Nothing makes us challenge our assumptions like cold hard economics. Need Proof? The airline industry is said to be pondering charging passengers by weight. It seems crazy until you remember that extra bags cost more for the same reasons, and the airlines are losing hundreds of millions of dollars per day due to the cost of fuel.
Wow. From Bloomberg News:
That may not be so far-fetched.
``You listen to the airline CEOs, and nothing is beyond their imagination,'' said David Castelveter, a spokesman for the Air Transport Association, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group. ``They have already begun to think exotically. Nothing is not under the microscope.'' He declined to discuss what any individual airline might be contemplating, including charging passengers based on weight."
After U.S. airlines reported combined first-quarter losses of $1.7 billion and crude oil jumped to a record $133.17 a barrel on May 21, almost double from a year earlier, fares based on a passenger's weight may be a logical step, said Robert Mann, head of R.W. Mann & Co., an aviation consultant based in Port Washington, New York.
``If you look at the air-freight business, that's the way they've always done it,'' he said. ``We're getting treated like air freight when we travel by airlines, anyway.''
When you're losing millions on a daily basis, I guess there are no topics that are off limits. Somehow I can't see the women I know stepping onto the scale and suffering the indignity of pulling out their credit card to pay the overage (disclaimer I just thought of in editing this - not that any of them would have to do that). That would be ugly. Guys on the other hand, would make a show out of rubbing their belly. Venus vs. Mars at your local municipal airport.
Treating people differently based their individual stats is difficult, but worth examining. If you are an employee who exercises, eats right and has positively impacted your health through your lifestyle, would you like to pay 30% less in medical insurance premiums when compared to someone who does nothing?
Sure you would. The problem is the blowback that happens when the equivalent of the stick is presented to those who could positively impact blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc. through healthy lifestyles.
And, that's why you probably won't see that coming to your company-sponsored health plan any time soon.