Why Airlines Will Join The War On Fatties

Recently, the airline Samoa Air elected to start charging passengers by the pound – their fares would be based on the sum of the weights of their body and their luggage. The airline’s CEO Chris Langton defended the ‘pay-as-you-weigh’ pricing, saying “The industry has this concept that all people throughout the world are the same size… Aeroplanes always run on weight, irrespective of seats.”

Samoa Air CEO Chris Langton

One of the biggest expenses of flying a plane is fuel, and the heavier the plane’s cargo, the more fuel the plane burns to reach its destination. Charging passengers according to their weight means linking the price for serving them to the cost of flying them. Currently, airlines do not charge passengers according to their bodyweight. At most, they will insist that the largest passengers buy a second seat.

Imagine if every restaurant were an all you can eat buffet – restaurants would have to charge their patrons the average cost of serving them, plus some margin to make a profit. An upstart restaurant could gain an advantage, by say, charging the most gluttonous consumers more.  That would lower the costs of serving everyone else, and allow them to charge those abstemious customers a lower price than the going rate, and thus attract more of them.  Well, Samoa Air has done just that with its passengers, and it has the cash to prove it. Since implementing the policy, profits are up 20%, a spectacular figure considering how notoriously thin profit margins are in the airline industry.

The best part? Samoa Air is forcing its competitors into taking a loss by flying fatties for a flat rate. If a rival doesn’t charge by weight, it will be hard or impossible to compete with Samoa Air and still make a profit, in the long run.

According to CBS, the price is about fifty cents a pound for a given route. Say the average passenger and his luggage is 200 lbs, for a total ticket price of $100 on Samoa Air, as well as its rival airlines. Passengers under 200 lbs will fly with Samoa Air to save money, while their weightier peers will go with its rivals. As rival airlines cater to heavier and heavier passengers, their planes will burn up more fuel on each flight, raising costs. Ticket prices will have to be raised, driving more passengers to Samoa Air. It becomes a sort of vicious cycle of adverse selection that ends in bankruptcy or aping Samoa Air and making customers pay by weight. Perhaps a few customers will pay for the privilege of not disclosing their weight initially. But when they board the flight and see themselves surrounded by the morbidly obese, they may suddenly change their minds…

More so than almost any other consumer product, customers choose airlines based on the fare price alone. And, when they choose an airline, they are comparing fare prices among all the major providers available. An airline with prices consistently above its peers may find it hard to attract passengers. Conversely, being just a few dollars cheaper than one’s peers can make for a massive advantage. This explains why policy changes like charging for checked luggage have swept the industry so quickly. Faced with a rival with lower costs and lower ticket prices, and customers who only care about price, an airline has no choice but to do whatever is necessary to get its costs and prices down enough to match those of its rivals.

With fuel such a major expense for airlines, it seems inevitable that once one major airline implements such a policy, its rivals will be forced to follow suit. Read comments on the Samoa Air story, and you will find plenty of people who are happy to ‘pay by weight.’ Just days before Samoa Air made this announcement, Norwegian economist Bharat Bhatta published a study saying paying by weight makes sense.

Weighing Passengers Saves Lives

In 2003, a plane crashed and all 19 of its passengers and its two pilots died, partly because the weight of the passengers was hundreds of pounds beyond the plane’s capacity.   They had used Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)-approved passenger weight estimates, which turned out be twenty pounds short of the passenger’s actual average weight. In the aftermath of the crash, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that small airplanes measure passenger weights before flight, but most still opt otherwise.

Unless fat apologists enlist governments to specifically ban the practice of charging by weight, it is only a matter of time until airlines implement it on a mass scale.

Players Club™ Premium Seating

While I’m on the topic, I might as well offer airlines another idea for increasing profits. Airplane seating is like playing roulette where you can only bet on red, but the ball only lands on black. Despite flying dozens of times, I’ve never had a bangable girl sit next to me. When a girl’s flying, there’s a ~50% chance she’s going somewhere besides home, which means, conservatively, she’s 500% more DTF than usual. Even if she’s not, you’ve got a solid opportunity to lay some game sporadically throughout the flight. Even a Goldstein like me will pony up for that.

With airlines already asking for your birth date, weight and possibly height, there are tons of options for recouping a little of the dough lost from flying all those fat passengers. Sell the chance to sit next to a babe on the flight. You already have enough info to make a good guess as to who they are. Make it a sliding scale, so that the horndogs who can pay more, typically older men, are charged more for the privilege.

