q Cranky on the Web (April 1 – 5) – Cranky Flier

Cranky on the Web (April 1 – 5)

American, Mergers/Finance, US Airways

Doug Parker Decides ‘Small is Beautiful’ – Doesn’t Want AA-US Merger After Livery ConcernsGadling
Another April Fools’ post from me. This time, it’s about the end of the US Airways/American merger.

Samoa Air’s Plan to Charge Fliers by Their Weight: Crazy or Crazy Smart?Conde Nast Daily Traveler
Samoa Air has decided to charge people strictly by weight. Interesting idea that has some real pros and cons.

In the Trenches: Expanding Our HoursIntuit Small Business Hours
There’s been plenty of talk about us managing our business hours, but is there any talk of expanding them?

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5 comments on “Cranky on the Web (April 1 – 5)

  1. Samoa Air – If you go on a helicopter tour in Hawaii they weigh everyone to know where to seat them in the helicopter, but the digital read out is only seen by the employee behind the counter. So maybe that is they type scales they will use.

    But years ago at the United Express terminal at SFO I was waiting for a flight when they announced they would have a weight issue on a flight to Chico and everyone had to hop on the scale. The scale was one of those huge ones you used to see at country fairs they used to ‘guess’ peoples weight. It didn’t face the wall so others couldn’t see, but facing the waiting area so everyone could see since the face of the scale was tall and very big.

    For Samoa Air the only people who would complain are tourists since the Somoan islands have some of the most over weight citizens in the world, so they wouldn’t care. Also since they use small airplanes it should slow things up to much to check the weight of everyone.

    The concept would be interesting to have here to see if it got the every growing waistline of the American people to start reducing to save on air fares.

  2. “When it comes to bag weight, that’s like asking someone if they want to eat chicken or beef at a wedding dinner?two months in advance. Who the heck knows?” — Love this quote! But then again, isn’t it the same problem with paying bag fees upfront? Very often I don’t know in advance how many bags I will want to check on a particular flight.

    1. Ron – Yes, it is an issue with paying for bags upfront, but that’s less variable than actual weight. And you don’t have to pay for bags upfront if you don’t want. You can do it online the day before, or at the airport. But with the weight program, you have to go at the airport to get weighed no matter what.

  3. I think the problems described with the weight method are able to be overcome by airlines running small aircraft. However, when you try to weigh in people on even a mid size aircraft like the A320, the check in times become unworkable. (And even impossible if you have a kiosk check in system).

    The problem for most customers is the issue of space, and for airlines it is revenue/cost. At the moment there is only limited facility aboard aircraft for providing more space for larger customers. The reason for this is that people buy their tickets at home where they are comfortable, and therefore they click the lowest price, yet when they travel, they have to squeeze into those low price seats, maybe regretting, too late, their seat choices.

    There needs to be some way that makes providing a few more large space seats worthwhile for the airlines, and still not too much of a price gouge for larger people.

    Those who are larger have sometimes advocated on discrimination grounds that governments should legislate for airlines to provide bigger seats at the same cost as every other passenger. The airlines on the other hand shrug and say larger people should pay more and go to business or premium economy seats. Budget carriers just shrug and say ‘deal with it’.

    Maybe governments should legislate for airlines to provide a minimum number of larger seats, and at the same time legislate that people who do not fit into the standard seat should pay for and use the larger seats.

    This is, in effect, what happens with baggage. If baggage is below a certain size, it can be carried in the overhead locker, if not, then it is carried elsewhere on the plane. A similar situation might be practical for seating. If you can fit through an archway of a certain size you get a standard seat. If you cannot fit through the standard size archway, you have to buy a larger seat. Just as with checked and carry on luggage, nobody is expected to put their carry on bag through the size gauge every time – just when it looks decidedly large, so it would be for seat allocation. It would only be when someone who looks to be near the limit and who has paid for a smaller seat, that they would have to negotiate the standard archway to see if they fitted.

    However, the end point is, that if larger people are not prepared to pay more, the airlines are not going to provide the larger seats. So either larger people will pay more, or just have to put up with the flight discomfort.

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