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28 October 2014

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You are in: Jersey > People > Your stories > Weigh-in at the airport?

Jersey Airport

Weigh-in at the airport?

A Jersey man is calling for airlines to weigh passengers as well as their luggage at check-in desks.

Peter Walsh from Grouville called the BBC Radio Jersey phone-in to suggest that, when flying, the total weight should be taken into account, and if it's too high "excess baggage" should then be charged.

And that total weight should include the person flying as well as their luggage.

It follows confusion over his daughter's baggage, where scales at Jersey Airport and Liverpool Airport seemed to show a three kilo difference on the same luggage.

Mr Walsh says there are also safety issues to consider. He said: "My daughter is a ballet dancer and therefore only weighs about 47 kilos herself.

“There's often been a case where she has sat on a plane next to somebody who is so huge that they've had to use the extension seatbelt.

"When they've landed the person has not been able to get out of his seat without assistance from the steward or stewardess. In those circumstances you think there must be a safety issue here."

He suggests that people who are too large for aeroplane seats could be given a window seat so others can escape in an emergency.

Mr Walsh thinks it's unfair that passenger weight isn't taken into account when "excess baggage" is calculated.

He believes that with fuel costs rising its unfair heavier people should pay the same as people who are underweight.

He said: "30 years ago you would fly with Aurigny, you put your bags on the scales and they would put you on the scales. They actually knew how much they were carrying as a load for the aircraft. Now they just take an average figure".

"It is a bit unfair when the extra cost of fuel going up now, that people who are overweight are being charged the same as somebody who is underweight as they are using extra fuel to carry the extra weight."

Over to you

Do you agree with Peter that the weight of the person flying should be calculated at the same time as the weight of their bags or would that be unfair and a discrimination?

last updated: 08/08/2008 at 13:30
created: 08/08/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Brij Anand
Yes I agreeIn times when passangers are charged for drink and snacks on a flight why not.

Lukas Sfecgal
Oo, ich agree

Margaret Neilson
People whose shoulders are wider than their seat and also whose legs are so long need to use the shoulder and legs space of the adjacent seats should also be taken into account!!!!

You What
As it is remembrance day for Holocaust victims - many of the comments posted on this issue lead me sadly to reflect on what "fat camps" may become if the decision was left to you bunch of small-minded, ignorant idiots.

David, Lancashire
Not much happening down on your island if this nonsense is producing such responses....

What a load of tetchy, unsympathetic people. You are paying for a service to carry a person and some luggage from A to B. The limits are there to prevent people bringing a ridiculous amount of luggage. Occasionally you are put in a difficult situation and if you don't like it then act and things can be worked out. I bet the examples people mentioned only happened once - as long as it stays as a exception I doubt anything will happen.

Wow... "Get Anorexia, save on air fares!""Were you born tall and have excercised your way to being athletically muscled? Then please join the 'pay extra for not undereating and letting your muscles waste away queue!'"Fantastic...Obesity and its effects on fellow passengers is a totally seperate issue to unethical flight pricing. If we must make an issue of it then "pay for the number of seats you partially fill" makes far more sense than enforcing yet another concept that promotes malnutrition.

I hate the way they will let you take two 25kg items but not one 24kg & 26kg. Then charge you for the one over weight.Or, 3 items that I had to do once; 13kg, 10kg, and 8kg.I had to pay for the extra bag, it's not that they can't fit it, they can.They were not even over weight, in fact it's was less than most peoples huge luggage in the queue!!!They just see it as an extra bag, what a con.(Don't tell me to pack better either, I can't fit PC hardware in 1 box!)

Blimey O'Reilly
what next...being charged extra because the aeroplane will be flying into headwinds to its destination? Can you imagine, really imagine this, they have scales next the check in desk and people have to weigh-in before boarding a flight. Women can't even weigh themselves at home let alone in public. This will never wash, just wear every single bit of clothing you are taking on holiday. To keep them all on squeeze into a pair of speedo's right at the end

Whilst I agree something should be done (see below comment) there are some issues to consider:- Does this mean a family going on holiday can check in overweight bags with their children?- How many bags can you take on? - Health and Safety will still say e.g. 30kg limit- As bags will still have to be weighed seperatley the person will end up being weighed on their own anyway - is their a scale of weight or do people fit into categories?- And let's not forget for some people where obesity is an affliction due to medical disorders rather than perceived "simple" lifestlye choices of inactivity and overeating, should they be punished and charged for this?

