Put Down Those Cheetos: An Airline Fat Tax Might Be Headed Our Way

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been forced to sit next to someone who, unfortunately, couldn’t fit into their seat as compact as you. Or maybe you were that person who felt awkward playing dodge-the-arm-touch with your seat neighbor. Well, no matter who you are, an economics scholar in Norway thinks that you should pay for your ticket based on your weight with his airline fat tax idea. Before you get all up in arms about this sort of thing, understand that this guy isn’t just trying to stir the pot–reducing just one kilo of weight can save upwards of about $3,000 a year, and further reducing CO2 emissions.

airline fat tax

Many airlines, despite our grumbling, have added fees for things like baggage or booking two seats for larger riders, but this one actually makes sense, at least to me.  This new model might also inspire people to, dare I say, eat healthier? I know this is slightly blasphemous, but really, if you are able and can afford to not eat fast food every day, you might want to consider taking care of yourself for your own good.

Dr. Bharat P. Bhatta is the brains of the outfit, who came up with three potential pricing models for this new idea:

1. The weight of the passenger along with his or her luggage in total.

2. A base fare which could give discounts to underweight passengers, or additional fees for those who are overweight.

3. A base fare with different thresholds that can give a discount or fee, this is also Dr. Bhatta’s favorite option, but it would require some logistics to implement in practice.


Ok, so you KNOW Americans would freak out at pretty much all of these, and I have my own reservations, but I think that the idea of this is great in theory at least, although I can’t imagine publicly disclosing your weight is a good feeling. We’ll see where this goes, feel free to leave a comment with your feelings on the issue.



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