Uzbekistan Airways and weight charges

By | Category: Travel rumblings

4f0d286176784dc9b3791e37767f2254-weight20scales A couple of years ago Just about Travel wrote a couple of stories about the fact that Samoa Air was weighing passengers and then charging based on that weight. Now Uzbekistan Airways is to start weighing its passengers with their hand luggage at check-in. Or is it?

Claiming that this comes under the rules of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) we think this is unlikely and IATA is quoted by CNN as saying it is unaware of any regulation.

Although some media are reporting that the company has commented on the new policy, we can find nothing on their website to show exactly what the policy is and how it will be interpreted so the media reports are all there is to go on.

Why should this be so? The original release appears to have been erased from the airlines website although it can still be found if you look hard enough. Does this mean that the airline has had a change of heart? Is it hoping that the story will now disappear and it can quietly re-introduce the same policy once the hoo-haa dies down?

Uzbekistan-framedWhatever the truth is in the case of Uzbekistan Airways, it is still the case that no major airline has tried to follow Samoa Air, not even Ryanair which is the one airline that – in the old days of caring little for the customer – might have been tempted to try.

Some airlines do charge if you don’t fit into the one seat and this has been going on for years. Back in the 1980’s, a friend of mine regularly flew from Melbourne to Sydney and he was forced to pay for two seats because of an illness he had that caused his weight to balloon. His illness caused him to be hospitalised almost every other month.  You can see that from the airlines, point-of-view, an excessively overweight person does present problems for other passengers seated adjacent.

But for the policy to be fair to all, every single passenger would need to be weighed with their hand language which is what Uzbekistan Airways was proposing. But from a practical standpoint, how long would it take, say, to weigh 200 passengers on a flight and where will it be done. No this policy would cause too much ire and cause airlines more time problems so for those reasons, no big airline is ever going to countenance it unless every airline agreed and they all acted in concert.

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