100 lb. Club - Airfare By The Pound ?




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CHUNKEY_MUNKEY
06-10-2008, 11:28 AM
I Heard That Some Airlines Will Start To Charge Passangers By The Pound , Is This True ? Is That Even Allowed ?, Omg As If Im Not Already Freaked Out By My Weight ......


Meg
06-10-2008, 11:32 AM
No airline is doing it (yet), though they're eliminating snacks and even olives in salads to cut back on weight. All the hoopla is about a fake ad. Read all the way to the bottom: http://flyderrie-air.com/

But it's sparked some interesting discussion all over the Internet.

modkittn
06-10-2008, 11:32 AM
They were asked if they would do that, if it was something they were considering given the rising gas prices. The responses I saw from airlines were against it, saying that the passengers would never want to pay that way. I'd link to the CNN article I read if I could get CNN to load...


KLK
06-10-2008, 11:58 AM
That seems like a ridiculous way to calculate the price of an airline ticket -- usually people who are in favor of such pricing figure it will only effect the overweight (and the fat should be punished as much as possible) but it will also effect people who are naturally taller and heavier than most others -- like a 225lb man who's 6 feet tall. Or will they charge based on the BMI of the passenger? "Well, you SHOULD be anywhere from 120 to 140 lbs based on your height, but since you're 190lbs, you have to pay more. But this 6 ft tall guy who's 225lbs will pay less than you, even though he's heavier, because his BMI is in range."

I think it's silliness -- people weigh what they weigh; making them pay more for weighing a certain amount is ridiculous.

PhotoChick
06-10-2008, 11:58 AM
As Jay said .. it's gag/hoax.

But.

It is an interesting dilemma. And it's NOT ridiculous. I'm a private pilot and I know that weight is a BIG issue for airlines. It does very seriously affect cost. Even when I fly a small plane, I have to calculate every single pound carefully - up to and including the weight of the fuel I put in the plane (gas weighs 6.15 lb per gallon, btw! :D). so say you have a plane that holds 170 people. If those 170 people weigh an average of 180lbs each, that's 30,600 lbs total. If you increase that to an average of 200lbs each, the weight increases to 34,000 lbs. That's quite a bit of jet-fuel to carry that increased weight load.

That's one factor. The other factor is simply that of space. I have a friend who is extremely overweight (about 2x as heavy as I was at my heaviest) and she simply cannot fit in a regular airline seat. She has gotten lucky several times with buying a single seat and having no one sit next to her, so she can take up 2 seats, but several times she's had to buy 2 seats (which makes her really angry - and while I can understand being embarassed, I don't think she really has a right to be angry about it).

It really is a very large (no pun intended) problem for airlines and one that they can't bring up easily with the public for fear of being branded as "sizeist" or "fat bashing".

.

kaplods
06-10-2008, 12:58 PM
The problem I have with charging people double for two seats, is that there is nothing to prevent the airlines from making smaller and smaller seats to be able to get more double fares. Also if the seats aren't bench style, then having two seats is still not going to be as comfortable as having a seat that fits. It's not fair to pay twice the price for a less comfortable seat. If I'm going to pay double, I want twice the space. If I'm being charged by the pound, I want to be buying the same space per pound than the thin customers. The idea that I could be charged double, but then crammed into an uncomfortably small space, there's nothing fair about that either.

What I wouldn't be opposed to would be an extra row or two of very extra large seats that would easily accomodate not only larger passengers, but handicapped passengers who because of joint issues may need more seat or leg room. I would have no problem paying much more for these seats, or having to take a different flight because the seats I could fit in had all been purchased. This isn't going to be practical for existing planes, but for new ones being built, I think it's a more fair alternative.

CHUNKEY_MUNKEY
06-10-2008, 02:49 PM
photochick , i see where your comming from , but at the same time your heavy 165 is fairly ... plump for someone your height im heavier than you so its nothing to be ashamed of .... vut despite being plump 165 is not an unhealthy weight , its better than where you started , how would you feel @ 165 having to step onto the scale at the airport and having to pay a higher fare than someone next to you who weighs only 120 .... you both only take up one seat , ..... how is that not ridiculous ??

and as for what kaplods said i think thats a great idea .... to have an extra row or two with seats designed for passangers of a larger size/height even if they did cost more , the passangers would be more comfortable making them happy and the airline happy as well .....

SoulBliss
06-10-2008, 02:59 PM
:lol:

http://flyderrie-air.com/

What amenities will your jets offer?

First of all there will be no class distinctions inside of a Derrie-Air jet. Every passenger will be treated like royalty. Every seat will be first class. There will simply be too many extras and treats on our flights to list here, but highlights will include: gorgeous air hosts and hostesses, golden-age Rat Pack films, top-shelf vodka Martinis, on-demand video blackjack, spacious private washrooms outfitted with porcelain fixtures and gilded faucets, gourmet snacks, on-board masseuses, loofah scrubs and, of course, digital cable!

xGurlyGrlx
06-10-2008, 03:14 PM
The ad is funny!

I don't think they could ever charge based on weight. I know most airlines are only allowing each passenger to have one piece of luggage now instead of two to cut back on weight. If you do bring two, you pay $25 & up each way for that additional piece of luggage. I found that out the hard way a few weeks ago!

fiberlover
06-10-2008, 05:13 PM
The problem would be the cut off point for charging extra.
Would it be by the pound? It certainly couldn't be by BMI - as we know how inaccurate BMI is. There really isn't a fair way to do it.

And what about going on vacation? Do you get charged the weight for the outgoing flight, or the weight on the return flight after eating 2 weeks of vacation food? :rofl: Will they check both ways??

kaplods
06-10-2008, 05:41 PM
Hey that might be a great incentive for staying on-plan during a vacation. But what about cruise-ships, will they start doing the same, and doesn't that seem a serious ethical conflict of interest, if cruise-ships charge per pound, when they're so well known for the ridiculously sumptuous food-pushing buffets. And would they charge you per pound per day (but if every pound "counts" because the ship has to haul it, if you're gaining it eating their food, wouldn't they have had to carry it anyway, and aren't they then in a position to push food even more to increase their profits).

