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Old 04-21-2019, 01:38 AM
Location: Eugene, Oregon
8,785 posts, read 2,825,555 times
Reputation: 12915


Originally Posted by Javacoffee View Post
Baggage gets weighed. Passengers should also get weighed. I'm 100 pounds soak-n-wet. Why shouldn't someone who weighs three or four times that not pay more for the ride?
I understand that at Disneyland you have to be a certain minimum height or they won't let you get on the rides. So maybe the airlines could institute a maximum passenger weight and anyone who exceeded it would either be put on "no-fly" status or have to pay double to occupy one of a few jumbo seats they could install.
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Old 04-21-2019, 04:12 AM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
3,993 posts, read 1,475,947 times
Reputation: 7313
Here's a better idea. Put a chain of thrift shops at every arrivals gate. Nobody needs to pack all that luggage both ways. L et the passenger pay by the pound if he needs to haul 21 clean shirts for a 3-week vacation, and then take his laundry home again?

I take my worn out clothes on trips, discard it overseas, and dead-head home.

Last edited by cebuan; 04-21-2019 at 04:20 AM..
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Old 04-21-2019, 06:53 AM
12,623 posts, read 9,798,115 times
Reputation: 9311
Originally Posted by Sassybluesy View Post
here's a crazy thought...

Take some seats out of the plane, and stop cramming people in like sardines. THAT would save fuel costs too.
At the same time, having narrower and narrower seats will eventually cause obese persons to self-exclude from the flight to avoid excessive physical discomfort. The airline industry would then be able to provide a more expensive flight with wider seats. This may even be happening already to a degree.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:29 AM
Location: 912 feet above sea level
2,270 posts, read 843,674 times
Reputation: 12400
Originally Posted by Rocko20 View Post
Not really, plenty of people have been weighed before going on a flight on smaller planes. You literally just get on the scale that your luggage was just one, albeit in a way the public canít see your weight number.


With the rise in fuel costs and obesity, and with how stingy airliners are, itís really only a matter of time before they reach out to more companies who plan to weigh passengers so they can calculate the appropriate fuel to use.

If airliners could also provide an incentive like seat class upgrades or discounts for weighing far less than average, that would be great too. Getting on a plane with no chance of sitting next to an obese person is a ticket many Americans would love to pay.
None of that is relevant.

Again, here is what I stated:
It will never happen. The cost in equipment, personnel, and time delays would massively overwhelm any savings.
You cite a small airline flying small prop planes (where weight is an issue because it's possible to exceed payload just through passengers, whereas it is not possible to do so in a modern airliner - and because large aircraft are more efficient on a liter/kilo/mile basis, as larger vehicles in all modes of transportation invariably are) and Hawaiian Airlines, which does so solely on a single route serving a destination with an obesity epidemic (and does so not for savings but for aircraft balance).

In other words, neither of those examples represent airlines weighing passengers climbing into narrow-bodies and wide-bodies in order to save fuel expenses.

The average American adult (20 and up) weighs about 185 lbs - that's male and female combined. Let's bump the average airline passenger weight down to 170 lbs due to the presence of children on the flight (kids tugging the average down less than 10% is probably fairly conservative). It costs a 737 about $0.59 to haul a pound of anything from New York to Phoenix. So that's $100 per passenger, on average. But they're not going to weigh everyone, because that would just be a wash (heavy people paying more than now, kids and skinny people paying less) so there's just going to be a cut-off. Where? 200 lbs? Doubt it. The average American male is already clocking in and 195+ lbs. 225 lbs? Maybe. But the majority of passengers (less than half of men, well under half of women, all children) are going to come in under that number, and so is that majority of the weight of those individuals (say, a 245 lbs person is still going to be paying a surcharge for less than 10% of his/her weight.

So an airline that charged more for people who weighed more would only be adding a fraction of charges on a fraction of passengers. This isn't a one-time cost, like changing seat width or pitch. These machines need operators, need regular maintenance, and exact a perpetual cost in perpetually slowing down operations.

But wait... we can expect our 737 to have a take-off weight of perhaps 125,000 lbs. If there are 150 passengers on-board, they represent only about 1/5th of the weight of the aircraft (the rest being the airframe itself, the interior components, the fuel, baggage, freight, crew, etc.). And fuel accounts for approximately 29% of the cost of an airline flight.

So, to sum up...

Airlines are going to institute weighing everyone - spending more on equipment, more on labor (someone has to run the weighing and all), in order to reduce as follows:
*the costs of hauling a fraction of the weight (let's say an average of 15% over for the average exceeding passenger - I think this is generous)
*of a fraction of individual passengers (let's say 1/3rd - again, generous, I think)
*who in total constitute only 20% of a flight's fuel usage
*which accounts for only 29% of a flight's cost

Reduced to numbers alone:
0.15 x 0.33 x 0.2 x 0.29
That's about a quarter of one-percent. The obvious problem is that the expense required would probably eat that up - and remember, that final figure includes three distinct generous estimates that very likely overstate it.


