Should Airline Ticket Prices Reflect The Passenger's Weight Or Size?

With airline ticket prices rising and carriers charging more and more for things that used to be free, people are becoming sensitive over both what they pay for a ride and the quality of the experience relative to the cost of a ticket.

Airlines, giving as a reason the cost of fuel, are charging for bags that used to be free. However, passengers who are paying more start to notice things. Let's imagine a 120 lb woman being charged $100 for a 30 lb bag whereas a 300 lb passenger with the same ticket but no bag escaping the charge while burdening the aircraft with twice the weight.

I think anyone would have to admit that such a situation cries out for a solution.

Here's another situation. Passenger A and passenger B both paid $428 for their seats. However, passenger A is a slim $110 lb person seated next to a 440 lb person. Passenger A finds that, not only does he/she have no access to the armrest, but that the bigger person's body spreads under the armrest on to passenger A's seat. Is this fair?

What are the solutions to these two situations, if indeed there are any?

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What is fair is what this entire topic is about.

I fly Southwest 95% of the time and baggage restrictions for checked items tend to be about weight more than size (within reason, of course). A suitcase or other checked item is free up to 50 lb; after that extra charges apply. Size is more of a consideration for carry-ons for obvious reasons. It's probably much the same for most airlines.

What fairness is and how to achieve it has been a philosophical problem for the ages, and it's still a controversial topic. For example, imagine a race. Is fairness exemplified in terms of a handicapped starting position, giving people with disabilities a finely calculated head start, ideally resulting in everyone crossing the finish line at the same time, or is it more fair to have everyone start running from the same starting line, the result reflecting their relative speed and the race going to the swiftest?

Don't buy that, a Thyroid condition makes maintaining weight more difficult not impossible.  I've been seriously disabled for 8 years and maintain my weight.  I went from 5-6,000 calories a day to 1,500-2,000.  350lbs weighs as much as two normal passengers, they take up the room of two normal passengers...they pay 2x the fare.

Weight is critical to both balancing a plane, and the way it performs....granted a 747 is much less sensitive to a few overweight people, throw in a 20 passenger connection flight and it is a much greater factor.

Whatever weight a person is at, simply living burns calories, and so there is some caloric intake level that will reduce weight.

Perhaps charge per pound per person and luggage (I mean, we pay for many things based on weight and/or volume anyway, why not airfare?) 

I'm a BUFF (Big Ugly Fat Fucker). Stop oppressing me!

Then stay inside your 18" of airline seat. >:(

USPS, UPS, FedEx, and all major transporters of goods charge by weight. Put a few extra large seats on each plane. Have every passenger get on a scale, along with their baggage and charge accordingly. And like the truck scales used by Class A drivers, there are maximum upper limits that don't fly. If your feelings are hurt, take the train. 

By the way, it's not discriminating against fat people, stop pulling that card. If anything it's discrimination the other way around, right now.

Let's assume both of them have identical bags. The left one is obviously allowed more total weight for free than the person on the right. That's not fair.

Also, don't you know that muscle weighs more than fat? So for example an athletic guy would weigh more than a couch potato the same volume as him. So it's not discriminatory against fat people in the least.

@Tom Sharp

It's a fair point that the airline has no control over my height either, but I just don't see that I should be paying more simply for being taller.

FWIW, I fit into the seat in terms of not being a problem to passengers either side which is a whole other issue, but I'd feel aggrieved in paying more if I wasn't then getting a better seat.

Have you run into height restrictions, or even talk of height restrictions. Most of what I've heard relates to weight and girth.

They should sell a standard weight to be carried upon one ticket  The passenger and his luggage are to be put together upon one scale.   If it is more than the standard, it requires extra charge.   Someone with less should get a refund.  

Alternatively the tickets should be bookable for a total weight by the choice of the passenger.   

They could sell seats by the width of the purchaser's ass. Over a certain width, you get one seat per butt cheek. What's unfair about that?


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