76% vote ‘Yes’ to airline ‘Fat Tax’ says Skyscanner

29th Jan 2010
76% vote ‘Yes’ to airline ‘Fat Tax’ says Skyscanner

76% of people believe that airlines should charge ‘Fat Tax’, according to the latest poll on leading travel site Skyscanner (www.Skyscanner.net).

Only 22% of voters disapproved against such a move, with more than 550 people taking part in the poll altogether.

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.

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 WHO. The UK 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.


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