Charging overweight fliers would help airlines recoup the extra cost

Sample Title
Eat and weigh scheme

Majority of Britons Would Support ‘Pay as you Weigh’ Flight Tickets

Further to the news that an academic in Norway has suggested that charging overweight fliers would help airlines recoup the extra cost required to carry them, a leading online travel agency has conducted a poll to find out if ‘pay as you weigh’ flight tickets are something that holidaymakers would largely support, or criticise.


Following the suggestion by an academic in Norway that overweight passengers should be charged more money to travel on flights to enable the airline to get back the extra fuel costs involved in carrying them, a leading online independent travel agency has carried out research to see if the idea is something that would be supported by Britons.


www.sunshine.co.uk conducted the poll of 2,472 Britons who had been abroad, by plane, in the last 12 months. The study formed part of ongoing research into the holiday habits and preferences of people around the UK. Respondents were asked questions surrounding the idea of ‘pay as you weigh’ flight tickets, to find out if they were in agreement with the idea. 


After being told about the concept of ‘pay as you weigh’ flight charges and asked if they’d be in support of tickets where heavier people were ultimately required to pay more, 63% of the total respondents thought it was a good idea. 29% disagreed with the concept of ‘pay as you weigh’ flight tickets, whilst the remaining 8% were unsure.


Those taking part were also asked to class what weight bracket they felt that they personally fell within, i.e. correct weight, underweight or overweight. When looking at the decisions in relation to the weight of the various respondents, the poll revealed that a fifth, 21%, of those in agreement with such a scheme were actually classed as overweight, but would still think the charge would be a good idea. In contrast, the overwhelming majority of those who were not in support of ‘pay as you weigh’ flight tickets, 72%, were classed as overweight.


When those in support of ‘pay as you weigh’ flight tickets were asked what method they thought would be best to employ for airlines to get back the fuel costs involved in carrying heavier passengers, the top results were as follows:


Priced per kilogram (passenger and luggage) – 47%

Fixed low fair, but heavier passengers pay surcharge – 23%

Passengers split into light/average/heavy bands and charged more/less accordingly – 20%


9% of respondents expressed concerns about charging less for lighter passengers, due to the fact it ‘might irresponsibly promote weight loss’.


Chris Clarkson, co-founder of sunshine.co.uk, said the following:


“Pay as you weigh flight tickets are certainly an idea that’s been thrown around for some time and I think it’s only a matter of time before pricing structures linking to weight are introduced. It was interesting to see what kind of response such a scheme might receive and it was surprising that the majority supported it – even though many of those people were overweight themselves.


“Only time will tell what pricing structures might be introduced, but airlines can perhaps rest assured that there won’t be too much uproar in future if it’s an idea they want to proceed with.”


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