I am likely to vote for Samoa Air as the best airline in the world. I have never flown the airline, nor have I been to Samoa. So why this sudden fancy ? Its because I just discovered that they charge passengers based on their weight !
I have traveled many a long mile on planes and can be considered a fair expert on the matter of air travel. But even I have failed to understand how airlines fix their fares. Nor can I be sure that I won't have to cough up more on reaching the airport, for check in bag fees (horrible American airlines) , place in the queue to board fee (Southwest), going to the loo fee (Ryan Air), quench thirst fee (Indian carriers) whatever, whatever. If there is a logic to air fares, it has thus far escaped my comprehension.
But I do have a pet peeve when it comes to airfare. You see, the cost of flying an airplane is all down to weight - airlines will do anything to reduce the weight of the aircraft. You would therefore expect that airlines would have some linkage of their fares to weight That is indeed the case with checked in baggage. But when it come to the more substantial issue of the weight of the passenger itself, it seems to have been forgotten. Now, I must confess that I have a serious weight problem - I weigh literally nothing !!! Therefore my pet peeve has always been that I have to pay the same fare as Rajalakshmi sitting beside me - she of the gargantuan proportions ! And I always seem to attract Rajalakshmis as my neighbour - so I occupy one tenth of the seat and the good lady spills over from hers and occupies the balance nine tenths !
I have railed often against the injustice of it all, but to no avail. And then I came across Samoa Air's policy on fares. Fares are simply based on your and your baggage's weight. They quote a per kg price. You and your baggage stand on the weighing machine. Weight multiplied by the per kg fare and that's your bill !!! If you don't believe this, visit their website.
Wow - I can now fly almost for free. Wouldn't that be the most spectacular thing to happen. I , a jaded traveler, who can't stand the sight of a plane anymore, is now all perked up and energised to travel - thanks to the wonderful policy of Samoa Air.
The airline was forced to take this practical step because Samoans are the most obese people in the world. Any airline that flew Samoans and did not have a weight policy would not take off - pun intended. So this was virtually forced on them, but then who cares what is the motive for a brilliant pricing strategy.
I love Samoa Air. Samoa - Oute alofa ia te oe !!