It’s not popular but it’s official: Hawaiian Airlines have been awarded the right to keep on weighing their larger passengers on its route to American Samoa.
The rule was passed despite being described as discriminatory. Six complaints have been filed with the US Department of Transport (DOT), the authority who made the award.
The airline want to reduce the excessive fuel burn that uniquely happens on the Pago-Pago flight. To this end they will be able to weigh larger passengers over a six-month period to work out how to save fuel after discovering the average passenger and carry-on weight was heavier than expected.
The facility to pre-book seats has been abandoned so that they can ensure passenger weight is evenly spread around the cabins of its Boeing 767 plane.
Their website states:
Hawaiian Airlines is now requiring passengers traveling to and from Pago Pago, American Samoa, to obtain their seat assignments at the airport. This is being done to allow us to manage the distribution of weight in the main cabin of the aircraft.
The Pago Pago average weights were higher than assumed by about 30 pounds. Using the new weights, a full row of adults may theoretically exceed the load limitations of the floor in a row in extreme circumstances (such as a crash landing). Keeping one seat open or ensuring a seat is filled with a child mitigates that risk.
Complaints suggest that the move is discriminatory because it only affects the journey between Honolulu and the American Samoa, and most passengers on that route are of Samoan descent. However the CIA’s World Factbook says that Samoans have the highest rate of obesity in the world with a staggering 74.6 per cent of its adults considered obese.
DOT gave Hawaiian Airlines the go-ahead after considering the prospect of a crash landing.
Have anything to add to this article? Leave a comment