SoulBliss
06-10-2008, 05:56 PM
Hey that might be a great incentive for staying on-plan during a vacation. But what about cruise-ships, will they start doing the same, and doesn't that seem a serious ethical conflict of interest, if cruise-ships charge per pound, when they're so well known for the ridiculously sumptuous food-pushing buffets. And would they charge you per pound per day (but if every pound "counts" because the ship has to haul it, if you're gaining it eating their food, wouldn't they have had to carry it anyway, and aren't they then in a position to push food even more to increase their profits).

How many pounds of food would equal a pound gained on a person though? A pound of cucumbers would have a different effect than a pound of oil, for instance... :dizzy:

mandalinn82
06-10-2008, 06:09 PM
It'd depend when they weighed you, I guess. Right after you ate the cucumbers, you'd be up a lb...but you'd be up a lb well AFTER eating the lb of olive oil, whereas the cucumber lbs would be gone very quickly.

This makes my head spin.

SoulBliss
06-10-2008, 06:27 PM
Oh no!

*Must NOT let this distract me and trigger an OCD-fueled math session*

I am so tempted to calculate the calories of cucumbers versus oil versus sugar and make an equation from it, using the same variables and control.

:lol:

LittleMissMotivation
06-10-2008, 06:41 PM
That much oil may actually make you LOSE weight from the ahem "lubrication" on your intestines.. Easy in, easy out.. YUCK!

PhotoChick
06-10-2008, 06:58 PM
Ok there's a lot of joking going on and it is funny, but I do see this as being kind of a serious issue. Not specifically about planes or anything ...

But some people have gotten ANGRY that they should not be treated differently because of their weight. And a few people have jumped to these huge conclusions like "you'd get weighed in front of everyone" and "they'd tag your luggage for being obese" and so forth.

This is a VERY REAL ISSUE for airlines and especially if the cost of fuel keeps rising. It's not about the size of the seat. It's about the cost of carrying more and more and more weight.

Someone pointed out that I'm "pudgy" at 165 and how would I feel if I were charged more. And you know what .. I don't WANT to pay more money but I do feel that it would be a FAIR way to pay. We pay for mail by the ounce/pound. We pay to ship packages by the pound. Why not pay to "ship" ourselves by the pound? Does that mean that the 5'0" 105 lb woman gets a better deal than I do? Yup. And always will because I'll never be 5'0" and 105 lbs. But then it costs the airlines less to carry her and more to carry me ... so why not?

I dunno. I just wish people could see the overall big picture rather than focusing on "I pay for the same seat everyone else does." Because really .. you DON'T pay for the same seat. It costs more to move you and your seat (or me and my seat) than it might to move the person next to you. Why should THEY pay higher overall prices because of you? Or, for that matter, why should *I* pay higher overall prices because of the 6'5 250lb man sitting int he seat next to me?

.

jenjen
06-10-2008, 07:16 PM
I remember when Southwest came out with the policy for charging for an additional seat & people being outraged. I've been on plenty of flights when I was overweight that I would have preferred to pay more for an extra seat than to be embarassed because my fat a$$ was hanging onto someone else's seat or I was squeezed up next to the window trying to make sure I didn't "invade" someone else's. I was always prepared to have to pay extra. So far, I haven't had to, but honestly, I'd rather pay more & be as comfortable as I can be on a plane rather than being embarrassed and make someone else uncomfortable.

To go along w/what Photochick has said, the airlines charge for luggage weighing more than a certain amount or for having extra baggage. Let's face it, we have extra baggage.

CHUNKEY_MUNKEY
06-10-2008, 07:42 PM
i see what your saying @ photochik i really do .. you made a great point about having to pay by pound to ship your mail/packages so why not pay per pound to "ship" yourself ..... i just dont think its fair though because i mean in general as a rule of thumb the shorter you are the thinner you **most likley** are(or can be) .... if your tall you most likey weigh more, you cant control your height so you should pay more for somethingyou cant control ..... i see what your saying but i dont think its fair in cases like that a girl whos 5'9 can weigh 150 ( and not be fat ) and a girl at 5'0 can weigh (100 ) the girl whos 5'9 has slim to no chance of being 100 pounds its not her fault why is she being punished ......

Robin41
06-10-2008, 08:17 PM
This would be a really interesting discussion if the possibility of this was even remotely possible. Airlines use an average weight for each seat when figuring costs/gas/etc. because it is the only practical way to do it. They can't wait for people to show up at the airport to figure out how much gas is needed for a trip, they can't wait till people show up at the airport to decide how much to charge them, and they don't have the time to weigh 300 people and their baggage before a plane takes off.

Whether it's fair or not in theory is another argument.

PhotoChick
06-10-2008, 08:32 PM
They can't wait for people to show up at the airport to figure out how much gas is needed for a trip, Ah, but they could ask you to enter your weight within a 10 pound range when you buy your ticket and then confirm it when you check in. They do with luggage. You are allowed 2 bags and they weigh them when you check in. If your luggage is overweight, you pay a fee. (As a photographer travelling with gear, Lord knows I've paid my share of overweight fees! :D)

And it wouldn't even have to be obvious. A scale could be built into the floor in front of the check in - heck even in front of the automatic check-in machines so no other human would ever see your weight. You step on the correct floor tile in front of your kiosk, go through the automated check in, and if you've lied about your weight when you purchased the ticket, then you get charged an "overlimit" fee. Give, say, a 10 to 15 lb range to allow for fluctuations and clothing ... it would be quite easy to implement, actually.

And no one else, no passenger, no crew member, no anyone would ever have to see the number except yourself.

.

Apple Cheeks
06-10-2008, 08:51 PM
As someone who will never be in the same weight range as an "average" sized woman, I would be one of those people who are "punished" for weighing more.

The average woman is not over 6 feet tall, and so I would always be considered "overweight" no matter how slim I get (barring anorexia, or some other horrible condition).

