Ryanair proposes surcharge for fat passengers

George Hobica, April 25, 2009
Fares from Washington DC:

    From Ryanair's press room:

    Ryanair's Stephen McNamara said:
     
    "Over 100,000 passengers logged on to ryanair.com to take part in our competition and almost one in three (over 30,000)think that very large passengers should be asked to pay a fat tax. 
     
    "With passengers voting overwhelmingly for a 'fat tax' we are now asking them to suggest which format the charge should take. The above four points seem to us to be the simplest, fairest and administratively easiest to apply. In all cases we've limits at very high levels so that a 'fat tax' will only apply to those really large passengers who invade' the space of the passengers sitting beside them.
     
    "These charges, if introduced might also act as an incentive to some of our very large passengers to lose a little weight and hopefully feel a little lighter and healthier.
     
    "The revenues from any such fat tax will be used to lower the airfares for all Ryanair passengers yet further. Passengers can vote for their preference on www.ryanair.com until Monday 27th April".
     
    It really looks like they're serious.
     
    Should US Airlines impose such a surcharge? Would it keep fares lower for everyone? Or just discriminate against a class of people, many of whom may simply be unable to control their weight due to emotional or hereditary reasons. Should we therefore give discounts to really skinny people?
     
    United Airlines and Southwest already charge a "tax" in the form of requiring obese passengers to buy an extra seat (basically a 100% surcharge.)
     
    Your comments are welcome.
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