In a recent poll by UK travel search site Skyscanner it was revealed that 76% of voters were in favour of introducing an airline 'Fat Tax'.
Online PR News – 29-January-2010 – – 76% of people believe that airlines should charge 'Fat Tax', according to the latest poll on leading travel site Skyscanner.
Only 22% of voters disapproved of such a move, with more than 550 people taking part altogether in the poll by Skyscanner.
Such a ruling would force those who could not comfortably fit into a standard airline seat to purchase a second, normally at a discounted rate. On flights to nearby destinations like France or Spain this would probably not make a huge difference in overall price but on long haul trips such as cheap flights to Sydney there could be a substantial increase especially to compare flights and the average cost per mile.
The recent furore over the misreported issue of Air France launching a ‘Fat Tax’ has re-inflamed the debate over whether airlines should charge very obese passengers for an extra seat.
Barry Smith, Skyscanner co-founder and director commented:
“So called ‘Fat Tax’ is a very sensitive issue for airlines; they will have to tread carefully so as not to alienate heavier passengers. On one hand, it’s not unreasonable for airlines to charge passengers extra if they occupy more than one seat. On the other, many would argue that it should be the responsibility of airlines to adjust their standard seat size, enabling them to comfortably accommodate all passengers.”
Although the majority of those polled voted in favour of such a move, many felt such charges would be unfair.
“Seats should be suitable for all: tall, short, fat or thin. One person, one fare” said one Skyscanner user.
Others suggested that charges should be calculated on the weight of the person and baggage combined.
The Pacific island of Nauru is currently classified as the world’s fattest country with 94.5% of the population overweight, according to the World Health Organisation. The UK currently ranks as the 28th fattest country, with 63.8% of Brits testing the scales.
With the average weight of humans trending upwards, it’s possible that adjustments to standard seat sizes will have to be made at some point in the future. There may also be opportunities for airlines to specifically target the overweight sector, offering entire planes with larger seats, or a range of seat sizes at different prices.
However, it is unlikely that budget airlines such as Easyjet, who offer passengers flights to Paris and other low cost European destinations, will be keen to make such major changes to their aircraft and overall operations.
Skyscanner is a leading travel search site based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Skyscanner provides instant online comparison on flight prices, including flights to London for over 670,000 routes on over 600 airlines, as well as car hire, hotel and holiday price comparison.
With Skyscanner, users can browse without having to enter specific dates or even destinations, and Skyscanner is available in 20 different languages including French, German and Spanish.