Completely agree. As a student, you have to take a lot of baggage sometimes, and when you get charged £20 for being a couple of kg's overweight is simply not fair, when I weigh 60kgs and other people weighing 90+ kgs don't have to pay any more. Unless anyone can think of a 'fairer' or 100% PC system, weigh people too!

Do thin people smell? Yes they do, and i know that from experience! Why tax the fat? How about refusing to let those who smell on a plane! Make the seats a little wider in ecomony. I agree with the comment on thin people paying less, but then we would all have to pay for tickets on arrival at the airport. There is no thing as normal, so paying by the kg for tickets would be fair, but try and work that with different ticket prices. The 69p flight that I just booked would mean that the airline will have to pay me to fly!

About time too.

Barry Bliss
agree with peter

Nick B
This is delicate subject. I completely agree that airlines should charge all passengers for a total weight. The only issue is what that weight limit is. I am 6'6 and 17 stone. My weight is in proportion to my height. I can't really lose much weight without chopping off a limb, which i'm not keen to do just to go on holiday. I'm discriminated against because I'm tall. If I can't get an exit seat I have to pay extra for leg room. Many overweight people can do something about their weight, so should be charged accordingly. I can't do anything about my height! Sort it out airlines!!

This is the funniest small minded bigotry I have ever read. I'm surprised any of you are even advanced enough to leave the little rock you call home. I bet that you are the type of people who whenever you see a man with a beard on a plane you think he's a terrorist and you proably start alot of sentences with "I'm not racist but..." Why don't you do us all a favour and just stay on your little backward island and rot.

Yes definitely, as far as I understand the whole weight restriction on baggage came about as a result of an overloaded flight that crashed. People also contribute to weight not just bags.

I totally agree with this system. And the person who mentioned duty free has a good point. Buying 2 litres of your chosen alcoholic beverage is an extra 2 kilos of weight (pretty much), as well as the glass bottle. If just 10 people do that on a flight that's another bag that the airline could have charged you £8 for... I approve entirely.

No one complains that when you post a letter they weigh the whole thing, because they have to pay to put in on a plane to England. Just the same as people. Bring this in ASAP I say. On the rare occasion that I get caught out being over the limit I just put multiple layers on and walk on the plane looking like the Michelin man. So the airline haven't achieved anything except making my flight more uncomfortable. If they introduce this scheme then it would sort it out. This has been suggested many times, but I'm sure it won't happen as people will just complain.

Can I just point out to the comment made by "Nasty People" - are you suggesting that due to the fact some of the comments complain that obese people with hygiene problems are not pleasant to sit next to for 10 hours, that we think coloured people smell? Or should be charged more money to fly? Because this is what this discussion is about. We are discussing the extra charges that people have to pay for excess baggage and the reason that is given by these companies is the weight means higher fuel costs.

I don't think it is hard to see the link between this and why the discussion is taking place and I fail to see the link with race from a discussion like this. If you, yourself can make this link it may be worth checking how you look at things before accusing others of being ugly on the inside

NO NO this should not be a weight thing at all! I am 6ft6 and weigh heavy-but am slim in stature! know the flight bag sizer in the airport...get a seat sizer!!If ya cant fit in the sizer when arms raised-ye gonna have to pay for 2 seats!?

Mrs Janet Measham
What happens to the skinny people then - do they get a reduction in the airfare?

Manx Bean
Well done Peter! I recently had to spend 20 minutes trying to get a case (that was 2lbs, yes 2lbs over) re-packed by offloading the odd item with other members of my family. As you can imagine, this did cause some 'tutting' in the queue behind me - none more so than from a lady behind me who (I'm not kidding) weighed several multiples of me and my luggage combined.To cap it all, I ended up with her sat next to me on a 10-hour flight, where she was more in my seat than I was. As the flight was full, I had no option of asking to be moved. Not pleasant, and not fair. I'm sorry, but if (for whatever reason) you are that large - pay for 2 seats.

Folks, if yr hand bagage is slightly overweight at the scales, show no mercy - eat the edible contents til ya make the grade!

On angry Annies response, I think disabled people should be sat by the Window seat.In a crash scenario, would you rather have the disabled person die, and trapping the able person in the seat.Or have BOTH die because of a poor seating arrangement?Same applies for fat people or anyone in a scenario where they could harm the "escape" of another

Has anyone considered that an average size / weight male is havier then an average size / weight female?If this was to go ahead then you would have to pay more for simply being a male. Can anyone say sexist?

