It’s not uncommon to pay by the pound.
Supermarkets charge for produce by weight, self-serve yogurt shops by the ounce and city dumps by the ton.
The airline industry seems to have taken note.
Samoa Air implemented a new pay-by-weight fare schedule, which will replace standard ticket fares, the airline announced earlier this year.
In a statement on the Samoa Air website, the company described its decision as a measure of fairness.
"We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air'fair', you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fee's [sic], or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.”
Aside from the embarrassment of stepping on a scale at the airport — yes, you and your baggage will be weighed before boarding — the new plan may be a benefit for families with younger children.
And it may make you think twice about the weight of your suitcase.
Although the new payment plan seems like a benefit for the slender set, it may prove to be discriminatory for overweight, obese, or very tall passengers who will surely tip the scales, and fare level, at a much higher rate.
Samoa Air doesn't use large commercial planes; however, the pay-by-weight concept could be adopted by larger airlines in the future.
Would your travel habits change if your weight determined your airfare?