Half of British men think airlines should charge 'fat tax' on planes


Half of British men think airlines should charge 'fat tax' on planesPA

Almost half of British men think overweight passengers should pay a 'fat tax' on flights, says a new survey.

The poll by HolidayExtras.com found that 48% of all those questioned thought heavier people should pay for their extra weight, just as other fliers pay for excess baggage.

According to the Telegraph, James Lewis, Head of Online Partnerships at HolidayExtras.com, said: "The world is getting fatter - and this is becoming a big issue. Being an overweight passenger affects your travelling companions, physically and financially. If we have to pay extra for excess baggage, it's only fair that we pay extra for excessive body weight.

"Sitting next to a large person on a plane can sometimes reduce the space that you have to relax, so maybe airlines should offer some of the revenue from the additional ticket cost to the person sitting next to the fat person too."

The issue of whether people should pay a 'fat tax' is not a new one, and is becoming an increasingly hot debate.

The news follows a recent suggestion by a former Qantas economist that heavier people should definitely for their excess weight.

Tony Webber's simple rationale is: the more a plane weighs, the more fuel it must burn, which costs the airline more and, in turn, will increase air fares.

If passengers on the aircraft weigh more, the plane will consume more fuel, and these costs to the airline will be offloaded on to air travellers.

Just as people are charged for excess baggage, so people should be charged for excess weight, says Tony.

He says that, since 2000, airline fuel costs have increased mainly because of high oil and jet fuel prices, but also because the average adult passenger is carrying more pounds.

After Tony's report came out, Aol Travel carried out its own poll on whether our readers felt the same. And it appears they do: out of the 10,000 people who participated, 70% of people believe it is fair to charge a fat tax.

One said: "It is unfair that we should be asked to pay more for heavy luggage whereas so many people are obese. Why not weigh the traveller with the luggage ? If one is sitting next to a very fat person it can be very uncomfortable as they tend to overflow out of their seat."

But others disagreed, with one reader saying: "What a ridiculous idea!!! Are they on the other hand going to reduce the amount of money that you pay for a child ticket then? Children pay the same as adults and they weigh less than half of an adult weight. If Tony Webber is thinking about the plane using more fuel to carry some people, he on the other hand should be thinking about the ones who weigh less and still pay the same amount. I think that is only fair and justified."

The problem of how the regulation would be enforced has also arisen: would a person have to be weighed and embarrassed in front of other passengers?

What do you think? Should heavier people pay 'fat tax' - or not?

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