It might be worthwhile trying to look at ths from a different angle. From my discussions with people the issue with airlines is that we have to pay for excess baggage! Yes, it does seem unfair that someone heavier than than me can board a plane but weigh more than me and my baggage, but the issue is to do with TOTAL weight. Overweight people will still have to pay if their bags are too heavy. Weighing people and charging for their total weight including baggage is a fairer way of paying for flights. It is not discrimination because if you do want to fight that argument it is the skinny people who are being dicriminated at the moment. Yes I moan, but I am mot targeting anyone specificaly. A twelve year old girl pays the same fare as me, but weighs less. I would rather her parents pay less for her, I pay more for being heavier and someone bigger than me pays porportionaly.

Ashley F
I see that fat people still aren't being taxed for being fat. Why is this?Since this was 1st bought up, I actually had the misfortune of being on a flight provided by the nations favorite airline. I was sat comfortably next to my skinny friend. I was then asked to swap seats by the flight attendant so that my skinny friend could sit next to his skinny girlfriend. Unfortnately the 2nd seat I sat in was next to a fat man with hygiene issues. I wasn't happy so complianed. One thing led to another and I ended up emailing the customer service the next day. Two weeks later 3 nice bottles of wine arrived at my door. Not those comedy pocket sized bottles you get on flights either. Real size ones! So the moral of the story is: If your sat next to a fatty, complain. If you're not satisfied, write to the customer service people and they'll probably bung you some free wine. After a few hundred complaints they'll soon have to start thinking baout taxing these behemoths.

Yes, this is a delicate subject and can be taken as discrimination, but there are some really valid points being made.So as to not discriminate and still make a point, if you are in front of me in a queue and are 2kg over baggage and have to pay excess, is it fair that I can carry 30kg of lead in a ruck-sack as hand baggage?On this point I would suggest that the total weight should be taken into consideration. With regard to the overweight, I'm sorry to be offensive, but on a 9 hour flight in economy it is not pleasant to be sat next to someone who is overweight. It is cramped enough next to small paople but "personal space" is hard to come by when someone is actually overflowing onto your small seat. I am trying to not be rude to anyone and still point out that it really is a valid point that is being made. We cannot be protected by PC over everything in life and people do need to be accountable for the choices they make in life.

Nasty People
You people are absoultely pathetic - would you say that you wouldn't want to sit next to a coloured person - get over yourselves and I suggested you look at yourselves - maybe your too ugly to fly - your certaintly ugly on the inside.

Jersey Lily
I'm in total agreement with Peter. Bags and people should be weighed and the excess charged for, it might encourage fat people to lose some of their excess weight! Anyone who has had the misfortune of sitting next to an obese person on a flight and having that person flopping over into your seat will know how unpleasasnt and uncomfortable it can be.

I agree, I am only 8st 7 myself so feel I should be allowed more of a luggage allowance than the heavier person sat next to me, same as travelling with children, most airlines only give a very small reduction in price for a seat yet stil only the same luggage allowance. I don't feel this is a discrimination you could say the way it is now is a discrimination against the smaller person! I have had the same thoughts each time I have flown how unfair the system is. This isn't against overweight people, just because you weigh heavy doesn't mean you are fat.

Gary T.
Fully support that airlines should should weigh passengers with those not in proportion paying more. This is only fair, as it is a fact that more fuel will be used transporting an overweight person.

Mr Olympics
Instead of worrying about the size of your baggage cancel your flight and stay at home and watch the womens beach volleyball on TV

diane wood
agree,the total weight should be considered. why is it ok to take stuff out of the overweight hold luggage and put it in your hand luggage to take onto the plane when the total weight will still be the same?

Mr heavy – In very simple terms the heavier the plane is the more ‘lift’ it has to generate to overcome the force of gravity which increases with weight. The only way it can really do this is increase speed, or thrust, which requires more fuel. This applies at both takeoff and cruising speed. So, all other variables being constant, an empty plane will use a lot less fuel than a fully loaded plane.

Ashley F
Mr heavy. The heavier the plane is the more lift it needs to create to hold it's self up. This is done by trimming the rear of the wing to develope low pressure above the wing in order to keep it in the air at a stable level. If adjustments need to be made they do effect the aerodynamics and will either slow the plane down or use more fuel to keep the plane going. One fat person isn't going to effect a 100 ton plane though. But neither is someones luggage that's 2 kilos over. Angry Annie - disabled people are unfortunate and deserve compassion. Fat people are greedy and deserved to be taxed for it. Why should their existance effect the poor people who have to be sandwiched between them on busy flights? It shouldn't. Get yourselves in club class I say!