Therefore, I would be quite pissed off about being charged more for a seat as some 5-foot-nothing person next to me.

People can talk about how the airlines need more fuel to haul me around and so forth, but that reasoning would not make me any less angry about being charged extra if it ever came to that.

kaplods
06-10-2008, 08:55 PM
Airlines have a right to charge any way they wish to, but I can tell you that a per pound fee is unlikely to work, and the major complaints aren't going to come from the biggest passengers, they're going to come from people of average weight declaring (and possibly being correct) that the airport scales are "rigged," and indignantly disagreeing with the weight the airport is alleging.

And I think that if weight is seen as having that much of an impact on overhead expenses, that it is justified in using as the criteria by which an airline is charging, then the weight "counted" should include all luggage as well as the weight of the passenger. So, if I want to compensate a bit for my larger personal bulk by carrying less luggage, then that should be my perogative, but again if the airport is going to charge me per lb, then they need to allot the space fairly, a certain number of cubic centimeters per lb, for example.

Also, if a obese person is charged for two seats, but weighs less than the weight of two average weight people - which is it are they being overcharged or undercharged? Are they increasing the load of the plane, or actually decreasing it, because they've paid for more than their fair share. Is it the space in the plane, or the weight the plane that can carry that is the primary factor in determining the overhead of the flight?

And if we're charged per pound, and aloted space per pound (what other method would be fair, if I'm being charged per pound, I should get more space), perhaps we need to organize sections by width and height, so that everyone is entitled to accomodations that are comfortable. Maybe the section for really, really short people could be double decker, so no space in the cabin is wasted.

If airlines want to charge per pound, the have the right to, but they will lose business, and it will likely be "skinny business," more than "fat business." Fat people are used to being humiliated regarding our weight, we can and probably will take it with a lot less complaint that someone slim arguing whether they are 110 lbs or 120 lbs. Unless you're arguing that only fat people should pay by the pound? In which case, the real issue is that fat people deserve to be treated differently than good, normal people, and if they can be humiliated in the process - bonus.

crazycurls
06-10-2008, 09:07 PM
And if we're charged per pound, and aloted space per pound (what other method would be fair, if I'm being charged per pound, I should get more space), perhaps we need to organize sections by width and height, so that everyone is entitled to accomodations that are comfortable. Maybe the section for really, really short people could be double decker, so no space in the cabin is wasted.


This seems a little more fair to me. If you want to charge me more per lb, then I want the space I paid for. There would have to be various sections of the plane for various heights, weights, etc. Since something like this would never happen, it will never be fair for an airplane to charge per pound. I honestly don't think they ever will either!

PhotoChick
06-10-2008, 09:21 PM
Unless you're arguing that only fat people should pay by the pound? In which case, the real issue is that fat people deserve to be treated differently than good, normal people,

Wow. Where did THAT come from and what on earth made you put THOSE words in my mouth.

Wow. Wow. I just don't even have words to respond to that.

.

yoyoma
06-10-2008, 09:23 PM
Airlines should do whatever their management feels is in the company's best financial interest (publicly held ones are legally obligated to do so). In making a change to fares which might be unpopular, they will balance the cost (some bad PR and/or lost business, perhaps) vs the gain (higher ticket revenue or savings on fuel).

Some airline execs may feel it is in their best interest to simply raise all ticket prices and amortize the rising costs. Others may try to market a weight charge more palatably by staging the changes and calling it a discount for lighter passengers rather than an extra fee for heavier fliers.

For example, they might start out by offering a family-friendly discount for children up to a certain age. Then they might expand the discount to include any passengers under a certain weight. Then they might transition to several weight ranges, etc.

Different people will feel differently about which airlines are charging fair ticket prices. Parents who wish to fly with several small children (not me, btw) may well feel it is fairer for them if they are paying less than the equivalent of several adults. Different people may end up choosing different airlines based on their fare structures.

kaplods
06-10-2008, 10:00 PM
Quote:
Unless you're arguing that only fat people should pay by the pound? In which case, the real issue is that fat people deserve to be treated differently than good, normal people,

PhotoChick:
Wow. Where did THAT come from and what on earth made you put THOSE words in my mouth.
__________________________________________________ __

I didn’t put those words in your mouth, as I said “unless“, and everything that follows the “unless” hinges on the truth of what followed. If there is no truth the phrase following the “unless” part, then the “in which case,” doesn’t apply.

The thing is, over the past 36 years of my life, since I began dieting at age 5, I’ve encountered so much rhetoric as to reasons fat people SHOULD be treated differently than “normal” people, it sickens me. From the P.E. teacher in first grade who told my mom he was intentionally mean to the fat kids to “motivate” them to lose weight (unfortunately it made sense to my mom) to your argument that your fat friend didn’t have the right to be angry.

Of course, she had the right to be angry and has the right to complain. As any customer does when they are not satisfied with a product or service they receive, or the way in which it is delivered. Whether their expectations are reasonable or not to anyone but themselves, they get to vote with their dollars and their voices, just like everyone else. If I do not feel a product is worth my money, or that the charges are reasonable, the expenses of the retailer isn’t my problem.

