James Piecowye thinking out loud

Ideas, inspiration and a bit of random.

What you can learn from Samoa.

Posted on | April 9, 2013 | No Comments

How often are you looking for innovation in business?

And how often does that innovation you are looking for get tied to technology?

Maybe what we really need is a dose of common sense?

Now usher in the entire airline industry who are looking to make a profit based on flying weight, human or otherwise, from here to there. But is all weight equal and are we paying to fly based on a calculus of weight as opposed to actual weight? What we need is a bit of innovation!

Samoa Air has an innovative and low tech idea, what if we pay to fly based on our collective weight, you and your cargo added together, really!

This may actually be a great idea.

Sure there are a few technicalities to work out, the airport weigh-in for one, the base calculus is it different per aircraft, but this could be a wonderful way to differentiate carriers and offer discounted fares without really having a huge impact on the traveler.

And the whole process is pretty easy! The Samoa Air website is simple to navigate and you get an estimation of your fare fast so go take a look at how it can work.

Twitter and Facebook  responses to the idea have been generally kind.

So what did people have to say on Nightline?

  •  Gross weight airfares – fantastic idea. Somoa air rocks. Pete
  • This is very great idea & would encourage fitness too but this can work for budget carriers only butthe big boys of aviation will not agree to this because there is a bigger monopoly involved in the way revenue is made “Junaid Khalid”

And of course there is always someone thinking about the business side of the airlines, is there a story here to talk about maybe?

  • Hi James! Good marketing idea. But if airlines have to make a decent profit I don’t see it making much of a difference at the level of the an average traveller!
  • Revenue management will never allow
    this for a major carrier. Think about the child ticket where you get
    10 or 20 % discount where the weight of a childis only 25% of an
    adult…. Dr Sultan
  • Airlines have an estimate in kgs for
    each male and female passenger. That plus baggage plus excess baggage
    plus cargo must not exceed maximum take off weight of the aircraft.
    And there is always a buffer. Kashif

Weight is weight so a few casualties will be had.

  •  Hi James What about  ppl with medical condition with no possibility wait loss?

And how many times has this been your situation?

  • Weighing only 60kg I object to having to pay for excess baggage. That does not make sense…. S.
  • Would be great when I am taking a 4 year old and two year old who currently have to pay for a whole seat!!!    Antony
  •  Hi James! Good marketing idea. But if airlines have to make a decent profit I don’t see it making much of a difference at the level of the an average traveller! Mateen
  • Consumer-centric is the way: what about you pay for a different type of seat in order to be more comfortable? A little on the chunky side? Wider seats. Taller than average? More leg room. Doesn’t that sound nicer?
  • Hello hope u r doin well it would be logical if one pays a cummilative weightmeg .ie . passenger + baggage should total up to a fixed weight regardless of the passengers weight ashes

Is this the other side of the story?

  •  60% of people in Samoa considered obese. 

And what about humility?

  • What about self conscious travellers? Alisa  

There are a lot of comments on this idea!

    • Great idea! There are distinct safety 

    aspects to weighing people and not using out of date assumptions on body weight averages. …Kim

  • I often travel to Karachi and London without any baggage. I pay the same amount as the dude carrying 40 kgs of luggage. Shouldnt I pay lesser? Kashif

So, how long until the major airlines adopt a variation of this idea? Lets see if the budget carriers send up a trial balloon!

Here is the podcast have a listen to Will!




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