Usage per pound doesn’t make good economic sense

So a lot of people in FA have been talking about this article: “Airlines Might Start Treating Passengers ‘Like Freight.'”

I don’t get the reasoning behind charging people per pound. Say that we just accept that people think it’s okay to discriminate against teh fatties. This policy, however, discriminates not just against teh fatties, but any body who is naturally heavier. That includes:

* most taller people
* most men
* some ethnic minorities and majorities
* people on medication with a side-effect of weight gain, i.e., depressed people, people on some other psych meds, and a whole lot of other potentially disabled people who are being helped by their drugs
* disabled people who can’t physically spend hours in the gym every day trying to conform to a thinner ideal

Regardless of what economic “sense” they think it makes to treat people like freight (should heavier people pay more for public transportation, too? To walk on public streets (since their heavier bodies wear the streets down faster, yanno!)? A fat tax for wear and tear on the floors of public places?), at bottom, it doesn’t make true economic sense.

Do the airlines really want to start alienating gigantic portions of their customer base? Do you think most women in our fatphobic culture, even thinner ones, want to be weighed in public? Also, how long before other groups who are less acceptable to discriminate against, like some of the groups I mentioned above, start hiring lawyers and filing anti-discrimination class action lawsuits?

It’s a stupid, stupid economic policy to treat people like freight. If the airlines are having a passenger weight problem, perhaps it could be mitigated by stopping trying to cram in more and more rows and seats every year on planes that already can’t even fit peoples’ carry-ons anymore. And blaming heavier passengers for the increase in fuel costs is insanely stupid and incorrect. Oil per barrel is at record highs. Not wanting to raise ticket prices (though they’re caving to that already) in order not to lose passengers, airlines are cramming more and more seats and rows into too-small planes. People are getting heavier — 15 pounds/person (average) in thirty years — but they’re getting taller, too, which means that people are more uncomfortable now in planes than they’ve ever been.

Is discriminating against huge chunks of your customer base going to solve your financial and comfort problems, airlines? I think not. Time to start looking for other solutions, you irresponsible, lazy-minded idiots. Fire your marketing people too, while you’re at it, because they’re doing a piss-poor job.

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10 comments on “Usage per pound doesn’t make good economic sense

  1. Yeah, it’ll never happen. No way will women (and some men) be willing to be weighed before they get on a plane. We’d all flock to whatever airline wasn’t doing it.

  2. BigLiberty says:

    Preeecisely! Great comment. You’d think some of their financial advisors would have taken Econ 101…or would have a shred of common sense. But hey. 🙂

  3. blablover5 says:

    I wonder if it’ll come with those little plastic bags and the twist ties next to the scales.

  4. BigLiberty says:

    lol lol

    And it’ll be those hanging scales, too, not the ones you stand on. So you’ll have to climb up and swing around while they weigh you 😉

  5. My economics classes changed my life. No, seriously. Suddenly, like, EVERYTHING made sense. 🙂

  6. anniemcphee says:

    It might make sense if weight is an issue on planes to weigh each passenger *with* all his luggage for fares. If, that is, the weight actually makes a difference in such a way. Including their cargo. Otherwise then no, it makes no sense.

    Though I would probably like to have two seats regardless. I haven’t flown in so long though.

  7. violetyoshi says:

    I want to say it’s like, in reference to Black people having to sit in the back of the bus. It’s like not just being told you have to sit in the back of the bus, but paying for the entitlement to do so.

  8. violetyoshi says:

    I hate to say this, but it’s already started. I just saw on the Morning show with Robin Meade, a woman 5’4 140 pounds, was denied access to a flight. She tried suing the airline, the courts sided with the airline! *headdesk*

  9. BigLiberty says:

    I truly fear for the road down which this moral panic is taking our society. What do we expect to find at the end of it? Utopia? The Fountain of Youth?

  10. violetyoshi says:

    I think it’s more likely will find Big Brother, laughing and saying “Now I owns you!”

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