Sunday, April 26, 2009

Converting Pounds (or Kilos) to Pounds

There was a letter in the Times from a retired airline pilot about the way airlines charge people.

"An airliner burns fuel at a rate precisely proportional to the weight it is carrying. The only logical ticket pricing would be that everyone should be weighed along with their baggage, and their fare should be at a rate per kilo.
No baggage limits, no fat person excesses, just a simple rate per kilo per mile."

Does that sound fair to you? I suppose it means that the very very skinny Victoria Beckham could take more luggage for the same money than, say, Dawn French.

I'm somewhere in the middle, I suppose - - I'm never going to be skinny, certainly, and I hope I'm never going to be very fat either.

It does seem fair to me - - I'm just not sure if it seems very kind. What about people who are very fat because of a hormone imbalance, or simply because they have tried and tried to lose weight and find it really difficult? What about people who are just naturally really thin? I know it's tempting just to add flippantly "Well, we hate them, so who cares?" But Olli has to eat more or less constantly or the weight just falls off, and this can be a real problem. Apparently. Grrrrr.

But a per-kilo-per-mile system would seem fairer than the current system, where you see someone absolutely huge who doesn't have to pay for excess baggage - - and then someone who weighs ten stone less than they do, having to pay extra.

It's that people's weight is a very sensitive issue, I suppose. I'm always trying to lose weight - - excess weight is particularly bad for diabetics and the flab of diabetics tends to stow itself round the middle, which is where mine is. But I know that the best way for me to do it is to change my eating habits, and when I think about how I used to eat, I have made a lot of changes - - I've still some way to go, though. I have increased the amount that I exercise, too.

It's easy for thin people - - their advice to fat people is often a bewildered "Eat less, then." But of course, it isn't that simple. Actually, Olli knows that and doesn't think this system would be fair on overweight people.

But the current system seems grossly unfair to me, too. And, if I were very obese, I wouldn't want to think that the people behind me in the check-in queue were all pointing at me and going "Hey, it's not fair!"

So perhaps there's some argument for a curtained, private cubicle where you could be weighed along with your luggage without anyone looking. But I know that a large number of people will disagree.


Blogger Debby said...

I think it's very fair. Pile the person, the bags, everything on the scale. Heavy people would just need to pack lighter stuff if they wanted a cheaper ticket.

I agree it's a sensitive issue. I see no reason to cater to the obese though. Why make it easier for us to remain obese? Don't let us slide on things so our feelings aren't hurt. If we weigh more, therefore it costs more to haul our fat butts, why shouldn't we pay more? Why should skinny Minny next to us pay our overage? It's not discrimination at all. It's common sense.

3:27 am  

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