Some US airlines already make obese passengers, who can't fit in a single seat, pay for two seats, but this is the first time a per-kilo rate's been used by an airline. Samoa Air's "pay by weight" booking system means passengers type in their weight on the airline's online reservation system and pay the "pay-per-kilo" rate for that sector. They're weighed again on scales at the airport, to check they weren't fibbing online.
Rates range from $1-per-kg on the shortest domestic route to around $4.16-per-kg for travel from Samoa to American Samoa.
The airline's CEO Chris Langton says it's the concept of the future: "Anyone who travels has felt at times they've been paying for half of the passenger next to them." He believes families will be surprised by the cost of paying by weight - families travelling with small children could end up paying far less.
Samoa Tourism's Peter Sereno believes the policy will also help with safety standards: "When you're only fitting 8-12 people in these aircraft and you've got some bigger Samoans getting on, you do need to weigh them and distribute that weight evenly throughout the aircraft, to make sure everyone's safe."
Samoa Air began flying within Samoa in 2012 and has expanded to a number of other Pacific island nations, operating BN2A Islanders and Cessna 172 aircraft.
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