The funniest part of all of this to me, is I'm one of the most difficult to offend fat people on the universe. Call me "fat" and I'll agree. Do it nasty, and I'll laugh in your face and ask you if you figured it out all by yourself, or if you had help. I’m likely to be the least self-conscious to pay per pound, if I were granted per pound comfortable space. I would wear my weight printed on my back or across my chest. I'm fat, I'm not a serial killer and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I don't mind paying more for quality clothing, because I know the overhead is higher and the profit-margin lower on plus-size clothing. But, like any customer, I'm not going to pay for products and services I do not feel are worth the cost to me, regardless of the cost to the provider. The airlines, like any business have a right to determine their charges based on any criteria they wish too, but they do have to be aware that doing so in a way that offends any customer may lose that customer, and anyone else who agrees with the offended customers. They may have a logical reason to charge by the pound, but if doing so loses them business because it offends customers, then offending customers has to be taken into consideration. And a person has a right to refuse to fly (or the right to complain about) an airline that charges based on body weight, if it offends them.

kaplods
06-10-2008, 10:21 PM
Is it fair to charge simply by the pound? I think the assumption that it is, is a very large assumptions. We are not letters or packages, and our weight is not the only "expense" of the airline. If we were all unconscious and shipped like cordwood, possibly, but first class passengers receive more amenities, so they pay more. The person who "uses" more of the flight attendants time do not pay more than the person who does not. Those that do not use the restroom, do not get charged less because they didn't use any toilet paper. I haven't flown in a while, but I don't think passengers are charged for pillows and blankets or sodas. Passengers who refuse complimentary snacks aren't given a discount... There are alot of factors that go into which passengers "cost more" to the airlines in terms of products and services used. To be perfectly "fair," the charges and/or discounts could get pretty silly - do I get an extra discount if I pass on the oxygen and life jacket? Or if I pass on dessert during the in-flight meal? Will I be charged more if I get airsick - will I be charged per bag?

JayEll
06-10-2008, 10:50 PM
1. You will get charged less if you're airsick because it will lower your weight. But only if they can eject the barf bag from the plane...

2. I don't know whether there are any meals served anymore... unless it's in First Class. You have to pay for snack packs on some airlines. I don't even know whether they offer those anymore, but I'll find out next week (plane trip). Regarding dessert, I think one should get bonus points for skipping dessert on these hypothetical meals, just like one gets mileage points. Just think, you could get points toward your next fare, AND lower your calorie intake, all at once! :lol:

3. Would there have to be adjustments made for professionals? E.g., football players, sumo wrestlers, power lifters...? Not that NFL players fly anything but first class, should they have to fly a commercial airline...

4. Families should be charged double for children... ;)

5. Perhaps a volume calculation would be better... Why restrict it to weight? That's only part of the issue. Sure, there's a correlation, but it's not exact.

Jay

thistoo
06-10-2008, 11:01 PM
I haven't flown in a while, but I don't think passengers are charged for pillows and blankets or sodas.

I read an article last week that said they are charging for blankets and pillows now.

JulieJ08
06-10-2008, 11:18 PM
Next headline: Cab fare to depend on passenger weight. Gas mileage, you know.

;)

KLK
06-10-2008, 11:29 PM
I think the person who sits in front of me and has his seat reclined during the ENTIRE transaltlantic flight, including during meals, should have to pay more. AND he should be smacked.

Suzanne 3FC
06-10-2008, 11:34 PM
I have a friend who is extremely overweight (about 2x as heavy as I was at my heaviest) and she simply cannot fit in a regular airline seat. She has gotten lucky several times with buying a single seat and having no one sit next to her, so she can take up 2 seats, but several times she's had to buy 2 seats (which makes her really angry - and while I can understand being embarassed, I don't think she really has a right to be angry about it).


I'll never forget boarding an airplane and waiting behind a very large man that was trying to get seated. He must have weighed 400 pounds yet he had bought a seat in coach. The stewardess tried to seat him in the bulkhead and he was having a difficult time fitting into the seat. He looked at me and said "They usually just put me in first class" and shrugged with annoyance. I was so upset! If he knew he needed a larger seat in first class, why did he book the cheaper seat? He was intentionally trying to cheat the system to save a buck and it was a rude and inconsiderate act. The flight was fully packed and they didn't have any free seats in first class. The man had to force himself into the seat with the arm rest up. I really felt sorry for the woman next to him. She paid for a whole seat, not a half, and it was an overseas flight.

Being extra large carries plenty of limitations, but also new responsibilities. With that comes the impact our size may have on a flight. If we have to pay extra for luggage over a certain weight, then why not do the same for our bodies when it's for the same reason? It seems logical. Maybe plus-size seats at an extra cost are necessary. Sad thought, though.

JuliaDH
06-10-2008, 11:51 PM
WOW! Opinions are great! WOW

kaplods
06-10-2008, 11:58 PM
I just had visions of the flight attendants being told to keep the air conditioner on the highest setting to increase blanket rental (I've never trusted the blankets and pillows anyway - and now I'm certainly not going to pay to get someone else's cooties).

And you know, I think for gas mileage and weight, I would bet that the proportional difference is actually higher for land transportation, so it would be more justifiable on the buses, trains, subways, and cabs than on airlines. Maybe I should suggest to my husband when he gives rides to his pals, that the fatter ones should pay more.

Of course, I think it's possible that charging per pound might be a powerful incentive for some people to lose weight. A tangible reminder that the extra weight does exert a tangible cost. Wouldn't that be wonderful? And if it meant that some people would avoid public transportation, might even avoid all human contact or even suicide out of fear of public humiliation, oh well it'd be worth it, on the whole, don't you think?

I think the "joke" of this does make an important statement. It's been argued that fat people should pay more for health care costs because of the added costs of treating obesity-related illnesses. Makes sense. However, since it's also true that severely overweight people are less likely to seek medical attention and in many cases receive inferior health care (health problems in obese individuals seeking treatment goes undiagnosed and untreated longer than those same health problems in normal weight individuals seeking treatment) - does that seem fair? Do we really think that fat people should pay more because they cost more AND yet receive inferior care, having done so? I had a serious sinus defect that went undetected for DECADES because doctor after doctor told me that my chronic sinus infections, asthma and bronchitis were caused by my being fat. An astute ENT who didn't believe that fat "causes everything" found and repaired the sinus defect and my symptoms were relieved about 70 - 80%, then when I found out I was allergic to NSAID like ibuprofen, naproxen, and relafen and stopped those, the remaining symptoms disappeared. Haven't had a sinus infection, bronchitis, or an asthma attack since. And 98% of my "allergies" disappeared also.

Fair is always complicated, because there are many factors involved, and looking at any one skews the picture.