Angry Annie needs to realise that, Yes it may seem like discrimination, but it works both ways. 'Positive discrimination' is rife in the 1st world. 'Sorry Sir, you didnt get the job because we HAD to take on a disabled person. 'Sorry Sir, yes you do have to pay the same rates as a single person, as the family of six next door who produce four times the waste and use four times the water' etc etc...

I would like to invite all of you who comment this news article to have a drink with me at the HAVANA CLUB

Andy C
Completely agree, weigh them ... but also maybe put the weight on a huge screen at check-out to keep everyone entertained while they que.

Insisting that everyone is weighed like baggage is dehumanising. I agree that slim people should be allowed to take more baggage, but there needs to be a system in place (perhaps by reducing the standard baggage allowance) that would allow those who don't wish to be weighed to continue flying without feeling degraded.

Mr Heavy
I don't know about aerodynamics but I'd like to see any reasearch as to whether an aeroplane using more full when empty or with full cargo. Call me ignorant, but i'd just like to know the laws of aerodynamics. Anyone out there able to help! I know if a car is full it will take longer to reach a certain speed than a car who has just a driver in it, but do both cars use same amount of fuel? Opinions please

I totally agree. I think that it is terrible when you have to pay (sometimes more than your flight) for excess baggage of only 5/6 extra Kgs(especially if you are moving to live in a different country)when the person sitting next to you is double your size.

we seem to have all forgot the fact that it is the airlines that are the issue and not fat folks. Stop unfair fees by airlines, for heavey bags and changing tickets!!!

what ridiculous rubbish people worry about when flying, your baggage has a maximum allowance then if it is overweight you pay more, dont give the ripoff airlines any ideas about finding other ways about charging people more money

Maybe this idea could be extended to local night clubs!

Being a big lad myself, some of the comments people have said are particularly entertaining, yet a lot very interesting. I understand the cost of weight in flights, as I agree the system is currently unfair. I also believe it would surely be more safety concious to discover the true weight getting thrown across the sky. But, on a sarcastic note, why stop there? Why not make all people with wheelchairs pay wheelchair tax?! I don't need those ramps! Just when will it stop? Make a few bigger seats for the bigger people? "The Fat Man Plane"?

Angry Annie
O joy, they are picking on fat people again, why not try disabled people as they actually need help onto the plane and that can hold you up!!!! This is getting beyond a joke and is most definitely discrimination.

Now there is GST on all items, including food, there effectively is a 'fat tax' as suggested by someone. Those that eat loads will pay more in GST. Hopefully that will hope to raise the funds needed to care for them in the health system as they'll inevitably need.

Fair play, I agree.My friend was just slightly over on baggage weight and had to take something out and give it to me.Strange as I even said to the person that i'm with him and it'll be going on the plane anyway.Then right behind us, a really big guy and by big I mean fat.Also the fact that most scaled are wrong at airports i've been to.Also can we have some sort of waiver for those overweight due to health problems.My father has a hip problem and can barerly walk a few meters in his home without being in agonising pain, the concequence is he can no longer excerise and his weight now is stopping him being able to have an operation, catch 22.So for people like him, I hope there's some sort of waiver.

Ashley F
As it happens, on the last flight I took (with a very well know british airline)I was asked by the flight attendants if I wouldn't mind moving so that a couple (who clearly couldn't work out the check in procedure) could sit together. They then sat me next to a fat man (who by chance happened to also be sweaty and ignorant of his size). Anyway, one thing led to another, they were useless and I sent an email to their customer relations people. A coupel of weeks later they sent me 3 bottles of delicious wine.So, the moral of the story is, if you're plonked in economy, next to a fat man or large women, who obviously don't have the good grace to pay extra for a bigger seat (and a bigger meal!)complain.They'll be taking up half your space, you can kiss goodbye to that arm-rest for a few hours and they may well be using twice as much fuel as the rest of the flight. They should actually travel by boat. It would be the decent thing in my opinion.

