Based on heated previous discussions here at Gadling, we know that the idea of charging passengers by their weight is a very touchy subject. In addition to the questionable legality of the concept, many are uncomfortable with the fact that one passenger may have to spend significantly more than the next — only to occupy the same seat on an aircraft.
For a while it was almost a joke — people knew that no American company would dare try something so bold at the risk of alienating the majority of their passenger base. Even Philadelphia Media Holdings ran a full page ad for a fake airline called “Derrie-air” to tease people and collect some marketing data on what the reaction would be.
Our new perspective on oil and the economy, however, is turning some of those chuckles into awkward inquisitions. Could someone really get away with charging a passenger by his or her weight?
AirAsiaX is starting to think so. Darren Wright, operating manager of the airline, recently told Travel Today that such extreme measures might be a possibility given the current state of the market. Stating that weighing each passenger could help balance cargo and overall aircraft balance, Mr Wright suggested that the measure “could help Aussies lose weight.”
No word on whether the airline is seriously considering the changes or whether Wright was just speaking candidly, but if something like this were to go into effect, it would surely rock the industry in which we now fly.