This week two stories related to aviation and weight caught my eye,
The first involved the recommendation that air passenger fares should be based on the weight of each individual, coupled with how much space they take up. This is because of the relationship between the weight a plane carries and the amount of fuel (expense) that it incurs; as weight increases so does the cost.
Dr Bhatta, of the Sogn og Fjordane University College in Norway, said: “Charging according to weight and space is a universally accepted principle, not only in transportation, but also in other services.
"As weight and space are far more important in aviation than other modes of transport, airlines should take this into account when pricing their tickets.”
Can you imagine arriving at the airport to catch your flight, several weeks even months after booking it. As you check-in you are told that you have to pay extra, because you have gained weight. Or, a more financially rewarding outcome, you are told that you are entitled to a discount, because your are now half a stone lighter than when you booked.
Personally, I can't see charging for weight working, because it would be difficult bordering on impossible to enforce.
The second story involves the cabin crew who works for Air India. All cabin crew members who are over 40 have been told by the Indian aviation regulator, that they only have days to pass a health test. The test includes measuring their height, weight, waist-to-hip ratio and other health indicators such as blood pressure. Any crew who fails the test will not be able to fly.
The health test is a new requirement for male cabin crew. Females (70 %) have always had weight related tests, but were rarely prohibited from flying.
In response, the union has demanded that employees have their free gym membership reinstated . The free membership program was cancelled after 10 years. They are also asking for more time in which to lose weight and improve their overall health. In the past employees were given six months to accomplish this.