Ryanair may charge overweight passengers extra

Hotel News - 20/04/2009

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Although it was not originally meant as a serious proposition, the proposal was overwhelming backed by visitors to the Ryanair website in an online survey last month.

The poll was said to be a publicity stunt inspired by the airline’s chief executive, Michael O’Leary. Participants were asked to suggest new types of charges that the airline could impose on passengers.

Of the 100,000 voters, over 40 per cent indicated that they supported overweight passengers being charged more than others. Ryanair has said that it is now considering introducing this type of charge.

Calling it a “fat tax”, the budget carrier would charge passengers who are overweight an additional charge based on body mass index.

Logistics and legalities would most likely mean that Ryanair would be unable to introduce the new “tax”. The time involved in weighing every passenger would add time and additional complexity to boarding procedures – and probably be found to be in violation of discrimination laws as well.

According to human rights advocates it is more likely that mildly overweight passengers would end up paying the price, as those who are the most obese would be protected by laws preventing discrimination against the disabled.

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