SoulBliss
06-11-2008, 12:53 AM
I'm fat. I'm big. I will NEVER be tiny or fit with a lot of extra room in a "regular" airplane seat. Neither will my 7 foot tall, fit and lean but still LARGE partner. The two of us BARELY fit comfortably in First Class (for those that actually have it).

We found out accidentally that we fit well in First Class. I had always flown Jet Blue or Southwest and airlines like that which HAD no first class, so I just never thought to ask questions about the availability of first class when asking my many, many questions about size and if we should buy an additional seat to fit well together.

Once, we were traveling to Las Vegas from San Diego and the staff was so impressed with my partner's size and had sports questions for him (he played college ball, for a basketball team back east) and wanted to make him more comfortable. Plus, we were traveling for a birthday. So, they offered first class to us. It was COMFY!

I know the last time I traveled, I did not need a seat belt extender. I weigh less than before but am still large. I will always be large.

I wonder about things like this for reasons other than fat activism, discrimination and fuel costs. I wonder how the airlines estimate to not have too much weight in general, as they can;t predict how many larger than average people will be on the flight, let alone how much excess luggage people will bring! It SCARES me to know that these variables aren't factored exactly. :o

Lovely
06-11-2008, 08:40 AM
5. Perhaps a volume calculation would be better... Why restrict it to weight? That's only part of the issue. Sure, there's a correlation, but it's not exact.


"Ok! Everybody into the displacement pool for a quick dip before we let you board the plane!"

ellis
06-11-2008, 09:37 AM
"Ok! Everybody into the displacement pool for a quick dip before we let you board the plane!"
:lol3: Faerie, you kill me. :rofl:

skinnyminnynow
06-11-2008, 09:58 AM
The practicalities of implementing a pay-per-pound program make it unlikely to actually happen (especially with the arcane systems of the airline industry!).

However....

i see what your saying but i dont think its fair in cases like that a girl whos 5'9 can weigh 150 ( and not be fat ) and a girl at 5'0 can weigh (100 ) the girl whos 5'9 has slim to no chance of being 100 pounds its not her fault why is she being punished ......

I gotta be frank here - the airlines are a BUSINESS. They are not out to make things fair for everyone. They are out to make a profit based on their costs and the prices they are able to charge. In fact, their existing pricing structures are already quite "unfair." I buy a lot of last-minute tickets for work, which means that I'm likely paying 2x for my ticket compared to the guy sitting next to me who bought his ticket earlier, who may very well have paid 2x for his ticket compared to the next person, etc.

kaplods
06-11-2008, 10:00 AM
I see great income potentional in designing elaborate corsets, body slimmers and "super spanx" to decrease a person's volume during flight.

I wouldn't have a problem buying square footage or cubic inches or whatever in a plane (assuming comfortable bench seating), I mean it's obviously a factor in first class seats. More money, more space. Although I know profit is the bottom line, when is it appropriate to complain about being required to buy an additional seat? If no one has the right to complain, then airlines can make the seats as small as they wish until anyone over 10 would have to buy two or more seats. Ok, that's not going to happen, so some definition of reasonable or normal (one would hope) has to be used. Anyone who fits into the seat is more likely to think the cut-off point is reasonable, anyone who doesn't less likely so. Ultimately companies can charge what and by what means, that customers are willing to pay.

Do establisments have an obligation to accomodate patrons with special needs? Not always an easy question. Not always a legal question, but definitely an ethical one. My husband and I went to a Texas Roadhouse restaurant and the seating was ridiculous. I had called ahead to make a reservation and asked for a table, explaining that we were EXTREMELY large and handicapped (hubby walks with a cane and cannot move sideways easily). The reservation was accepted and I was assured that we would easily be accomodated. Well, the reality was quite different. All the tables were booths or tall bar tables (hubby actually likes these, but my legs go numb, and I don't have the balance to stay on these. Though I never have, even when I was much younger and much thinner). We should have left, but we took a booth and squeezed in (hubby would pay later with knee pain). But as we sat there, we realized that they had way too much handicapped parking, as there was nearly no way anyone with a significant mobility impairment could comfortably and safely be served. Hubby's step-father (who passed away last year) was still alive and thankfully not with us. He was wheelchair bound, and the only tables his chair could have gotten to, where at about eyebrow level. He could have rolled up to the open end of a booth, except all of the booths were up a narrow "flight" of three stairs. Although the aisles were too narrow even if one of the staircases had been a ramp. Besides, peanut shells were tossed on the floor for ambiance (in fact, we used a bucket for our shells, and the waitress dumped them on the floor in front of our booth - unwittingly creating a fall hazzard for my husband when it was time to leave the booth). And while hubby was waiting for a spoon (his soup arrived without one) the waitresses all started dancing in the narrow, peanut strewn aisles. Might have been highly entertaining if the five minute "show" hadn't created a diversion for the waitress who then forgot hubby's spoon (also during the dance one of the waitresses nearly fell on her keister, slipping on the peanut shells. They should get hazzard pay).

Did we complain? We told both the waitress and the manager that we thought service should take precedence over entertainment, and we did point out that there was no handicapped seating, so they really had no need for handicapped parking. Instead of even a polite acknowledgement, the manager said they had to have handicapped parking because it was the law. Kind of sad that handicapped parking is required, but not any accomodations to handicapped individuals.

The food was good, the service a little stinky, but they were newly opened
so we cut them a little slack, but we won't go back because of the lack of handicapped seating. And ironically, not for our own comfort. We did ok in the booth. It was snug, but as we've both lost some weight, getting into booths is a little easier than it used to be. When the waitresses weren't dancing in the aisles, hubby could stretch out his bad leg a bit, so we were fine. We just don't give our business to restaurants that can't accomodate a person in a wheelchair or a person with balance or mobility issues, even if they can accomodate us, because we're reminded that some of our family and friends would be unable to comfortably join us. The restaurant has the right to be as inaccessible as the law allows, and we have the right to complain and choose more amenable locations.

