Should heavy people pay more to fly?

Another news article caught my eye (= made me look) recently as it was on a topic that I have thought about at times. I have travelled by plane quite a bit and always find myself cramming things into my rucksack in order to save room, and carefully choosing clothing and things to take and not to take because of their weight. I abide by the weight allowances both for checked luggage and hand luggage, but am always a little irked (= annoyed) when I see people with not one or even two items of hand luggage, but three or four! ‘How do they get away with (= are able to do) that?’ I ask myself.

On one occasion, I was at the check-in at an airport, and was told that my bag was just over the limit and I would have to pay an extortionate (= huge) amount for the extra few grams. I didn’t want to do that so I tried sweet-talking (= being very nice to) the lady at the desk, but she was having none of it; she wouldn’t back down and let me not pay. So, what did I do? I unpacked my suitcase and put on a few more layers of clothing! I did have to ditch (= throw away) a dressing gown, which I am still sad about to this day, but I won my battle by not paying for an extra few grams!

Anyway, that is the issue behind this article I read: Samoa Air is going to charge its passengers according to the combined weight of them and their luggage. I have often thought, ‘I am a small person, so why can’t I take more luggage?’ I know that it’s not really fair for naturally large people, but, as the airline says, it could be an incentive to make overweight people lose weight so they could get a cheaper fare, or make them pack lighter. And although a seat space is a seat space, children weigh less than adults, so why not charge them less? After all, planes fly according to their weight.

What do you think about this policy? Is it fair, or is it prejudice against big, tall people, against men who weigh more than women, and actually also against nationalities (the average Japanese is much smaller than the average Scandinavian)?

Please read not only the article, but also the comments below as they are from some very different but valid viewpoints.



Should heavy people pay more to fly?」への4件のフィードバック

  1. Very interesting! I also have had the same thought like you, I’m not big, why can’t I carry more things into the plane!? Or at least small people should get a discount?? A heavy parcel also costs more to post, why not paying more for transporting heavy people? But, it is not fair, if somebody is a naturally tall or big person, just as you said. Very difficult topic, but it is understandable from the air carrier point of view.

    • I am glad that you have thought the same as me. There is no solution to please everyone though. How about using body fat as a measurement rather than body weight? But then that is just unkind, especially to sumo wrestlers!!!

  2. Oh, it’s delicate and difficult subject. As usually women are smaller
    than men, I think it might be good the airways offers the tickets that are cheaper than men to women. You know, some restaurants have 2 prices of all you can drink ” NOMIHODAI ” such as 780yen for women and 980yen for men in Japan. Then I hope the airline sell the discount tickets like “JOSHIKAI PLAN ( in the restaurants or the bars, women can eat and drink cheaper than usual if they go in only women )”. By the way, do you know how many seats “Sumo Wrestlers” need? They are sooo big, you know, one Sumo wrestler uses 3 sheets in a row and pays the airfare for 3 sheets ! My friend saw it in the airplane. He said to me that ” they were really BIG!” I want to meet them in the airplane once. Anyway, it would be nice to apply a discount on the air tickets If women board the airplane by alone or in only women.

    • An interesting idea about offering cheaper flights to women. I’m not sure if it would be allowed, but I like it! But then there are big women and small men, so I guess that’s why body weight is deemed to be the fairest way. And as for sumo wrestlers using 3 seats (not sheets 😉 ), well, they already have to pay three times more because of their size – wow!


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