April 3, 2013 - A Samoan airline charges passengers fees based on the weight of their bags and bodies, saying its the fairest way to fly. Sarah Sheffer reports.
A Samoan airline has a new take on ticketing. The carrier boasts that they are the world's first airline to charge passengers by weight versus seats. Passengers are charged a combined fee based on bodyweight and baggage per kilogram -- at a rate dependent on flight length. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SAMOA AIR CEO CHRIS LANGTON, SAYING: "Once people have acknowledged that the aeroplane runs by weight and not by seats it makes it a lot easier for them to understand and also by the time they come back to us a second time around they have had time to digest that information and recognise that its actually the fairest possible system of air carriage that's available." One customer says it will be cheaper for her to fly with her small son now. Others joked that flyers will have to slim down to afford their tickets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED PASSENGER SAYING: "I don't think it's really fair because the skinny people will be paying less and the bigger people will be paying a whole lot more and I've got a bit of weight and I'm trying to lose weight so if I go right now it will be quite expensive so I will have to go and do some training to get a cheaper fare." The World Health Organisation says almost 60 percent of Samoans are considered obese.