I think the same is true of the airlines. If a person, for any reason, feels that an airline's or any business's practices are unfair or offensive, they get to vote with their money and feet. If the majority of people are comfortable with those practices, and the products or services they receive, the business can succeed. However, in many parts of the world, people are getting fatter. More and more of the customers are fat or have fat friends and relatives, so the realities are that companies are going to be increasingly unable to afford to ignore "fat dollars."

thistoo
06-11-2008, 10:21 AM
I just had visions of the flight attendants being told to keep the air conditioner on the highest setting to increase blanket rental (I've never trusted the blankets and pillows anyway - and now I'm certainly not going to pay to get someone else's cooties).

I think when you pay for a pillow and blanket now, you get to keep them. So...hurray for a lovely airline souvenir?

kaplods
06-11-2008, 10:28 AM
I wonder if you're allowed to carry on your own blanky and pillow, of if they forbid it like the movie theater banning carry-in treats.

xxxtine
06-11-2008, 10:59 AM
Great discussion.

I am 5'10 and weigh about 260 (Whoo hooooo for losing!) and I have to admit that getting on an airplane in couch sucks if I don't know the person I am sitting next to. All my weight just happened to make a home in my behind and so I spill over a little in all directions. If we have the arm of the seat down it stops the blobbage but it is incredible uncomfortable.

I like to sit next to kids...let's put it that way.

However, If I was the other person and I paid for my ticket and I sat next to a large person that spilled into my seat I would be annoyed. I didn't get a discount and here they are taking over my purchased space. It's both fair and unfair...aggravating and embaressing. But if you are large and don't fit in the space they give you then why would you want to make someone else's trip uncomfortable?

Maybe they should make more accomodations. For instance. If you needed to buy two seats then you should be upgraded to first class. Why not? Wouldn't it take some of the sting out of the indignation you feel? Maybe you can't fly with your skinny buds but guess what? You're up front in first class!

They could also make a "fat/tall row". But what's to stop people potentially buying the seats for the extra room who aren't fat nor tall?

I sort of like the no assigned seating that some airplanes are doing. That way you can show up early and get to those seats or the stewardess can discreetly make that call.

It's such a senstive issue. There are no easy solutions that will appease everyone.

PhotoChick
06-11-2008, 11:15 AM
Ok, seriously with all respect .. kaplods, you seem to have some major issues about airlines that I don't understand. All of your posts are laced with the statement that you haven't flown in a while but ... and then followed by some pretty snarky comments about what you're sure airlines do. I'm not sure where your animosity comes from, but it makes me want to take your opinions less seriously when they're so obviously biased as well as based on a lack of actual knowledge.

I fly at least 2x a month with the occasional month where I fly every weekend. In March I was in airports more than I was in my car. What I am saying comes from (a) extensive experience in flying recently and (b) being a private pilot myself.

Yes, most airlines charge for food and drinks now, especially if you're in coach. There are a few that provide free soda, juice, and water - and usually a snack (a couple of pretzels in a bag). Many of them are contracting with companies like Subway or other deli type places to sell meals on the flight. I've never been on a flight yet that you are not allowed to bring your own food and drink if you like (alcohol excepted).

Some airlines do charge for pillows, blankets, and heatsets. You get to keep them if they charge. You are allowed to bring your own pillows, blankets, heatsets as well. You're pretty much allowed to bring anything that fits in your carry-on luggage.

But seriously ... as someone else said ... the airlines are not there to be "FAIR" ... no one is ENTITLED to fly anywhere. The airlines are there to make money and satisfy their shareholders. If that means cutting back on amenities, trying to fit as many people into a flight as they can, etc., they can do so. Obviously if they cut back too far or make changes that are unsatisfactory to the majority of their customers, they'll lose business. They have to decide at what point that balances out.

Any one of us who owns a business has to make that same kind of decision on a smaller scale. I have people who have sent me nasty emails because I charge "too much" to "snap a few pictures at my wedding" That's their opinion and they're entitled to it, but they don't know or understand my back end costs and the amount I have to charge to earn a living.

I dunno. This is a topic that I take seriously. I know what it's like to run a business and try to balance "fair" to the client with the fact that I have to pay my bills too. It's not always easy to do and there will always be SOMEONE who wants to complain about it, get angry, and take it personally.

.

BrandNewJen
06-11-2008, 11:23 AM
yeah, I don't get it--- and I'm FURIOUS about them charging now for the FIRST bag checked- ridiculous!!!! I'm FLYING somewhere people--- obviously it's far enough away where I might be there for a while and might need some BAGGAGE.

Ugh--- their rules are stupid. We just went on vacation and my hubby's bag was 6 pounds over--- so she said, "Can you get 6 pounds out of it and into your carryons?" So we did, to avoid being charged $50 for the "heavy" baggage (packed heavy to avoid the charge for a second bag, of course). But EITHER WAY, whether it's in the carry on or in the baggage, it's on the PLANE and weighing it down.

::sigh:: I just don't get it.

SoulBliss
06-11-2008, 11:42 AM
.

I've been meaning to ask you why there is always an extra period way down at the end of your posts, above your sig line...

:lol:

clibrarian
06-11-2008, 12:54 PM
I totally agree with xxxine. It is a really sensitive topic/issue. I think that there has to be compromise from either position-- in terms of being fair for larger sizes and fair for average sizes.

I'm an average size (striving to lose some). I used to have a job where I traveled extensively, at least twice a month. I remember one time sitting next to a large man. I felt so badly for him. He was clearly aware that he was in my area. He even admited to me that he was glad he was next to a woman-- but, I might stress-- like I said, I am average sized-- not petite by any means. And it was a long flight. I felt badly for him because he obviously was sitting so still to not disburb me, or get hit by the dang cart that goes careening down the aisle. He was nice about it, and I think he was embarrased, which made me feel badly for him.

I think that if he was a jerk about it, I would have been pretty annoyed.

Its such a sensitive topic. I think a tall/large aisle in coach would be ideal. Its not just larger weight people who have an issue-- very tall folks have a problem with the sizing of the aisle and seats too.

