Should bigger passengers pay more to fly on Samoa Air? Flying has long lost its glamour appeal for a bevy of reasons–among them the pesky charges airlines impose on baggage, meals and pillows–some air carriers charge to pick your own seat ahead of time. Now Samoa Air has stepped into new territory: the tiny South Pacific airline has a new policy charging passengers by how much they, and their luggage, weigh.
We road warriors all have our airline stories, including ones of sitting next to someone who is, well, on the portly side. During a 14-hour flight last year my six-foot frame was wedged between an enormous oil rig worker whose mass, well, impinged on my seat. Not that I was going to say anything: it was a long flight, I had a few supplements and prescriptions to knock me out, and anyway he was flying home because his brother “had too much vodka and decided to play Russian roulette with his rifle.” Mental amputation, not confrontation, was the better bet for me on that long and very uncomfortable haul.