From the underutilized livejournal community Fatshionism comes further evidence that the people responsible for promoting fat bias on airplanes don’t understand fat, bias, or airplanes:
August 5 (News.com.au) – AIRASIA X is considering charging passengers depending on their weight in a bid to fight rising fuel prices and to “help Aussies lose weight”.
The airline is allegedly considering weighing passengers to calculate the overall weight of the aircraft, said AirAsia X general manager Darren Wright.
After Australia’s airlines vowed never to weigh passengers, Mr Wright told travel trade magazine Travel Today that AirAsia X is considering more extreme measures to increase revenue if fuel continues its march to $US200 a barrel.
Although admitting the move would be difficult to implement, Mr Wright said charging larger passengers “could help Aussies lose weight”.
Mr Wright said the new weighing system would enable the airline to calculate the remaining weight allowance to be taken up with additional cargo.
Now, I suspect that the story here is less “AirAsia X is truly considering weighing passengers” and more “AirAsia X general manager is an ugly-minded little man.” “Considering” is a nice vague term that you can use to air your personal biases and stir up publicity and controversy without actually having to rethink your policies. But Mr. Wright doesn’t seem to have thought about the fact that “considering” discrimination as a cost-saving measure can also brand you as a bigot without actually saving you any money.
Listen, nobody disputes the fact that the weight of an aircraft matters. But something like nine percent — NINE PERCENT — of that weight is attributable to passengers, you dumb fuck. More than half the weight is just the weight of the craft itself, and then there are things like FUEL. Basically, airplanes are heavy, empty or full. The average Australian weighs about 167 pounds; if you limited your clientele to cut that average by, say, 20 pounds, you’d save about 1 percent of the weight of the aircraft. That’s like kicking a five-year-old out of your SUV and expecting it to improve your gas mileage.
And don’t even get me started about the wrongheaded and egotistical idea that denying people travel on your precious airline will make them lose weight. Hey everybody, apparently in Australia, all you have to do to lose weight is realize that some people want you to! It’s crazy upside-down world, where you CAN hate people for their own good! Because everyone knows that if fat people had ever thought “hey, maybe I should go on a diet,” there wouldn’t be any fat people. And of course, it’s fat people’s responsibility to change themselves to avoid discrimination, not Mr. Wright’s responsibility not to discriminate.
Still, I wish Wright luck. Seeing as how Australia just outpaced the U.S. in terms of obesity, this should be a real money-making proposition for his airline.
ETA: I’m late! Fatadelic already covered this, and apparently they’re trying to pass it off as a joke. Doesn’t change what I said above — I just wanted to use it as a jumping-off point to talk about the “fat people on planes ruin fuel efficiency” fallacy and the “discrimination makes people lose weight” fallacy — but it also makes Michelle’s recent entry on humorless fat people (about which more later) very relevant.
ETA 2: Paul also beat me to it! Interestingly, we covered different things, so read both! And I will try to be a little more plugged in.