Airlines urged to charge overweight passengers 'fat fee' to offset fuel costs

Airlines urged to charge overweight passengers 'fat fee' to offset fuel costs

Air travelers will tell you they already face a number of fees.

"Just flying around Texas will cost you hundreds," Calvin Kroeker, Southwest passenger said.

From the size of luggage to better seats, some believe the cost to fly can reach sky high.

But what about a fat fee for passengers who are overweight?

One Norwegian economist believes the airline industry should directly tie the weight of a person to the price of a ticket.

"As weight and space are far more important in aviation than other modes of transport, airlines should take this into account when pricing their tickets," Dr. Bharat Bhatta states in his study.

He has 3 "pay-as-you-weigh" models.

In the first plan a passenger's luggage and body weight are calculated with the fare equaling a per pound cost.

The second plan has a base fare with a per pound surcharge for the overweight or discount for the underweight.

The third plan also has a base fare but with a predetermined surcharge or discount for passengers above or below a set threshold.

Passengers at Valley International Airport in Harlingen are weighing in the debate.

Some say it has a slim chance of ever succeeding while others admit the so-called "fat tax" could be a way to save some money.

"Not everyone is built the same way," Sheila Walters, United passenger said. "And it's something a lot of people can't help. That's just the way they're made but yet they're being discriminated against."

Calvin Kroeker disagrees.

"I weigh about average so I guess I wouldn't have any really problem with that," he said. "But, we'll see where it goes."

Nikki Coushman says despite extra weight being tied to more expensive jet fuel in the study, she gives the "pay-as-you-weigh" proposal a fat chance of ever taking off.

"Would you fly if you had to get on a scale?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.

"No way," she responded.

Click here to read economist's "Pay-As-You-Weigh" study

Click here to join Ryan Wolf TMs Facebook Page Click here to follow Ryan Wolf on Twitter