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Air travel: Do you favour fat tax?

April 04, 2013 20:09 IST

The proposal to charge overweight air passengers more may not have gone down well with some, but a majority of respondents in a recent survey voiced support to the idea.

Fifty-nine per cent of the respondents favoured the "fat tax", a survey by global travel search portal Skyscanner revealed.

"An independent online poll of 1,000 adults revealed that the majority (59 per cent) of international travellers were in favour of 'fat tax', which would see airlines charging more for seats to overweight passengers," the survey findings said. The remaining felt it would be "unfair and discriminatory."

The survey, carried out on March 26-28, follows a call by Bharat P Bhatta, a Norwegian economist and associate professor with Sogn og FjordaneUniversityCollege, who said the airlines should adopt the practise in other transport sectors and charge by space and weight.

‘Pay as you weigh' airline pricing model could bring benefits to airlines in the form of cheaper fares and reduced carbon emissions, Bhatta said.

"While the proposal to charge extra from overweight passengers is a sensitive issue for airlines who will not want to offend such passengers, it's clear from our survey that many travellers think the introduction of such a tax would enable them to save money on airfare," said Skyscanner's market development manager for India, Kavitha Gnanamurthy.

Samoa Air, which operates in the Pacific, already charges passengers according to the weight in what it says is a "world first" cost-per-kilo fare system.

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