Hell, we’re all such niggards we’d sell our own nephew to save a few bucks on airfares – tell young slim female passengers they’ll get free cocktails if they sign in through Facebook. When a man signs up for Players Club™ Premium Seating, he sees photos of all the girls who signed up through Facebook, and bids for the chance to sit next to the woman of his choice. With the risk of getting ‘Secret Internet Fattie’d reduced to nil, men will shell out. Maybe you’d even upgrade the dimes to first class, free of charge, just to get some tycoon to drop some coin for her presence. Meanwhile, she’s getting liquored up, to the delight of the man now next to her.

If it became popular enough, airlines would compete to get babes in their seats. That means lower airfares for the girls, even to the point of being free. Look sexy and score a free ticket on your next hoedown vacation to Vegas? I can’t think of a better incentive for the women of the West to slim down and doll up. With babes shedding pounds to score free seats, carbon emissions from flying would decline. Even Captain Planet would get behind this – it’s a win-win-win-win. On the busy routes, entire planes could be players and babes. The glamor of aviation of days past is due for a comeback.

Bar Rafaeli taking cash for the chance to sit next to her on a Southwest flight
Read Next: Why Fat Women Should Be Sent To Prison

52 thoughts on “Why Airlines Will Join The War On Fatties”

  1. Kudos to Samoa Air. Very savvy business strategy. Ironic name some Samoans can get pretty damn big.

  2. Sell the chance to sit next to a babe on the flight.

    Virgin is doing something like that:

    1. sir dick is exactly who i had in mind while reading this article. this should be sent to him.

  3. Unlike the allure of the other deadly sins…you can’t make gluttony look good.

        1. So do you suck cock to feel more like a man then?
          *yeah, I reposted this comment since it was taken down. Why was it censored, hey?*

  4. It’s about damn time. I am a skinny man and travel light. I get charged for my small luggage while fat people waddle on the plane with far more carry-on than should be allowed. Funny that the Samoans would do this as they can be fairly big, thanks to influence of western diet, much like the Native American in my southwest locale.
    Spam is a local favorite, as bobstein noted. My viet wife likes it, and it is a delicacy in Hawaii, where you find Spam sandwiches at the mini-mart instead of fossilized hot dogs.

    1. Corned beef sandwiches bro! Local traditional in South Auckland (the Pacific/Samoan capital of the world). Western civilisation has had a horrible effect of the Islanders. They love rap, but in their rap videos there are almost never their own girls (mostly Europeans with some Africans); sadly, after having lived in the centre of Pacific culture for ten years, finding a nice Pacific girl is like one needle in a three haystacks (half European ones would be more common). Corned beef sandwiches do horrible things to them (and their attitudes are repulsively unfeminine/aggressive).

  5. Eva Air has “extended economy” seats which have more leg room and bigger seats. If you are a big guy like me it is worth the extra money on a 14-hour flight.

  6. I’d love if this were reality, but I’m guessing Samoa Air is a smaller airline; their actions aren’t going to cause the others to change. The bigger airlines are going to be afraid of civil rights lawsuits, now that obesity is a civil right. Also will need to integrate with the OTAs – Priceline, Travelocity, etc. I guess you could enter your weight when buying the ticket, then get weighed in and pay for any overage. But you know that stepping on a scale in front of people is guaranteed to spark lawsuits.

    1. They ought to have a giant digital readout for everyone to see : 290 LBS.

  7. There’s only one problem I can see with going by weight. It does not account for height. While being fat is a choice and you should be penalized for it, height is not a choice.
    Maybe they should go by waist size…

    1. I know I’ve been penalized for my height every time I fly. They make the airplane for people 6 ft. and under. I’m a hunchback everytime I’m in one of those things.

      1. Tell it bro. Last week flew United and my legs were crunched between my seatback and the one in front. I upgraded my ticket but they made a mistake, so I ended up sitting next to a fat woman with two infants. I like kids though, so suffered though it.

      2. This keeps coming up in the comments, and it would seem like a good opportunity for airlines to create special “Extra Tall” flights, with slightly larger cabins.

    2. Hey, maybe the government should subsidize tampons, because menstrual bleeding is ‘not a choice?’
      Trying to ‘equalize’ everything for everybody is insane, counter-productive and tyrannical. It’s not about making people pay for their choices, but allowing companies to link the price of service with the cost.
      Plus taller men make more money on average anyway.
      Also, with weight based pricing, airplanes may be more flexible with seat room, as Air Samoa has. they’ve given bigger passengers extra space at no extra charge since the policy was implemented.

