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Economist Proposes Airline Passengers "Pay What You Weigh"

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:12 PM CDT

An economics scholar in Norway is recommending that airline ticket costs be calculated according to a passenger's weight.  Bharat P. Bhatta, an associate professor of economics, says the idea "may provide significant benefits to airlines, passengers and society at large."  In his paper published in the Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management, Bhatta notes a reduction of 1 kilogram weight of a plane-- about 2.2 pounds-- will result in fuel savings worth $3,000 over a year's time and a corresponding reduction in CO2 emissions.

So how would you do this?

Plan A is simple enough.  Passengers pay a fixed per pound rate for their weight and the weight of their luggage.  This would have the advantage of discouraging heavy carry-ons.

And Plan B would give you a fixed base rate you know you have to pay with a discount if you're underweight and a surcharge if you're over.              

A couple of things to think about:  Under pay per pound system wouldn't small children and super models fly free?  And as reluctant as we are to get on the scale-- can you imagine having to get on one at the ticket counter?

What do you think?

By Fred CantúEconomist Proposes Airline Passengers "Pay What You Weigh"


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