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, www.sunshine.co.uk conducted a poll of 2,472 Brits to see if the idea is something that would be supported.
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. Some 29% of those polled disagreed, while 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%; and
Passengers split into light/average/heavy bands and charged more/less accordingly – 20%. Interestingly, 9% of respondents expressed concerns about charging less for lighter passengers, due to the fact it ‘might irresponsibly promote weight loss’.
The company's co-founder Chris Clarkson said: “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."