Derrie-Air, an airline that’s just a dream

A few days ago, Grant posted about Derrie-Air, a new airline that is to charge passengers by the pound–not just the baggage weight, but the passenger weight as well. “The more you weigh, the more you pay.”

As Grant noted in his post, and Daily Travel & Deal, the L.A. Times travel blog, reported yesterday, the airline isn’t real, but was created as an ad campaign study by Philadelphia Media Holdings to see how effective print advertising can be. There was enough of a buzz that it’s clear that people, in general, have problems traveling on the same plane with people who are overweight. Feeling squished in an airplane seat next to a person who is taking up more than his or her fair share of space is annoying at best and anger producing at its worst.

When I read about Derrie-Air, before I caught on to the hoax, I flashed to my high school friends who wrestled in the lower weight class. They barely ate for the season and told tales of how they worked on getting their weight down before they stepped on a scale before a meet to see if they qualified. If people did have to pay for their airline ticket according to their weight, I could see there might be some who would do the same thing wrestlers do about a week before their travel date. There they would be in their neighborhoods wearing sweatsuits, walking around the block over and over again, just to loose the water weight.

I also imagined the arguments couples would have at the airport, blaming each other for the extra weight one of them packed as their souvenir money was eaten up by the cost of the seat. “If it wasn’t for you we could have that extra day at Disneyland.”