“Airlines should charge ‘fat tax’ on obese travelers because their extra weight burns more fuel, says Professor”

Airlines should charge 'fat tax' on obsese tavelers because their ex

The above is a headline from the news section of the Mail online.  This ridiculous remark has made me so cross that I just have to respond. It’s the use of the word fat that has particularly disturbed me especially as they have misquoted the Professor.

It’s a sensible debate to look at whether airlines should or could charge us according to our weight however fat has nothing to do with it. Weight and space is how an airline calculates its profits. A plane full of petit people would use less fuel than a plane full of larger heavier people so less fuel more profit. Smaller seats for smaller people mean more seats, more people and again more profit. I’m a sensible business woman and I would not feel discriminated against should the price of my ticket be determined by my weight, depending on how the calculations are done of course.  I would however, if the price of my ticket was determined by my fat.  Are the queues at the airports going to be even worse as they calculate our BMI?  How would our heights …which affect our weight be taken into consideration?

Economics professor Dr. Bharat P. Bhatta of Sogn og Fjordane of the University College in Norway has done an analysis looking at the feasibility and logic of charging airline passengers according to how much they weigh.  The Professors study was published in the ‘Journal of Revenue and Pricing Management ‘.

I started to do some further research and the following is from the


Bhatta cites an article in The Economist, saying

“a reduction of 1 kg (2.2 pounds) weight of a plane will result in a fuel savings worth $3,000 a year and a reduction of CO2 emissions by the same token. His arguments stem from the notion that the more weight a plane is carrying, the “stronger an engine is needed and the more fuel it requires to carry” that weight. He also states that additional space is required to accommodate a heavier person. The end result being a ticket cost that is “not fairly distributed among passengers,” according to Bhatta.”

There is loads of material out there if any of you are interested.

Meanwhile I digress, my concern is that ‘mail online’ and other publications are using the word fat when the Professor is talking about weight.  This is not the same thing at all. It’s turning a sensible idea into silly sensational journalism and giving a misleading view completely discriminating against people who are overweight.

Actually I’m on a plane to Milan on Friday to buy the Elena Miro collection.  It’s no secret that I’m plus size so I don’t mind revealing that I weigh 15 stone 6 pounds and as I’m a 5’ 4” tall female yes I know I’m fat. However just suppose sitting next to me on my aeroplane journey is a 6’ 6” male weighing the same as me… So MailOnline, who pays the ‘fat tax?’ Me? Him? Or us both?

That is my opinion on this provocative subject; I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

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