BrandNewJen
06-11-2008, 01:05 PM
I'm 6'1" (tall) and 255 lbs (large)... we just went on Jet Blue and I have to say I was pretty pleased at the size of their seats! They sell "extra legroom" seats (the emergency row, how crazy is that?) for more money, but our normal seats were SHOCKINGLY roomy. Hubby is large too (6'4" and 280) and he was comfortable as well.

We sat in a 2 seater row on the way out and were comfortable. The way in we were in a 3 seater row, hubby in window me in the b*tch seat... (middle)... and I had this small older lady next to me. I don't pour over the seats, but I was EXTREMELY conscious the whole time of not creeping into her space. Kept my arms in front of me, away from the elbow rests--- Yet there she is, with her elbows on the arm rests! So I guess she didn't mind me there otherwise she would have leaned to the aisle and kept her arms off the rests.

Maybe I'm not as big as I think I am. :) But we LOVED jetblue.

But I agree--- even though I am a big woman, I wouldn't want to sit next to a huge person that was taking up MY space. I paid full price, I should get my full space. It isn't fair and I CAN understand how very large people should be required to buy two seats. I'm saying VERY large. I'm BIG and still didn't need to buy two seats by any stretch.

clibrarian
06-11-2008, 01:09 PM
I totally agree with Brandnewjen.

valpal23
06-11-2008, 01:37 PM
about the checked baggage -- I recently came back from two business trips where my connection was too tight to check baggage so I stuck everything in a carry on.

I can understand some of the restrictions on checked bags (not the charging for one checked bag) but 2? Have you seen some of the supersized suitcases people are lugging around? I was only on a 2.5 hour flight.. but the baggage the majority of people were claiming could have fit ME in it!

kaplods
06-11-2008, 01:46 PM
Quote PhotoChick:
But seriously ... as someone else said ... the airlines are not there to be "FAIR" ... no one is ENTITLED to fly anywhere. The airlines are there to make money and satisfy their shareholders. If that means cutting back on amenities, trying to fit as many people into a flight as they can, etc., they can do so. Obviously if they cut back too far or make changes that are unsatisfactory to the majority of their customers, they'll lose business. They have to decide at what point that balances out.
__________________________________________________ __________


This has actually been my main point throughout. All businesses, no matter how small have a right to make whatever decisions they wish to regarding which products and services they sell, how they treat their customers, who they decide their customers are and how they will determine their costs and charges. Just as customers get to decide whether the products and services offered are of satisfactory quality and price.

As a person who sells craft and artwork, I'm well aware of people who don't feel my efforts are worth the prices I charge, regardless of the cost of materials that go into them. In the gallery I sell in, I'm on the lower end of the pricing scale. My material costs are higher than average, but my prices are lower. Law of suppply and demand dictates my maximum price. I could charge more, and sell less or I could charge less and sell more, or I could switch to a cheaper medium. I participated in an art show a couple weeks ago, and I couldn't argue with any of the guests who complained that my work was stupid and not worth the money because they could do it themselves at home cheaper. Very possibly, and it was a valid opinion (though one I didn't share or I wouldn't have been there). However, I have been on the other end of that perspective. I'm generally not going to tell a craftsperson that I believe they overprice their work, however I have turned over a price tag and been so shocked that I laughed or gasped.

To a degree, my posts have been "snarky" because we've been discussing an extremely fictional situation, and my responses have been in that vein. This thread has been an exercise in satire, no one really believes that the airlines are going to install a displacement tank to charge by volume. No one believes that airlines will create microseating in which the average person would have to buy two seats and larger patrons might need four or five. Instead, my comments have been geared at all of society, where businesses sometimes do make decisions that seem bizarre and "unfair" to prospective customers. Where quality workmanship is often a dying ideal. Where deceptive practices are common - I find it incredibly humourous and sad as well that in order to keep the perceived value consistent in the consumer's mind, some companies decrease their product size/weight while keeping the packaging the same size or even increasing it. So there's stick deodorant that has only an inch of deodorant, though there's room in container for four or five. Giant boxes or bags of crackers or rice mix or whatever are opened to a container that is less than half full (and a note on the side that declares that the product is packaged by weight, not volume and may have "settled" during shipment, implying that the package was at one time full, when that would have been impossible by the laws of physics).


A customer's perception of a product or service being NOT worth the price, is no more valid or invalid than a business person feeling the product or service is a bargain at twice the price.

To be serious for a second, no airline is ever going to charge people by the pound, or the square inch no matter how much sense it would make, unless most of their customer base can be expected to agree without taking offense. Since I don't see that happening, it's sure alot of fun to make fun of.

I was surprised to learn that airlines are charging for snacks, pillows, blankets, etc. because they were included amenities when I last flew. I found it very funny. Not that it isn't perfectly reasonable, but I still find it very funny. I find it very reasonable for someone my size to buy two seats, but I can also understand someone feeling that "I'm not too big, the seat is too small." Who's to say I am right and they are wrong. Instead, I think we're both right - we both have an opinion regarding what services we should expect, when and how loudly we should complain, and whether we're willing to patronize that business.

My husband and I visited a restaurant the other day with his grandparents, and the tables were very comfortable. Padded, armless sturdy chairs, but I actually did a double take at their booths, because it at least appeared as though even a very slender adult would have to be a contortionist to fit into the booths. I looked around the restaurant to see who was sitting in the booths, and it was darned few. Mostly singles and couples sitting on one side of the booth, with the booth pushed towards the other end (so a couple with kids probably could use the booth if they pushed the booth closer to the kids' side). That restaurant has every right to set up their booths that way, but if they had chosen fewer booths more comfortably placed, they would actually increase the serving capacity of their restaurant, which obviously was their original intent. But cramming too many booths into too small a space actually decreased, rather than increased capacity. Poor planning on their part, in my opinion. But my opinion doesn't really matter to them, does it? And it really shouldn't, except that it does matter when the opinions accumulate.

Personally, I do think that businesses tend to overlook the spending power of overweight americans, but that's my admittedly biased opinion. But the thing is, everyone's opinion is biased, and that doesn't make one "true" and another "false." The law of supply and demand is one of battling opinions trying to meet in the middle.