This isn't about be. I'm a 50-year-old male who is under 190 lbs and I fit quite comfortably into an economy seat. I would never be impacted by such a policy. That's not the point. The point is that the economics just don't work.
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Old 04-21-2019, 09:01 AM
Location: Niceville, FL
7,602 posts, read 15,912,642 times
Reputation: 7571
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
Can that statistic POSSIBLY be true - that planes carry an average of 1% more fuel than they need?


Who knew we were flying that close to the bone? Geez.

So, like, if you get to the airport and have to circle around a few times waiting for your turn to land, chances are very high you'll crash?
My experience with fuel reserves on, I think it was a 757 last year- Atlanta to Salt Lake City on, I think, a 757. Just as we're getting close to the Colorado-Utah border, we spend a half an hour in a parking pattern over about Grand Junction, Colorado. Co-pilot's explanation is that there's a weather event in Salt Lake City and we're better off parking there than in closer-in airspace as we wait for the system to clear. We get moving westward agin, but it turns out it's not as clear as radar and reports indicate because:

Our first attempt at landing in Salt Lake City is aborted because of crosswinds. The pilot was not happy with how the plane was feeling as we got close to the runway so we're up in the air again. Spend 30+ minutes in another parking pattern along the Utah-Nevada border and the pilot says he's in discussions with Delta's operations office about whether to do a second attempt at Salt Lake City or divert to Las Vegas, which is 300 miles away by air. ATC and local weather data say Salt Lake City #2 is a go, and the pilot make a very firm and safe landing on the second attempt.

Shorter flights actually have smaller correct fuel calculation margins because fuel is very heavy and it creates stress and problems on the aircraft frame when a plane lands with too much fuel remaining on board too many times. (This is why you'll hear about an airplane with mechanical issues circling to burn fuel rather than directly making an emergency landing in many cases- overweight landings are dangerous) Friend has had a Grand Rapids-Chicago flight (119 nautical miles and better than driving to Chicago to pick up a long haul flight) have to return to gate for additional fuel after de-icing and anti-icing took 20+ minutes longer than expected and they had to replenish fuel reserves that would get them back to GRR or on to Milwaukee or something if the Chicago airports suddenly closed runways.

A quick google says that jet fuel weighs 6.8 pound per gallon. And that a 747 over the course of a 10 hour long haul flight can burn 36,000 gallons of fuel, so is departing with more than 250K pounds of fuel weight at wheels up, which makes the weight of passengers seem kind of small when it comes to weight and balance calculations.
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Old 04-21-2019, 07:41 PM
Location: Mid-Atlantic
24,384 posts, read 23,383,776 times
Reputation: 29999
I'd like some leg room. I'm not very heavy or unusually tall, but have very long legs. My 6'4" brother and I have the same inseam length. I'm tired of paying the same price for a ticket as the vertically impaired. I'm going to stop getting things off of the top shelf at the supermarket for you. It's not always about width.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:10 PM
5,111 posts, read 4,623,305 times
Reputation: 1532
Damn you know how many Americans are overweight!
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:41 AM
Location: Whereever we have our RV parked
8,602 posts, read 7,554,285 times
Reputation: 14705
I'd be all for airlines being able to charge according to weight. Weight would include the baggage you bring.
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:03 PM
12,813 posts, read 15,231,477 times
Reputation: 14740
So the company wants to "discreetly weigh passengers to help save on fuel costs"...yet they have the audacity to say "to keep passengers from feeling like they're being shamed for size".
What a croc...that's exactly what it is...and they're probably looking to charge you for it as well.

That's what it's REALLY about......taking more of the passengers money...
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Old 04-29-2019, 12:22 PM
Location: Seminole County, FL
9,154 posts, read 6,285,616 times
Reputation: 11406
Originally Posted by purehuman View Post
So the company wants to "discreetly weigh passengers to help save on fuel costs"...yet they have the audacity to say "to keep passengers from feeling like they're being shamed for size".
What a croc...that's exactly what it is...and they're probably looking to charge you for it as well.

That's what it's REALLY about......taking more of the passengers money...
Here we go with this "shaming" nonsense again.
Look -- if you're fat, you're FAT. Let's stop acting like being overweight is not a problem. It is. If it incurs additional fees on something like a passenger airplane, then so be it. It's a very minimal consequence when compared to the list of issues one will face with being unhealthy.
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