Samoa Air, the national carrier of Samoa, has introduced pay-by weight fare. The airline now determines air fare prices for passengers based only on their weight, plus the weight of their baggage.
“You are the master of your Air’fair’, you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fees, or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple,” reads a statement on the airline’s website.
Despite criticism of the policy, the head of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, defends the policy, arguing such a system is not only fair but the future for other airlines.
“What makes airplanes work is weight. We are not selling seats, we are selling weight,” said Langton in an interview on CNN.
To book online, travellers enter their approximate weight and that of their luggage and prepay based on that estimate.
Passengers and their luggage are weighed again at the airport, with the airline allowing for an approximate two per cent difference between booking versus actual weight.
Langton said families have been pleased with the pricing model because it often costs less to fly with children using the pay-by-weight model than it would to purchase flat-fare seats.
Samoa Air operates Britten Norman (BN2A) series and Cessna (172) aircraft.