An economics scholar in Norway has recommended that air ticket costs be calculated according to a passenger’s weight.
Dr. Bharat P. Bhatta, associate professor of economics at Sogn og Fjordane University College, Norway, is proposing three models that he says, “may provide significant benefits to airlines, passengers and society at large.”
His three “pay as you weigh” models are:
Total weight: A passenger’s luggage and body weight is calculated, with the fare comprising a per kilo cost. In this scenario a passenger weighing 100 kilos with 20 kilos of luggage (120 kilos total) would pay twice that of a passenger of 50 kilos with 10 kilos of luggage (60 kilos total).
Base fare +/- extra: A base fare is set, with a per-kilo discount applying for “underweight” passengers and a per-kilo surcharge applying to “overweight” passengers.
High/Average/Low: A base fare is set, with a predetermined discount applying for those below a certain weight threshold and a predetermined surcharge applying for those above a certain weight threshold.
Bhatta prefers the third of these options. He goes on to say that weight could be ascertained through passenger self-declaration, with one in five passengers randomly selected and weighed to dissuade cheats (with penalties for cheaters) or by weighing all passengers at check in.