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Thread: Pay As You Weigh Takes Off

  1. #1
    Senior Member Simpleboy's Avatar
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    Feb 2004

    Default Pay As You Weigh Takes Off

    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."
    Sam Rudge
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  2. #2
    Member SAMRPICS's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
    Manchester (Knutsford)


    Works for the lightweights but I am sure anyone who is lets say a touch on the weighty side will be disgusted with this. I wouldn't be one complaining though
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Gabriel's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    Buenos Aires - Argentina


    I don't deny that weight is a significant factor in the cost of a flight. But I'd want to contract a flight from Buenos Aires to Orlando (Disneyland) on a Samoa Air 747, and I'd fill it with 400 5 y/o children and 40 adults taking care of them, and I'd like to see if Mr Langton still things that paying for the kilo is the fairest fare. With 100% of the seats occupied, the plane will be taking like 1/5 or less of weight (and revenue) in passengers and baggage.

    The truth is:
    Only half of the drag is related to weight and hence to fuel consumption.
    Depending on the type of plane and distance flown, only 25% of that weight is payload. The rest is empty weight and fuel.
    So the fuel bill of a zero-payload flight can be say 12% lower than the fuel bill of the full-payload flight.
    The other 88% of the fuel bill and 100% of the rest of the costs is weight-independent (crew salary, maintenance, airport fees, leasing costs).

    On the other side of the equation we have revenue. If the payload is limited by the max weight that the plane can carry in a particular flight and you had the ability to sell more payload than that, then all the payload taken should pay the full bill, meaning that fewer fat passengers should pay more (each) than many thin passengers to keep the same total. In this case, the wight of the airplane and of the payload is fixed, the cost of the flight is fixed, so it would be fare to charge by the kilo to keep the revenue and hence the operative earning of the flight also fixed. But please note that we are assuming that you had the ability to sell more kilos of payload than what the plane could take. If not, then the revenue is not a function of the weight, and things like my first example could happen.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 3WE's Avatar
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    Jan 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriel View Post
    I don't deny that weight is a significant factor in the cost of a flight.... the revenue is not a function of the weight...
    I'm thinking that volume might be more valid.

    Especially if someone uses volume beyond their seat.
    Industry outsider with a little knowledge and a lot of questions, who leaves PPRUNE alone so insiders can have good discussions there...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    Yep, dimensional weight would be a good idea.
    Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man. Landing is first.

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