Samoan Airline's pay-by-weight policy working
The head of a regional airline serving Samoa says a controversial pay-by-weight policy is working, and profits have increased 20 percent since it started. Samoa Airlines faced criticism when the policy took effect earlier this month.
The airline flies regional routes connecting the Samoan Islands, which are home to some of the world's biggest people. The airline's CEO Chris Langton says, the pay-by-weight policy is a fair one, because one of his biggest operating costs is fuel, and the cost of operating a flight depends on the weight onboard, including cargo and passengers.
Passengers are charged about 50 cents per pound for their luggage and body weight. For larger travelers, that makes the flights more expensive than other airlines. Some passengers have been discouraged by the policy-- others have embraced it.
Being weighed-in at the airport is not as off-putting to passengers in Samoa as you might think. The region is served by mostly small planes, so many airlines ask for a passenger's weight before a flight to balance the planes.