Weighty issue!

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Air Samoa’s fare system is based on passengers’ weight.

A tiny Samoan airline that is the first to introduce a fare system based on passengers' weight hailed the success of its policy on Wednesday and predicted it would become a global norm.

Four months after introducing the "fare-weight" system, the lighter the passenger the lighter the fare, Air Samoa chief executive Chris Langton said the feedback from fliers of all sizes has been positive.

Help fight obesity?!

A 2007 World Health Organisation report put obesity in urban Samoa as high as 75 percent and Langton said his world-first charging system was helping people better understand the issue of obesity.

Although no other airline has yet followed the Apia-based carrier, Langton believes it is only a matter of time before they do "because people will drive this and the airlines will be obliged to take stock".

In an industry where the weight on board matters more than the number of seats sold because of the impact on costs, Samoa Air fares are calculated on the weight of the passenger and baggage, and the length of the flight.

Passengers travelling within Samoa pay about 1.32 tala per kilogram and from Samoa to American Samoa the rate rises to 3.8 tala.

Pay-by-weight flights are due to start to Tonga and the Cook Islands later this year.AFP



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