with other airlines whose prices vary over time, and who tack on additional charges for passengers to receive certain in-flight services. As a result, some passengers may get a full food and beverage service, with checked baggage and a cabin bag. The passenger in the next seat may have to pay high in-flight prices to purchase a snack, drink or to use the on-board entertainment system, or will otherwise have to bring their own or go without. Samoa Air officials argue that it is this type of differential treatment of passengers that is unfair. Whatever you think of Samoa Air’s charging policies, the scheme seems to be paying off with the airlines profits rising by as much as 20% in its early days.
So, if you are looking for the best prices when flying within the Pacific Island, then Samoa Air may, or very well may not, be the airline for you. It all depends on how much you weigh and how lightly (or not) you like to travel. People most likely to benefit from paying by weight will likely include families with a number of children and well as slender passengers who like to travel light. Those with a heavier frame or a penchant for shopping may find better prices somewhere else.

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