Even though fuel isn’t skyrocketing like it was a few years ago and airlines are in a better financial position than they had been it seems that an economist is thinking they are not pricing correctly.
Basically they say we can price a few ways: charging per pound or overages/discounts based on weight. There are many problems with this. Would it go by the passenger’s reported weight at booking with a rate adjustment at checkin? Would passengers need to be weighed at checkin? Would this be fair to people who are within normal weight parameters, but are tall and therefore weigh more than someone a foot shorter? A 5′ woman would weigh ~100 pounds (45 kg) while a 6’0 man would weigh 178 pounds (81 kg). That is a 78 pound difference just due to height. Also would luggage factor into this? If I’m 150 pounds checking a 30 pound suitcase and 20 pound suitcase and you are 200 pounds with no luggage what does that mean?
Am I against this? Not entirely. I’ve flown on Sansa in Costa Rica and Kenmore Air in Seattle and they were very careful with luggage weight restrictions and asked passengers weight on check-in for weight balance purposes. I’ve heard there are carriers with fees based on weight.
My main argument with this is it is just another method of nickle and diming passengers. We already have checked bag fees, fees for most food onboard, and many other aspects that were part of the ticket 15 years ago. This is just a continuation of the race to the bottom.