Even if all those size-zero clothes had no effect on us, we are forced to start thinking slim now, just in case we end up on a parallel scale along with the baggage. It certainly would not be a pleasant sight, if we weigh more than our baggage.
As the price of fuel reaches sky-high, charges on airline tickets may include both the weight of the passengers and their baggage.
All this may sound far-fetched but it may just come true. Airline CEOs are said to be letting their imagination go wild. They seem to have even begun to think in terms of charging passengers based on their weight.
They cannot be blamed, the fuel costs that almost tripled since 2000, now account for as much as 40% of the operating costs for some airline carriers. To be able to survive, Airlines are forced to come up with innovative ideas to reduce costs and increase revenues.
Singapore Airlines’ shares have gone tumbling down by 8.9% this year and they are doing all they can to cut down costs. According to their chief executive officer Chew Choon Seng, “we are trying to lessen the weight of the aircraft by removing the unnecessary quantities of water.”
Robert Mann, an aviation consultant feels that with the US Airlines reporting losses of about $1.7 billion in the first-quarter and with the oil prices going up to $133.17 a barrel on May 21, which is almost double from last year, fares based on the weight of the passengers may be a sensible step to take. In fact, Southwest Airlines are doing something similar, asking passengers to buy a second seat if their girth hinders the armrest from lowering, as it means inconveniencing the passenger in the next seat.
The weight based ticket sales may be unrealistic and airlines may really not get down to implementing this yet, but analysts say that the airlines are in a desperate situation where they need to enforce steps with immediate effect, to be able to save on costs.
Even if they have not actually started weighing passengers, airlines are taking other steps to keep costs down, such as Japan Airlines Corp is using 20% lighter crockery in their first class and business class cabins and US Airways Group has eliminated snacks. Belgium’s Brussels Airlines announced their plans on slowing down to reduce costs of fuel. Even Southwest Airlines is flying slower by 72 seconds, and this itself saves 8.7 gallons of fuel for each of the airline’s daily flights. Delta Air Lines is charging $25 for telephone reservations and American Airlines started charging $15 for each checked bag.
These measures of slowing down, being adopted by the airlines, will also help in reducing the airline emissions of global warming greenhouse gases.
This move of weighing passengers may just prove to be beneficial to the passengers too, as this would make people more health conscious and help them win their war with obesity.