Holidaymakers across Manchester have lent their voice to the debate on weight-based flight charges, proving to be the UK region most against airlines weighing their passengers.
More than 1,000 people living in the city were asked for their views on the matter – in a poll by Holiday Extras – after Uzbekistan Airways announced it would be weighing its passengers at check-in and hiking up ticket prices for heavier flyers.
The survey found that just one in 10 Mancunians would be more likely to fly with a weight-checking airline, while one in three would boycott the move.
Just one in five people in the rest of the country said they would stop using an airline if they were charging more or less dependent on the weight of the passenger.
Ant Clarke Cowell, Communications Director for the travel website HolidayExtras.com, said: “There’s currently no UK initiative to weigh customers at check-in. Even so, the idea has sparked some lively debate among local travellers.
“When compared to the national findings, Manchester people proved far more likely to react against the introduction of weight checks.
“Changes in airline procedures often do receive an adverse reaction initially, so it’s pretty surprising to see that many holidaymakers appear to be tolerant to the idea of weighing passengers at check-in – 68% of people would continue to use an airline practicing this measure. It will be interesting to see how this topic evolves.”
MM took to the streets to find out just how out-spoken people would be on the matter.
OFFENSIVE… BUT WILL IT BE CHEAPER FOR ME? Dan Kimber said he might be swayed into sticking with arilines with a weigh-in policy
Dan Kimber, a box office supervisor in the city centre, said the decision would only deter overweight passengers from flying not encourage them to diet.
He said: “Obese people haven’t much money so it would only deter them from holidays, not obesity.”
The 25-year-old from Ancoats explained that while he feels it is unethical to charge people based on their weight, he may be swayed if the flight prices were lower for him than they currently are.
He said: “It depends on whether or not the prices will be cheaper, for me. It is however offensive.
“People pay the same amount of money for luggage, but if you are a lot smaller than someone it is unfair. But it is unethical.”
Oren, a 35-year-old man, who has recently acquired an IT job in Manchester, would not be swayed on the matter, saying it is ‘wrong’ to let a person’s weight have such influence.
He said: “I would not use them as weight does not matter. They should know what the average weight of their passengers is.
“It is wrong. A person’s weight should not affect his or her ability to use airlines. These practices should not be used anywhere.”
But Manchester accountant 29-year-old David Ingham said, while unfair, the move may help tackle obesity and he would continue to use an airline that adopted the policy.
He said: “It may be unfair, but you have to take in to account that it does cost more money to transport bigger passengers.
“I can see why people believe that it could help tackle obesity.”
He was quick to add that he did not think the pay-by-weight policy would ever be taken up by UK airlines as ‘there would be too much of an uproar’.
Main image courtesy of Alan Cleaver, with thanks.