Samoa Air will become the first airline to charge customers on a per-kilo rate, the Australian Sunday Morning Herald reports.

The airline’s chief executive hopes the system, which will charge obese passengers more to fly, will raise public awareness to the growing problem of obesity in Samoa.

Under the new system, Samoa Air passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline’s website. The rates vary depending on the distance flown: from $1 per kilogram on the airline’s shortest domestic route to about $4.16 per kilogram for travel between Samoa and American Samoa. Passengers are then weighed again on scales at the airport, to check that they weren’t fibbing online.

While overweight fliers may end up paying more to travel, Samoa Air’s chief executive told the Sunday Morning Herald, “A family of maybe two adults and a couple of mid-sized kids … can travel at considerably less than what they were being charged before.”

Continue reading →