3/28/2013 09:38:00 AM

Weighing in on the Airline 'Fat Tax'

Will you have to be weighed alongside your bags in the future? Photo by Jeremy Foo via Flickr
Is “pay as you weigh” the future of flying? Norwegian Economist Dr. Bharat P. Bhatta thinks so. In an article for the Journal of Revenue & Pricing Management, he says that passenger weight loads directly impact fuel use, one of the biggest expenses for airlines. As such, passengers weighing more or bringing heavier baggage should be required to contribute to those increased fuel costs. And lighter passengers and those who bring less baggage shouldn’t have to pay for the fuel costs created by their heavier seatmates.

What's the solution? He thinks passengers should have to pay a base fare with a predetermined discount or surcharge for those above or below a certain weight threshold. Passengers would self-declare their weight with one in five randomly selected for weighing-in at the airport (with penalties for cheaters). What do you think? Should heavier fliers have to pay more? And, for the thin fliers out there, would the increased screening time be worth the money you’d save in ticket costs?

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