A former Qantas group chief economist says people who weigh more should pay more to fly on planes.
Writing for Business Day in Fairfax newspapers, Tony Webber, now managing director of Webber Quantitative Consulting and Associate Professor at the University of Sydney Business School, claims fuel burnt by planes depends on many things “but the most important is the weight of the aircraft. The more a plane weighs, the more fuel it must burn”.
Webber said if passengers on the aircraft weigh more, the aircraft consumes more fuel and the airline’s costs go up.
In turn, the airline would need to lift airfares to recover the additional costs. And when they did, the burden of the higher fees should not be lumbered “on those who are shedding a few kilos or keeping their weight stable”.
Webber said airline fuel costs have increased since 2000 not just because of higher oil and jet fuel prices…”but also because the average adult passenger is carrying a bit more heft”.
Between 1926 and 2008, the average weight of an Aussie female adult increased from 59 kilograms to 71 kilos and the average weight of an Aussie male adult increased from 72 to 85 kilos, according to Webber.
I agree. If you pay more for extra weight in your baggage, you should pay more for extra weight on your person. It will also provide a good extra incentive to lose weight.
There would be some practicalities, but if you just get people to select a weight group upon booking most would do so honestly. I don’t think you need to weigh people upon check in.