Samoa Air has become the world’s first airline to implement “pay as you weigh” flights, meaning overweight passengers pay more for their seats.
“This is the fairest way of travelling,” chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, told ABC Radio. “There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.”
Like many Pacific island nations, Samoa has a serious obesity problem and is often included in the top 10 countries for obesity levels. As such, Mr Langton believes his airline’s new payment policy will also help promote health and obesity awareness.
“When you get into the Pacific, standard weight is substantially higher [than south-east Asia],” he said. “That’s a health issue in some areas. [This payment system] has raised the awareness of weight.”
Samoa is ranked #2 in the list of fattest countries; 91.1% of citizens age 15 and over are considered overweight.
|World ranking||Pacific country||% of overweight persons (age 15 and over)|
|3.||Micronesia, Federated States of||90.9|