      1. “Trying to ‘equalize’ everything for everybody is insane, counter-productive and tyrannical”
        Thank you for flying Harrison Bergeron Airlines. Remain seated at all times during the flight and avoid vulgar displays of uniqueness. 😉
        This is an interesting concept Samoan Airlines is implementing, with some flaws as others have noted. I like the idea of paying extra to sit next to a hottie, but keep in mind airlines have to balance the load on their flights carefully, especially with small planes. They could not walk too far down this path of allowing passengers to sit next to the body-type they wanted to, because then they’d have all the fatties in one section, which would create an unbalanced load.
        I doubt it’s a coincidence that the 1st airline to try this strategy is Samoan Airlines. As Brobox noted above, Samoans are typically rather large. I’ve never been to Samoa, but you see a lot of Samoans in Hawaii, and I have never, ever seen a tiny Samoan. They seem to only come in XL, XXL, and so-damn-big-they-have-their-own-gravitational-pull.

  8. Dream on, Never gonna happen.
    Increased cost of fatties will just be socialized, like their increased health bill.

  9. I don’t like this system.
    In an unhealthy society with 50% of people being obese, this might soud ok, but for healthy countries where obesity is rare it would turn out as just another female previlege. Non-obese females weigh less then males. Also weight can be caused by muscles rather then fat. This system would punish men especially athlethic men and that is not ok with me.

    1. You also eat more, as larger male. Is this also female previlege? [sic] She is also being charged more than a child with an Adventure Time bag, and a stuffed rabbit. Is that child previlege? Or parent previlege?
      Chill out bro, it’s only 50c/lb. On average that’s maybe an extra $20. But wait! You’re bringing less shoes, and packing lighter than the average non-obese female. So it probably works out about the same.
      Learn to let the things that do not matter slide. There are better battles.

    2. You’re not being “punished”. It’s a simple matter that your weight increases the cost of flying you around, and any other system causes others to subsidize you.

  10. I’m 5’8″ at 155lbs, if I cut down gym time entirely my weight will settle on 135. Does this mean my airfare will go down? Haha

  11. I’m 6’5” and I always have to pay more for “extra space” otherwise I wouldn’t fit in those damn sits. I’ve always complained that they are charging me more for not being average. This weight policy would rape me more because since my height is not average, my weight is more than the regular dude… but hey at least I have a great view in crowded concerts.

  12. Bar Rafaeli taking cash for the chance to sit next to her on a Southwest flight? She is either going to get lucky and have me randomly sit next to her or she’s paying. I’m not paying her for the so-called privilege of sitting with her. Ridiculous.

  13. Yeah, let’s put hot girls on an even bigger pedestal and shell more money for an opportunity to talk to them. How about you approach the same girl when she gets off the plane without paying any extra fee? Between this and the other article about Vegas, I’m starting to wonder what exactly is happening to this website

    1. Have you ever been in a semi-exclusive club? I’ll let you in on a little secret: cute girls don’t have to pay to get in. Nor do they have to be ‘on the list.’ At most, they have to know a promoter.
      Are you giving up your mancard by patronizing such clubs? No. I heartily endorse such discrimination against men.
      If clubs couldn’t discriminate against men and favor attractive women, it’d often be impossible to deliver the product I seek: a venue with a balanced or favorable sex ratio of attractive eligible women to available men.
      My buddy was at a ladies night in Poland or Ukraine. Ladies drank free. And there were tons of girls that would go. I don’t recall him ever complaining about ‘pedestals’ there. In fact, a high barrier to entry reverses pedestalization, because it creates male scarcity.
      I’m the last man to say, tip a waitress extra for a crack at her pants. But I recognize where paying a little delivers opportunity.

      1. I sometimes go to one or two “exclusive clubs”. Clubs where rappers like Fabolous, Asap, Wiz Khalifa go to when they visit MTL. And those hot girls had to pay and wait in line like us paupers. Actually, I retract that, I had an edge over those hot girls. I supply the patrons of those venue so I get a VIP access. I’d also seen the sort of environment you describe. Hot girls getting in for free, validating them and boosting their already overinflated egos even before they get approached for the first time of the night.
        I’ll let you figure out which spot was better for pulling.
        There are other ways to get attractive ladies in than putting them on a pedestal. Just get that hamster running and the ladies will follow suit. My favorite spot is a cheap dive bar which gets a surprising amount of hotties. The main selling point? The DJs are local stars. And those girls line up and pay the cover like everyone.
        I do see your point though. I read Roosh’s article about this club in E.Europe where ladies drink free and men are not allowed till midnight. However, there is a nuance between creating male scarcity and putting hot women on a pedestal. The policies(and the results) are very different when you aim for one or the other.

