Samoa Air the first to charge strictly by weight

The head of Samoa Air defends the airline’s decision 

Samoa Air is the pioneer in charging their passengers according to their weight. Chris Langton told Australia’s ABC Radio that it was “the fairest way of travelling”.

Rather than pay for a seat, passengers pay a fixed price per kilogram, which varies depending on the route length.

Samoa Air performs domestic flights and to American Samoa. It is thought the move could encourage other airlines to introduce similar policies.

“Airlines don’t run on seats, they run on weight, and particularly the smaller the aircraft you are in the less variance you can accept in terms of the difference in weight between passengers,” Mr Langton told ABC radio.

Mr Langton pointed out that some families with children were now paying cheaper fares due to the new system. “There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo,” he said.

Air Samoa’s rates range from $1 (EUR 0.78) to around $4.16 (EUR 3) per kilogram. Passengers have to pay for the combined weight of themselves and their baggage.

Mr Langton said he believed that charging by weight was “the concept of the future. People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago,” he said. “The industry will start looking at this.”

BBC / Guardian

[photo courtesy Samoa Air]