To an airline, both you and your baggage present basically the same issue: how much you weigh. Samoa Air, which flies around the south Pacific, figures that it may as well charge you that way: they weigh you and your bags together, and you pay so much per kilogram, based on the length of the trip. (A short hop might be $1/kg; if you’re headed to Australia it might be more than $4/kg.)
Some people, unsurprisingly, have a problem with this, prompting the airline’s Chris Langton to defend the practice on Australian radio:
“Airlines don’t run on seats, they run on weight, and particularly the smaller the aircraft you are in the less variance you can accept in terms of the difference in weight between passengers … Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them.”
Decidedly unsvelte as I am, I think this is a swell idea, if only because it’s totally at odds with today’s nickel-and-dime-you-to-death fares and fees.