Pay-By-Weight: The New Mantra of Air Tickets Pricing

Pricing of air tickets has always been quite enigmatic due to a number of variables involved in the calculation of prices and the typical demand fluctuation throughout the year both in the domestic and the international markets. The past few months have seen big discussion on a new model of pricing of the tickets, suggested by an academic and already being followed by a few airlines. This new model is that of paying for the air tickets on the basis of your weight. The pricing of flight tickets would be based directly on how much you weigh because more weight does add to more fuel consumption and the airlines around the world have been neglecting this way of pricing even while they are concerned about fuel saving.

Fuel saving has been a major concern because the airlines around the world have been striving to provide cheap air tickets to the customers due to heightened competition. Even the success of low cost model of flying has led to this increase in competition and even the full service carriers have launched their LCC off-shoots to provide cheap air tickets. However, there has not been any substantial movement on devising a pricing model which is based on weight of the person. The academic who has floated this idea once again has even outlined the way to operationalise this.

He has mentioned that the differential pricing on the basis of weight of person can be put in place. At the same time, passengers can be allowed to provide weight details during the time of flight booking itself as a declaration. Airline staff can make a random check of the weight of people to check whether the declaration is correct or not.

To what extent this model will find favor with the airline companies is yet to be ascertained. The operational, legal and administrative issues that might arise with such a pricing need to be thoroughly brainstormed. Since some airlines are already adopting this method on some sectors of flights, notable Samoa, valuable feedback relating to the associated problems can help in improving this method of pay-by-weight ticketing further.

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