Thursday, November 01, 2007

Weighing in

I'm going away for a work event this weekend. The marketing material alone weighs over five kilos, so I know I'm going to be overweight. I'm always overweight on planes. Packing last night and this morning has got me all worked up again - I'm a weightist.

I've been trying to find out why airlines have to regulate weight so stringently. The most common answer is: because they like taking money from us. I even read one article that suggests check-in staff get bonuses depending on how many overweight charges they extract from passengers. I hope there's nothing to that.

Two main schools of thought seem to be: overweight charges are due to fuel consumption or flight safety. Maybe somebody with more inside info can help me out here? I'm open to suggestions.

Right, if the overweight charges are due to fuel consumption, I want to know if staff rush around adding extra fuel before take off, to ensure we have enough to compensate for my excess 3kg baggage. I don't think they do.

General safety. This one I can (almost) accept. We are going in something that we expect to defy the laws of gravity, maintain this defiance for at least an hour, then bring us back to land without hurting us. Maybe weight restrictions do have something to do with the physics. But then... surely weight restrictions should apply to, um, weight?

I'm a weightist. I may have mentioned this before. It pisses me off beyond rational thought when I get told I cannot take 3 extra kilos on board... now please move to the side so that we can check in the 120kg fattie and his obese family behind you.

If it's about weight, then passengers should be weighed with their luggage. THEN charge overweight costs.

Passenger weighing 120kg plus 20kg luggage = 140kg. No overweight?
Me plus luggage plus excess = 80kg (at a push). Here's your charge, suck it up.

If the issue is about weight, then please be consistent and make it about everybody's weight. That's all I'm saying. Admittedly, thinner people probably have more money to spend on excess because they haven't bought - and eaten - all the pies.

Yes, I'm a weightist. But I don't think I'm being unfair. Consider it a public service announcement. It would be an incentive to lose body mass - and possibly lessen the risk of cancer (yet another brilliant Beeb headline... groundbreaking stuff again, simply years ahead of its time. Fat = unhealthy. Who'd have thunk it.)

Anyway. I know that any excess charges on this trip will be charged to the company, so it's not really my problem. But still - overweight charges should be about overall weight.

That's all I'm saying.


kop said...

I couldn't agree with you more koeks! Although saying that, I struggle to make up the 20kg weight limit on baggage, let alone the 120kg fat limit!

Don't believe a word I write said...

There are few things worse than the horror of noticing a 150kg monstrosity waddling its way down the aeroplane aisle, destined for the seat next to yours.

fuzzy logic said...

I'm SO with you on this one!

Moz-kito said...

Totally agree with you Koeks! It pisses me off!! In Spain I had to chuck some luggage because I was over the 20kg limit and it wasn't worth paying the 80 Euro per kg excess!
(The limit is because more weight on plane burns more fuel = more cost to airline.) So take overall weight and CHARGE THE FATTIES!!!

Bof said...

Stop picking on me! - All of you!

Don't believe a word I write said... you're....erm....hefty?

Boomkind said...

Hey there,

I flew back from SA last week, I worked out that all in all, including cary on luggage that security made me check in I had 70kg's of stuff! I was only allowed 45kg and they only made me pay 7kg excess 'cause I smiled nicely and spoke very very nicely.

I agree on total weight, the fact that they don't weigh the passengers declares that it is not for safety. Hell those chairs are only so wide after all.

What does get to me (in spite of all my stuff, and the excuse is my big shopping list handed to me as I head to SA) is people who bring on lots and big cary on bags. There is never enough space in the overheads anyway!

Have a blast.

Peaches said...

Koeks we have had the weightist discussion in depth planty of times.

I am right behind you......though you may not be able to see me cos I am standing in the que behind the FLIPPEN OBESE FAMILY that are checking in after you.... :)

Bof said...

In response to you, "don't belive a word I write..." I'm not hefty at all. I meant that people just don't like sitting next to me on planes...or anywhere come to think of it. This is not sounding good!

Don't believe a word I write said...

Bof, why don't people like sitting next to you? Have they told you this? Do you force them to look at pictures of your grandchildren?

rd said...

No, bof shows them pictures of me.
A sight the world should not be forced to endure.