Charge airline passengers by the pound to fly

  • Article by: Chicago Tribune Editorial
  • Updated: April 8, 2013 - 11:46 AM

Oh, that notion may not fly in the United States. Still, the rationale for pay-by-the-pound makes good sense.

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supervon2Apr. 8, 1312:49 PM

Careful with this idea. Maybe Dayton will want to tax by the pound, too. There is a manifesto about everything, you know.

utopiaApr. 8, 1312:56 PM

No, the basic question is this; Are you a package or a person. The second we go down this road, (as if it hasn't been done in other ways), you dehumanize the individual. You start seeing them by their weight, their eye color, their skin color (remember that one, it wasn't too long ago).

arspartzApr. 8, 13 1:12 PM

Are you a package or a person.

The cost per pound for both is the same. In fact, the person needs to be charged a surcharge because they require pressurization, HVAC and a flight attendant. They also want a meal.

jayfrankApr. 8, 13 1:13 PM

Since fuel costs are a major operating expense of airlines it only stands to reason that fares should be based on flying weight. This has less to do with obesity than the weight being flown. Have a fare based on the average weight based on age, sex and then price per pound above that.

gandalf48Apr. 8, 13 1:25 PM

Well I could understand this if those passengers paying more get easier access to the first class bump up and the roomier seats over passengers paying the standard rate and of course only require a standard sized seat. Also, should we consider doing this for medical insurance as well? In a sense it's the same justification...what about those who have a real medical condition (my cousin had a thyroid tumor and she gained a bunch of weight until it was removed and then she returned to normal weight)?

medvezhonokApr. 8, 13 2:25 PM

Watch the lawsuits fly if this happens.

bigbadbeanApr. 8, 13 2:33 PM

Too funny. The problem with flying is that they narrowed seats from 22" down to 17" to squeeze more bodies in. The human body is wider in the shoulders than hips so we don't fit.

mjcmspApr. 8, 13 2:54 PM

Fares are essentially based on the average weight of Americans now and the average weight of Americans is in the overweight category. I'm fit and stay healthy, so I'm far below what the average person in the US weighs - even though I'm only what a human being SHOULD weigh. I'd pay less for my ticket if something like this went into place so I'm all for it. As it stands I'm subsidizing other people because I'm paying for more than my share of the fuel to transport the plane and everything/everyone on it. Just a funny example. For water vessels a few years back the standards had to be changed for how much flotation capacity a boat needs per person. The figure was the same since the codes were written, but had to be substantially increased. We may think of a person as just a single unit, but when it comes to boats/planes, etc physics does matter....

Mark27Apr. 8, 13 2:54 PM

Sounds like we're poised to make a stark reversal from the cultural mindset of a generation ago which, among other things, bent over backwards to accommodate the disabled with an overarching Americans With Disabilities Act. Not that being overweight is always a disability (in most cases it isn't) but the logic of this editorial longs for a return to a survival of the fittest jungle logic. Contrary to the article's author who believes this won't happen in America, I'm guessing it can and it will....and probably sooner than we expect in a culture where the portion sizes of our Big Gulp Pepsi are to be regulated...or at least would be if the "civilize the savages" faction had their way. It's pretty clear that the Mike Bloomberg mentality is catching fire though, enough so to where airlines and other entities with a vested interest will test the boundaries to see if they can get away with this, hoping a self-centered majority will happily welcome a discount for themselves if it comes at the expense of "the other guy who needs to go on a diet anyway".

allhailfsmApr. 8, 13 4:47 PM

Pay by weight and bigger seats for bigger people makes sense to me. Weighing someone at the gate, with their bags should not create a privacy problem. People who carry too much weight are visibly fat, and we delude ourselves if we thing people can't easily see it.


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