Samoa Air planned on Wednesday to start pricing its first international flights based on the weight of its passengers and their bags. Depending on the flight, each kilogram (2.2 pounds) costs 93 cents to $1.06.
That means the average American man weighing 195 pounds with a 35-pound bag would pay $97 to go one-way between Apia, Samoa, and Pago Pago, American Samoa. Competitors typically charge $130 to $140 roundtrip for similar routes.
The weight-based pricing is not new to the airline, which launched in June. It has been using the pricing model since November, but in January the U.S. Department of Transportation approved its international route between American Samoa and Samoa.
Discrimination against bigger folk, or a more equitable pay-for-what-you-use methodology?
It's seemed unfair to me that I would pay an excess baggage fee for a bag that's 5lbs overweight, but the guy next to me in line who weighs 30lb more than me and has a bag that's 5lbs lighter wouldn't. This seems to rationalize that discrepancy.