Australian airlines reject 'fat tax'

January 12, 2012

Calls for overweight passengers to pay a surcharge to fly with Australian airlines fell flat Thursday with the major carriers all rejecting the idea.

It followed former Qantas chief economist Tony Webber saying obese passengers should pay more to cover extra incurred by airlines.

"When the passengers weigh more, or where there's extra on the aircraft, that generates more fuel burn and higher fuel costs," he told ABC radio.

"Airlines are really preoccupied at the moment with reducing their fuel costs because the price of is so high at the moment.

"On a flight from Sydney to London-Heathrow via Singapore, you're only looking at (a of) between five and 10 bucks."

He cited Indonesia as an example where he said authorities often weigh the baggage and the passenger at the same time.

"You'd have to work out the total weight of the baggage and the person and then have a critical weight, say 90 kilos (200 pounds) or 100 kilos, above which you'd impose a surcharge," he said.

But Australian carriers said they had no plans to go down this road.

A spokeswoman for his former employer said: "Qantas currently has no plans to introduce a surcharge nor does it have a policy in place for customers of size."

Virgin also poured cold water on the idea.

"Such a notion is not under consideration at our airline," a spokesman told reporters, while Tiger Airways replied: "In short, no," when asked if it would ever consider the proposal.

The idea of a weight tax has been around for years with some airlines around the world charging for a second seat if are unable to lower both armrests.

Explore further: If it works in London's streets, it can work in our skies

Related Stories

If it works in London's streets, it can work in our skies

April 22, 2009

In London, motorists pay a fee to drive into certain parts of the city during peak traffic hours, and the idea has been considered for implementation in New York as well. Now Dr. Itai Ater, an economist from Tel Aviv University's ...

3Q: Airline regulations should be grounded

May 3, 2011

In August, new airline regulations from the U.S. government will go into effect. They include refunding passengers checked bag fees if luggage is lost, increasing the compensation bumped passengers receive and imposing time ...

Conflicting policies on flying under ash confuse

June 17, 2011

(AP) -- If you had hoped to fly Qantas between Australia and New Zealand, you were out of luck. The national carrier grounded planes after a plume of ash from a Chilean volcano moved over the southern Pacific.

Qantas in 'world-first' tablet trial

September 15, 2011

Passengers on Qantas will be the first in the world to have in-flight entertainment streamed wirelessly to tablet devices in a trial announced by the Australian airline Thursday.

Pilots cleared to use iPad during takeoff, landing

December 15, 2011

Apple's iPad has been cleared for use by American Airlines pilots during takeoff and landing in a move that could make bulky flight bags crammed with manuals and charts a thing of the past.

Recommended for you

Bacteria in smokeless tobacco products may be a health concern

August 26, 2016

Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 26 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American ...

Is tailgating toxic?

August 26, 2016

While tailgating this football season you may want to take a step back from the grill and generator—for your health.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.