Pay as you weigh flying

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April 8th, 2013 at 9:27:59 AM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 692
Posts: 7960
Samoa Air has introduced a pay as you weigh policy for their island hopping planes. When you book a flight you have to guesstimate your weight and that of your luggage. When you show up, they weigh you and your luggage. If you are underweight you don't get a refund. They don't bother if you are within 2% of your guess, but you pay more if you packed extra stuff, or you are delusional about your body weight.

I am not sure what their privacy policy is. I don't know if they shout out that "we got another $300 pounder here".

The airline feels it is fairer than trying to make a decision where the cutoff is to require that a really big person needs a second seat. To a very small degree, they pack the plane according to weight, putting the really fat people in special seats with more room.

Children and skinny people make out on the deal, so not everyone is unhappy.

Very small island hopping turboprops are extremely sensitive to weight. If you've ever taken one, they ask you how much you weigh, and they distribute you in seats accordingly. But the CEO is predicting that this fare model will eventually work it's weigh into larger airlines that fly jets, not just props.

Do you think this business model will move to a major airline?
April 8th, 2013 at 9:59:28 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 313
Posts: 10669
Quote: Pacomartin
Very small island hopping turboprops are extremely sensitive to weight.


Yes, and they make a LOT of take-offs and landings per day. and I mean a really large number of them. Fuel is used up more during take-off and climb-out, ergo short fligths use up more fuel per passenger-mile than longer flights.

So I'd look for other island-hoppers to follow along, if they ahven't already. There are lots of island-hoppers in Hawaii and the Caribbean, for insyance. Next small commuter lines may follow along, as their operatiosn are similar to the island-hoppers, though they face more competition (often you can't just drive between two close islands).

I don't see the big carriers who typically operate longer flights with larger loads introducing such controversy any time soon. they may begin charging for luggage by weight alone, though. That's not as intrusive as asking your weight.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 8th, 2013 at 10:01:19 AM permalink
1nickelmiracle
Member since: Mar 5, 2013
Threads: 16
Posts: 549
I hope not just because I feel it has little to do with costs and it's not fair as I see it. I am one of those who do almost anything not to fly already because of all the gouging.
April 8th, 2013 at 10:39:49 AM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 134
Posts: 2977
I wonder if any Vegas buffet will ever have the courage to try this.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
April 8th, 2013 at 10:46:25 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 313
Posts: 10669
Quote: Wizard
I wonder if any Vegas buffet will ever have the courage to try this.


Wouldn't make that much sesne. Heavier people won't necessarily eat more.

They may charge by time spent, though.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 8th, 2013 at 10:51:22 AM permalink
Wizard
Administrator
Member since: Oct 23, 2012
Threads: 134
Posts: 2977
Quote: Nareed
Heavier people won't necessarily eat more.


But I think there is a strong correlation. Kids don't necessarily eat less than adults, but they get in for less.
Knowledge is Good -- Emil Faber
April 8th, 2013 at 12:23:39 PM permalink
Pacomartin
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 692
Posts: 7960
Quote: Wizard
But I think there is a strong correlation. Kids don't necessarily eat less than adults, but they get in for less.


Glancing through a bunch of articles about the economics of buffets, I see a lot of advice that is extremely obvious. The all-you-can eat buffet price with a per person charge is not the norm in Europe, where they tend to watch you to see how many times you go and what items you choose. As you are more or less resigned to getting a bill based on their judgement, I doubt that it would work in the USA where people are much more likely to make a nasty scene in a restaurants.

The few buffets around here tend to also offer a per ounce charge for food to go, and they do have higher charges for sushi or other high value foods. But as I understand it the per ounce price at a sit down buffet is very rare in this country. There is always the everpresent problem of the premium items.

Forbes did an article about a 6'6" 350 lb man who was asked to leave from a local all you can fish fry. It seems as if he is a long standing customer who is actually extended a running tab by the restaurant, but he became bitter after being thrown out (despite the fact that he was given a to-go bad). Since he is clearly a problem customer, the core theme of the article was how do all you can eat buffets survive without throwing out a lot more customers?

My guess is that local Chinese restaurants survive as buffets because they not only save on labor costs, but the smaller workforce is entirely composed of extended family and friends. No payroll is going out to strangers. Since the purpose of the restaurant is not just profit, but providing a living for the entire family, the purpose is served.

The presumption in Las Vegas is also that casinos are as interested in attracting gamblers to the casino as they are in making a profit on the buffet. But there are still many buffets not associated with casinos, not to mention nation chains. Buffets, Inc., and its affiliated companies operated at least 626 restaurants in 39 states with HomeTown buffet being the best known. CiCi's Pizza has approximately 600 franchised and corporately owned restaurants in 35 states.
April 8th, 2013 at 1:28:15 PM permalink
theodores
Member since: Oct 28, 2012
Threads: 2
Posts: 85
Samoa is the fattest country on Earth. I read that somewhere.
April 8th, 2013 at 1:58:11 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 313
Posts: 10669
Quote: theodores
Samoa is the fattest country on Earth. I read that somewhere.


Nah. It just has an oddly low body-lava index ;)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 8th, 2013 at 1:59:47 PM permalink
DocZZZ
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 0
Posts: 12
Quote: Pacomartin

this fare model will eventually work it's weigh into larger airlines that fly jets, not just props.


Come on Paco! Work it's "WEIGH"????
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