All the way back in July last year I mentioned how some airlines (Ryanair) should be charging passengers based on their weight (see here), with the logic that people should be paying for a proportionate amount of fuel they are using.
I believe I wrote:
"If an airline lowered the weight of its average passenger, through enforcing restrictions, by say 7kg (just a bit more than a stone), and assuming a plane holds 200 passengers that would mean having 1400kgs less to be lugging through the air"
Well Ryanair launched a competition recently asking for customers' suggestions on how they could best cut costs and... well look what came out as the most popular idea:
“Over 100,000 passengers logged on to ryanair.com to take part in our competition and almost one in three (over 30,000) think that very large passengers should be asked to pay a fat tax,” Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said.
It has to be said though that there are fairly obvious problems with this plan, firstly what is the definition of fat? (for example a grossly obese midget might weigh less than a skinny 7 footer - should you charge on absolute weight or excess weight?) secondly unless you are going to stand people on a scales in the airport how are you going to calculate it, and thirdly it could backfire and be a PR disaster.
However I still maintain that if it is acceptable for car insurance companies to discriminate based on sex, a way of getting cheaper rates to a group that contribute less cost - then it should be acceptable for other services to do this too... Just need to find a way to implement it.