The BBC are reporting, that Samoa Airlines are about to start charging their passengers to fly based on how much they weigh.

[caption width="620" align="aligncenter"]Plane Legroom[/caption]

Now I personally feel that this is simply the media and airlines trying to gauge the publics reaction, but feel it's worth mentioning here, as flying is always a real issue for tall people, and my own opinion is that the airlines have an easy solution to the problem: they simply give passengers over 2 metres tall priority for the exit row seats. However, because it's not against the law to discriminate against someone who is tall, in the same was as if they were disabled, they continue to sell these seats to whoever will pay for them. I believe that the airline has a duty of care for it's passengers comfort and safety, and by forcing someone to sit in a seat that causes them discomfort they are neglecting their passengers who happen to be tall. However, until someone takes the case to court and wins, you just know that nothing will be done about it.

The idea that passengers should pay for their flight based on their weight is an idea that appears to be gaining a lot of attention at the moment, and I can see that for an average sized family flying with 2 kids it would probably result in a saving. However, the average customer is 6'7" and around 16 stone, making them 10 inches taller, and around 4 stone heavier than an normal member of the public. Fact is, that if this scheme comes to anything, we're going to have to start paying more for our flights.

However, consider this: If i'm paying more for my seat (i'm over twice the weight of an average UK male) then surely i'm entitled to twice as much space as someone who is paying half what I am. At the moment my only option is to pay more for an extra leg-room seat, as I physically don't fit into a normal plane seat. In fact, i even struggle in a lot of exit row seats; For the record, it's not because I'm so overweight I need a seat-belt extender, but because I have a 40 inch inside leg !

Have they actually thought this through ? I'd happily paying extra if i'm given the space to accommodate my height, but find it hard to believe that they are going to equip all planes with seats that will accommodate a 7 foot guy on the off chance that one of us wants to fly.