Friday, March 16, 2012

Airlines: Passenger and Baggage Weight and Seating in a Bus

Excerpts of a article I just read.
I am writing this at an airport. A slight Asian woman has checked in with, I would guess, about 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of suitcases and boxes. She pays extra for exceeding the weight allowance. A man who must weigh at least 40 kilos more than she does, but whose baggage is under the limit, pays nothing. Yet, in terms of the airplane's fuel consumption, it is all the same whether the extra weight is baggage or body fat.

Another way to achieve the same objective would be to set a standard weight for passengers and luggage, and then ask people to get on the scales with their luggage. That would have the advantage of avoiding embarrassment for those who do not wish to reveal their weight.
I kind of like the solution of total passenger and baggage weight standard. That said, what about space taken up in in the seat.  I am acutely aware of this when traveling in a Bus in Sri Lanka.  Being a short 88 kilo (190 lb) guy who is more wide than tall, this becomes a issue unless its the skinny variety of the Sri Lankan (endangered by the day) seated next to me.  The choices are that
a) You paste against each other and become sweaty regardless of how well it is air conditioned
b) Have half of the posterior off the seat.

Neither choice is all that great if you have to travel for a hour or two, specially if you have personal space issues (Read the wiki to see how personal space comfort changes with country/culture).  I get around this when traveling long distances by buying two tickets, one for myself and one for my baggage (and I dont mean the human kind) and use up two seats. It needs a bit of thick skin, specially when the bus is packed to the roof and someone asks pointing to the seat occupied by the bag.  I rationalize it out by observing that the Intercity/Air Con buses regularly get tourists to buy tickets for their baggage placed on a seat. 

Anyway read more of the article Weigh more, pay more that started off this post.

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