My experience flying back from Australia a couple of years ago...I had my bags weighed at the booking desk lady says, Sir you are **lbs over weight so that will be € 409,03 about 343. pounds, I asked why I have to pay so much money,she said that the plane will have to take on more fuel and then the plane will be over weight, She said to me that It would be alright if the excess weight was in my on board bag so I could transfer to my bag abd carry on board, also I could give my companions some stuff to carry on ..I asked her whether the plane would have to take on extra fuel ?She replied.. " No sit that is different weight and dose not have to be weighted"

excellent idea, make the fat people realise the true cost of their disgusting addiction to overeating, charge them double and reduce the cost to fit looking people. well done

Yet another MANS view on how weight is a problem.If someone can fit into the seat and get out of it no problems then yes they should be weighed.However if they are mobile enough to sort themselves out then no they shouldnt.Besides there is a difference between old aurigny planes and the ones that companies such as flybe and bmi useI wonder who will be next on the witch hunt. Its been smokers and now overweight people. Maybe they should stop people having alcohol on planes full stop

I generaly agree with you guys, but what about duty free purchases, like spirits? They make planes havier as well.

Absolutely, its so unfair when students come home with all their end of year books which weight loads and yet the passenger they sit next too far outweight the books, fair is fair. If you weight 120kgs and the person next to you weights 50ks & her/his backage is 50kgs, why should she pay excess backage.

mr b
about time this was done why shuled i pay more for bags if people are using up the allagatet load by being to fat

John Mcnamara
I agree totally with Peter,I travelled to Indid on a ten hour flight next to a "big person" it was very uncomfortable though he was a nice chap.

Tony V
Move the scales from the side of the check in to the front, it would be that easy to weigh passenger and luggage together. I said this on radio jersey last year!

Slim Jim
I think we should go back to the old days and weigh all passengers. With rising 'excess' baggage costs & fuel supplements, total 'passenger' weight should be taken into account. We should adopt a similar system to hand luggage where if you can't fit into a normal seat you have to buy 2 seats or pay an excess.

Celia Day
I completely agree and have been saying the same thing for years. We get charged for packing a few extra luxuries they should be charged for having eaten them

Makes perfect sense to me both on the safety and fuel issues. Unfortunately you'll have to battle the PC brigade first.

well said I have seen people taking clothing out of their bags and wearing it so they dont get charged. It should be the complete weight of the person and luggage that is not discrimination just logic

I'd have no problem with a system that charged by total weight... but I can't see how it would be workable.How would people buy their tickets in advance if they had to know what the weight of themselves and their luggage was going to be at boarding?The fairest system would also need to take into account that if everybody's going to be charge a fair rate based on their proportion of weight moved from A to B, then the airline would be allowed to surely charge £10,000 to a passenger with no luggage, but being the sole traveller on that flight??Unworkable in practice.Whatever the system there has to be a compromise, and at present that is the acceptance that people are calculate to an average weight.

I totally agree with the gentleman's views. It's about time the overall weight was taken into account. It's a simple excuse to make more money. I for one are going on a plane in 2 weeks, and I'm seriously considering wearing all my clothes instead of paying the ridiculous extra price you have to pay for the 'luxury' of checking 1 item of luggage.

fair play to the man,i agree

Ashley F
What an excellent idea.It's obvious though that airlines only charge extra for heavy bags so that you don't go crazy and use your flight ticket to emigrate/relocate to another country, kicthen sink and all. What makes me ill is when the flight is half empty and the nice person behind the counter wants to charge you extra for a bag that's a few pounds over. back to the point though - yes, huge people should have to pay more. They take up ridiculous amounts of space on a plane and always get the best seats. While we're at it - there's no bl**dy way the children should get discounted flights. What on earth is that all about? They take up a seat and everyone else on the flight is subsidising them. Arrrr, just been informed that this is no longer the case.... glad to see that someone worked that out. Now to solve the fat issue.

I agree completely, its about time fat people realised that they can make plane journeys very uncomfortable for other passengers with their excess weight, wheezy breathing and often stale odour.Totally unacceptable for healthy weighted passengers to pay for excessive baggage when some overweight person doesnt have to pay for their 'excess baggage' that they carry around their middle !!!!

Well said. It is a thought I have had for a long time. I strongly agree that if my bag is 2 pound over the limit but I am preceded by someone who is 5 stone over weight, why should I have to pay more. But, why stop there?I think that we should have a 'FAT TAX'. Everybody who is overweight uses more of everything. They put more stress on our health system, use more fuel, take up more space generally (the seating mentioned by Peter being an example). For too long people who look after themselves and stay fit have had to subsidise the fat and lazy. And do not even consider trying to counter the argument by saying that fat people cant help it or have conditions that prevent them being skinny. That is just pure laziness, poor diet and inconsideartion for other people.

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