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Samoa Air charges passengers based on weight

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Samoa Air, a tiny airline used by passengers to get around the island nation, charges passengers by weight. According to The BBC, the plan has passengers paying for a fixed price per kilogram based on the distance of their flight instead of having passengers pay for seats. The airline only travels within Samoa and to the American Samoa. The head of the airline, Chris Langton, spoke with Australia’s ABC Radio to defend the plan, calling it the “he fairest way of travelling.” He adds that, “Airlines don't run on seats, they run on weight, and particularly the smaller the aircraft you are in the less variance you can accept in terms of the difference in weight between passengers...Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them.” Langton says that the plan will actually keep costs down for families with small children, since they won’t have to pay the same for a spot on the plane for them. “There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything - it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo.” The USA Today reports that the price for each kilogram ranges from 93 cents to $1.06. So, if you’re an average American man weighing 195 pounds with a 35-pound bag, it will cost you $97 for round-trip fare. That’s actually cheaper than the $140 others charge for routes in the region. While the plan has been in place since November, it wasn’t until January that the U.S. Department of Transportation approved it for their one international route to the American Samoa. Langton believes that this is the way of the future for airlines. “People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago,” he told ABC Radio. “The industry will start looking at this.”