Go on AirNZ – please start charging by total weight….
I do like Rob Fyfe’s take that airlines would start offering discounts to the slim rather than charging premiums for the large. That may well be how it goes, along with surcharges for the super-fat.
On the other hand why not just weigh the passenger and the luggage at the same time? (using say sensors embedded in the floor in front of check-in counters.) That way larger folk can reduce their feeling of being offended, when confronted with an actual measure of their weight, by assuming that their luggage is extra heavy.
The surcharges paid should be in proportion to the original ticket price so that discount fare purchasers are not put out.
It is also bad as fare buyers would not be sure of the total cost before check-in. This is something I really despise – similar to the US practice of adding tax and tips. The effect would be to reduce sales, which is obviously not good. Estimating your total mass at ticket purchase (grouped in say 4 categories with easy to figure out charts) may be the best way forward, with surcharges or refunds payable if total mass differs too much at check-in.
Of course a side effect would be a boom in sales of food after security – as all the people that have fasted before their flight head to rehydrate and engorge…
On the other hand for me this is bad – as I am a male (and therefore on average heavier than half the population) and I tend to carry a lot of stuff when I go on these extended skiing/ business/ social trips around the word. But at least it puts a tangible value on the extra rashers of bacon or pair of trousers packed.