See supporting documents and make your own conclusions.
If the plane (Boeing 777) is reasonably loaded, 100,000 lbs cargo + fuel+ passengers, and a 200 lb person is added, this will cost about 50 lbs of extra jet fuel, assuming the destination is trans-pacific a reasonable estimation would be a 3300 nautical mile trip. That being said, at today’s jet fuel prices by IATA above, means that the monetary costs of obesity are A F*CKING LOT OF DOLLARS!!!
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From Associated Press via Huffington Post and 100′s of news outlets yesterday!
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — A tiny Samoa airline is offering a new reason to drop extra weight before your next trip: Tickets sold not by the seat, but by kilogram. Samoa Air planned on Wednesday to start pricing its first international flights based on the weight of its passengers and their bags. Depending on the flight, each kilogram (2.2 pounds) costs 93 cents to $1.06. That means the average American man weighing 195 pounds with a 35 pound bag would pay $97 to go one-way between Apia, Samoa, and Pago Pago, American Samoa. Competitors typically charge $130 to $140 roundtrip for similar routes. The weight-based pricing is not new to the airline, which launched in June. It has been using the pricing model since November, but in January the U.S. Department of Transportation approved its international route between American Samoa and Samoa. The airline’s chief executive, Chris Langton, said Tuesday that “planes are run by weight and not by seat, and travelers should be educated on this important issue. The plane can only carry a certain amount of weight and that weight needs to be paid. There is no other way.” Travelers in the region already are weighed before they fly because the planes used between the islands are small, said David Vaeafe, executive director of the American Samoa Visitors Bureau. Samoa Air’s fleet includes two nine-seat planes for commercial routes and a three-seater for an air taxi service. Langton said passengers who need more room will be given one row on the plane to ensure comfort. The new pricing system would make Samoa Air the first to charge strictly by weight, a change that Vaeafe said is, “in many ways… a fair concept for passengers.” “For example, a 12- or 13-year-old passenger, who is small in size and weight, won’t have to pay an adult fare, based on airline fares that anyone 12 years and older does pay the adult fare,” he said. Vaeafe said the pricing system has worked in Samoa but it’s not clear whether it will be embraced by travelers in the U.S. territory. Langton said the airline has received mixed responses from overseas travelers since it began promoting the pricing on its website and Facebook page. Ana Faapouli, an American Samoa resident who frequently travels to Samoa, said the pricing scheme will likely be profitable for Samoa Air. “Samoa Air is smart enough to find ways to benefit from this service as they will be competing against two other airlines,” Faapouli said. Pago Pago-based Inter Island Airways and Polynesian Airlines, which is owned by the Samoa government, also run flights between the country and American Samoa.
What do you think?! Yes or No?! CrackHospital would like to know!
For immediate release 4/2/2013 9:00pm CST
With the new developments in airline pricing, it has come to no big surprise the first airline, a small American Samoan outfit has declared that passengers will now be charged by weight or body mass. With nearly 35.7% of all American adults being obese (BMI over 30 per CDC and other WHO criteria), the economics of obesity will finally hit all consumers in their banking accounts.
POINT: It is ethically wrong to charge passengers by weight. If passengers have Cushing’s disease or other endocrine illnesses, then this would be considered discriminatory under current anti-disability or health care laws.
COUNTERPOINT: Patients with such disorders can get by this new charge by using a Physician’s statement. It is ethically wrong that normal or low BMI passengers have to pay for the extra fuel charges from their fellow overweight and obese passengers. Obesity is costing everyone somehow – either through higher rates on insurance, lost productivity from obesity related illnesses, and higher pollution from obese people burning more fuel in their cars, trucks, trains, and of course airplanes.
POINT: It is ethically wrong to weigh and humiliate passengers in public by forcing people to disclose their weights for everyone to see.
COUNTERPOINT: This can be done using existing privacy laws now in place in most airports. People already see how much your luggage weighs. Personal data can be hidden from passengers and only visible to airline personnel for billing purposes. Databases are already encrypted, and 100′s of data points from social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, race, gender, place of birth, ethnicity, and more are already owned and collected by many corporations and government entities.
POINT: It is ethically wrong to charge more to obese people, as statistically speaking, more lower income (i.e. poverty range) individuals are obese, and charging poor people more will further burden them financially, driving them further into poverty.
COUNTERPOINT: It is a person’s personal and ethical obligation to take care of themselves for the good of their families and for their society. Certainly in America, more poor people are obese; however, in “3rd world” or “developing world” countries the opposite is true. That is, more wealthy people in developing countries are obese or overweight. Nonetheless, the cost of obesity to society runs in TRILLIONS worldwide in economic terms. The non-economic burdens of obesity are immeasurable. Air pollution from fuel costs, health care costs, and increased usage of animal and plant products are the obvious ones. Also, consider the increased water usage to make “large-size” clothing versus “regular-size” clothing. Producing extra fabric uses much more water and freshwater is a precious commodity in 2013. Consider the additional emotional burden placed on children of obese parents. Obesity causes a downward pressure on longevity, (increased morbidity and mortality) and thus children watch their parents suffer and die from early heart disease, diabetes, degenerative joint diseases caused by extra weight on knees, hips, spines. The non-economic costs are enormous and too great to list. The bottom line is that obesity costs the United States of America billions in economic dollars lost, and immeasurable costs on the society as a whole. Obesity is making America less competitive compared to Japan, Korea, China and all of Europe where BMI’s are more skewed towards normal.
POINT and COUNTERPOINT was written and produced by several anonymous college professors (New York, Los Angeles, and Boston) and you are encouraged to share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Email, Pinterest, and other social media.
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