Samoa Air: The first pay-by-weight airline

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It will pay (well, save) to lay off the deep-fried, sugar-filled junk foods if you plan on travelling with Samoa Air.

The South Pacific airline has become the first in the world to introduced ‘Pay-by-weight’ airfares to its flights.

Samoa Air was established in 2012 and provides scheduled and charter flights between the country’s many islands.

Samoa Air chief executive Chris Langton told Australia’s ABC Radio  it was the fairest way of charging travellers.

“There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.”

Langton says the system would benefit some families with small children who would now pay substantially cheaper fares.

So how does the ‘Pay-by-weight’ system work?

Passengers pick their flight online, enter their details including estimated weight and the weight of their baggage then the airfare is calculated using the total weight ‘guesstimate’.  It’s best not to feel embarrassed or fib about your size as all passengers are weighed at check-in.

Charges range from $1 (65p) a kilogram on the airline’s shortest domestic route to about AU$4.16 per kilo for flights between Samoa and American Samoa.

Last month, Dr Bharat P Bhatta, a Norway-based academic, floated the idea of a pricing scale based on weight to make up for the cost of the extra fuel required to carry heavier passengers.

The so-called “pay as you weigh” scheme was outlined in the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management.

A survey by travel website Holiday Extras found 48 per cent of Brits were in favour of some form of ‘fat tax’ on flights.

Main Image by Alan Cleaver.

Samoa Air: The first pay-by-weight airline was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Kara Segedin
Author: Kara Segedin (88 posts)

Writer, traveller, Tweeter, blogger and part-time adventurer. A kiwi living in London off to explore the world! I can never travel enough!