        1. It might not be better for players, but betas will pay heavily for the privilege, resulting in increased profits. Increased profits allow the airline to reduce costs of the ticket for everyone else

  14. I am onboard with charging by weight, but not with Players Club Premium Seating idea. In the clubs a chick has easy options for escaping “creepy” guys (aka any guy she doesn’t want to talk to). You think it’s right to trap them on a plane for hours next to a player or wannabe player who will spend the entire trip trying to game her into joining the mile high club? Not trying to be a white knight but I do feel they deserve an escape route.

    1. Free drinks? Possible First Class upgrades? Her ass is getting pampered enough that sacrificing her escape route is the least she can do.

  15. What is the definition of overweight? A 6’2″ guy with 10% body fat and loads of muscle will be heavier than a 5’5″ guy with 20% body fat. The tall guy in this case is by definition leaner than the short guy. Would be forced to pay more?

    1. Why not? You think gravity differentiates between fat and muscle? You can be completely ripped, but the fact is the extra 30 pounds you carry versus a shorter, fatter guy still requires fuel to move.

      1. And let’s face it: the majority of people who will be paying more for their egregious bodyweight won’t be all muscle – this is America we’re talking about here.

      2. Then I don’t see it as something to be happy about. Why should a 6’5″ guy pay more than a 5’5″ shortie? Yes, it requires more fuel but I am being penalized for something I don’t have any control over. I can’t make myself shorter like a fat person can make himself thinner.

        1. He should pay more because he weighs more, which costs the airline more to fly. Simple.

  16. Don’t stop at weight. I say charge extra for odor, attitude, hair style, clothing style and your favorite music. This is the sort of bullshit that women are forever coming up with. What a bunch of fags.

  17. Weight is different from fat. Muscular guys are very heavy. Everyone from personal trainers to doctors are always shocked to find out how much I weigh, which is much more than I look. Stronglifts5x5 for the win!
    Weight makes sense from an aviation business perspective, but its not about size or fat at all.

  18. I am all for charging fat people more but I am 6″6ft and weigh 16 stone. Thats hardly fair as for me to reach the average weight of an average person, I would be unhealthy. They would need a system that doesn’t discriminate against taller people as I already have to pay more for larger everyday items like shoes, clothing and cars.

  19. Two obvious fatal flaws with this program. The first you’ve probably heard before. The second ought to be hilariously obvious to anyone who has lived in Samoa, Hawaii, the Pacific Rim or the West Coast….anyone who has actually been exposed to the Samoan people.
    First, like just about everyone else they’ve confused weight and fat. They are charging by weight. So what happens when my 290 pounds of lean muscle wants to fly? Not only have I gone out of my way to stay in shape and be lean, but I get punished for it because I’m not a skinny effeminate hipster. Any actual fat shaming that occurs here is accidental.
    Second, this is SAMOA air, which I presume is either based in Samoa or meant to cater to a Samoan market. Samoans are big people. They actually are big-boned in the way that delusional fat people claim to be. They are a well-fed island people who have thrived in their environments. Many of them sport a spare tire of course, but cannot be considered overweight for their size… in other words, a Samoan with a beer gut or a “dad bod” will weigh as much or more as a morbidly obese white person or black person…but that does not make the Samoan morbidly obese.
    But here we have a skinny, white CEO of Samoa Air attempting either fat shame or just cut costs. Either way he’s likely to alienate all those Samoans in and around Samoa who might want to fly Samoa Air. Not a wise business strategy to alienate your potential customer base.
    I’m not a fat apologist, but I have to disagree with this one. It’s really not about fat shaming but simply reducing the bottom line in an industry which has already forgotten what customer service is years ago.

    1. Agree. When I was processing to join the USAF I met this fellow from Guam who was trying to join the Army. Big guy, could not have been shorter than 6 foot 2 inches and no less than 250 pounds of pure muscle. We did our physical and he passed with flying colors except for the damn BMI. Turns out, his waist was above the acceptable limit for his height and weight so they kept saying they couldn’t let him in because they assumed he was fat. Last I heard, he was trying to get a waiver and make them understand he was nowhere near fat, he was actually buff but lean. And he’s not the only guy from Hawaii or Polynesia who looked like that. Same goes for corn fed farm boys from Iowa and Nebraska.

  20. At 90kg, I am not a small man. I don’t get particularly upset by airlines that cram me into seats obviously designed for people 2/3rds my weight. As a businessman, I think this works. As an SJW (which I am not) the whole notion offends me.

  21. Sounds good until you realize children weigh nothing. Suddenly class trips become easy and cheap filling hoardes of planes with profit sucking munchkins.

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