PhotoChick
06-11-2008, 01:59 PM
I've been meaning to ask you why there is always an extra period way down at the end of your posts, above your sig line...Hahah. Cause I hate to see my post all scrunched up against my sig line. I don't know why it bothers me so much ... but it does. But if you just put spaces in there, the board software takes them out. So I stick a period in there to hold the space open.

Yeah, I'm totally anal about it. I know. :D

.

Glory87
06-11-2008, 03:45 PM
If you made the text of the period white, no one could see it (unless they selected the text for some reason).

Bam, extra space, no period.

I put one after this line.

.

PhotoChick
06-11-2008, 05:44 PM
If you made the text of the period white, no one could see it (unless they selected the text for some reason).But why?

Right now it's just automatic to hit <enter><enter> and . ... and send.

If I wanted to make it white I'd have to then select it, click on the color, etc., etc.

Does the period really bother people *that* much that I should add 2 or so extra keystrokes/mouse clicks to end each post?

.

Apple Cheeks
06-11-2008, 07:18 PM
I think when you pay for a pillow and blanket now, you get to keep them. So...hurray for a lovely airline souvenir?

My first thought was, "That would be like wanting to keep your blankie and pillow if you stayed a night in jail. Unpleasant memories. No thanks." ;)






But, if I have to pay for it, then I am keeping it! Maybe I'll drop them off to the first homless guy I see, since I don't think I would care to keep them.

Glory87
06-11-2008, 09:27 PM
But why?

Right now it's just automatic to hit <enter><enter> and . ... and send.

If I wanted to make it white I'd have to then select it, click on the color, etc., etc.

Does the period really bother people *that* much that I should add 2 or so extra keystrokes/mouse clicks to end each post?

.

It is a little weird looking and I kinda wondered myself what the period was for. But hey, the desire to leave a tidy white space is your admitted personal obsession. I just thought you wouldn't want a period mucking up your pretty, clear real estate between the post and the sig.

I guess you aren't that obsessed after all!

SuchAPrettyFace
06-12-2008, 03:59 AM
Wow.

So much to say, where do I even begin?

a) If they are not going to let me bring shampoo in my carryon, they better not DREAM of charging me for the bag I have to put under the plane. :mad:

b) If they are going to charge me more for being fat, that is fine, I will pay a little more, but then you better bump me up to 'first class' where I am actually comfortable. That is what they would have to do. Skinnies in coach, everyone else in the 8-12 normal sized comfortable seats in the front of the plane, if I am paying more.

c) Yes, they charge for snacks, but they are full of fat, hydrogenated oil & HFCS. Not something you would want to eat anyway. I always pack my own. Pretzels, dry cereal, a sammich, carrot sticks, almonds or homemade trail mix, a piece of really good chocolate, mandarin oranges, cheese & crackers, the possibilities are endless. Just don't pack peanut butter sammiches (the pb is considered a gel), yogurt, pudding, or your own liquids. Bring an empty water bottle so you can fill it up once you get past security at the bubbler. Having to buy water at the airport is ludicrous.

d) Bring your own blanket & pillow. When is the last time you think they washed those blankets they have? Do you know what people do under those blankets? No way, man. Not this girl. I have my own blanket specifically to go on the plane with me. It matches my carryon. It gets washed 7-10 days before a flight.

e) If they are going to charge fat people more, then I have a few other suggestions:

1) Charging more for the :censored: who kicks my seat. I have kidney disease. Stop kicking the :censored: seat or I will recline it into your lap & you can peel grapes & feed them to me since I will be so close to you.

2) Charging more for bad hygiene. I travel to Mayo Clinic 4x a year for said kidneys. It's one of the most famous clinics in the WORLD. This means lots & lots of people from other countries. In the little puddle jumper we take to get from MPLS to Rochester, there is ALWAYS someone carrying on a conversation in another language. Always. And there is always at least one person on that plane who believes toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, soap & a towel were not meant for them, or were merely a suggestion. These people should all have to ride in the same plane someday & have to sit next to each other. And it's not just people from other countries either. I've had to sit next to just as many sweaty stinky American guys. They make deodorants in clinical strengths now, take advantage of it already!!!

Surprisingly I have no complaints about kids. Most of them are good, their parents keep them occupied. There was one who spent the first half of the flight kicking my seat, then the mother asks can I shut my window so Bunky can sleep w/o sun in his/her eyes. I said, sorry, I can't. I might have been able to do it w/o the seat kicking. (also I get the window seat so I can, oh, I don't know, look out the window?) But even that was understandable on a flight to Orlando where all the kids care about is seeing Mickey. Even the flight attendants were asking them, "Are you going to see Mickey?" In cases such as this, why not wait til you get off the plane to tell them where they are going? Otherwise the plane ride is hellacious for someone so little; I understood why the kid was bored/anxious/whatever, but it still doesn't excuse the crappy parenting skills that allowed the chair kicking to continue after the first kick. I do want to mention this was one kid in 13 years of flying.

Wow, that was kind of a tangent. Interesting topic, but I think if they did it, it would only open a big can of worms.

A related question--remember those samples they give out or send out of shampoo & conditioner? They are pouches that you have to tear open. They had them of bodywash & lotion, too. Why doesn't one of the major companies (Unilever, Helene Curtis, Proctor & Gamble, etc) start marketing that as the travel sizes? You could buy a box of them (say there are 5-10 packets of shampoo/conditioner in a box) for a trip and shove as many as you need for the trip into your carryon instead of having to bring the bulky bottles. Same with bodywash & lotion. I am shocked no one has thought of this yet. You can do it yourself with snack size Ziploc bags, but there is a pretty good chance of them coming open. At least with a pouch it wouldn't open until you ripped the corner off. Maybe I will call P&G tomorrow & tell them my idea. I would buy a box of shampoo/conditioner packets if it meant I wouldn't have to pay to check a bag under the plane.