[FoRK] Fly Derrie Air

Lawnun lawnun at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 09:41:27 PDT 2008


>From SmarterTravel.com:

"Of course, controversial policies regarding larger
passengers<http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/there-weight-size-limit.html?id=15819>are
not exactly new. Southwest has had a "Customer
of Size" <http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/cos_qa.html> rule for years
that requires passengers who cannot fit into a seat with the armrests down
to purchase a ticket for the adjacent seat. No other major carrier has a
similar policy."

I wasn't aware of this rule, but it proves that Derrie-air wasn't completely
as far off as we might like to believe. Discriminatory as it is, I actually
wholly support the Southwest policy.  Those seats are damn small to begin
with.  It'd only be that much worse if I had to do so flying cross-country
with someone else spilling over into my lap...

C

Will airlines charge by weight? Posted June 11, 2008 at 11:48 am ET by Carl
Unger <http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/bio.php?id=carlunger>,
SmarterTravel.com Staff
[image: Scale (Photo: iStockPhoto/Nicholas Belton)]


It started out as a joke, an idea some frustrated traveler or industry
analyst blurted out as yet another airline fee or fare hike was announced:
"Next thing you know, the airlines will charge passengers based on their
weight!" Preposterous, right?

Right—that is, until Air Transport Association
<http://www.airlines.org/>spokesman David Castelveter was quoted in a
Bloomberg
article<http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aNsp.l2CJ1jk>,
saying "You listen to the airline CEOs, and nothing is beyond their
imagination." He was speaking about the possibility of airlines charging
passengers by the pound, and by not dismissing the idea, he more or less
validated it.
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Now fast forward to Friday, June 6, when an ad for
Derrie-Air<http://flyderrie-air.com/>appeared in the
*Philadelphia Inquirer* and *Philadelphia Daily News*. What is Derrie-Air? A
fictional (thank goodness) airline that charges passengers by the pound,
created as a marketing gimmick by the papers' parent company. It was a hoax,
sure, but it threw consumers into various stages of panic (and laughter),
while fanning the flames of an already fiery conversation.

So, should passengers be prepared for airfare pricing by the pound? In that
same *Bloomberg* article, aviation consultant Robert
Mann<http://www.rwmann.com/>lays out the logic, saying, "If you look
at the air-freight business, that's
the way they've always done it. We're getting treated like air freight when
we travel by airlines, anyway.'' Mann has a point, and maybe a good one. Why
shouldn't a person be charged a fare equivalent to the actual cost of
transporting his or her weight?

The obvious answer is discrimination, as per-pound pricing essentially
penalizes larger passengers for simply being larger, a condition some
individuals can't help. Something tells me the airlines will be wary of bad
press, lawsuits, and other forms of unwanted attention that could accompany
this pricing model. Of course, controversial policies regarding larger
passengers<http://www.smartertravel.com/travel-advice/there-weight-size-limit.html?id=15819>are
not exactly new. Southwest has had a "Customer
of Size" <http://www.southwest.com/travel_center/cos_qa.html> rule for years
that requires passengers who cannot fit into a seat with the armrests down
to purchase a ticket for the adjacent seat. No other major carrier has a
similar policy.

Again, I doubt per-pound pricing will be a reality any time soon, so don't
get on the treadmill yet. But if the airline industry has taught us anything
lately, it's that nothing is beyond reason.

Meanwhile, the fees ante just got raised by
United<http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/today-in-travel/united-to-charge-for-first-checked-bag.html?id=2616016>,
which joined American<http://www.smartertravel.com/blogs/today-in-travel/american-to-charge-for-all-checked-bags-sets-unfortunate-precedent.html?id=2570849>in
charging for all checked baggage.




On Tue, Jun 10, 2008 at 2:57 PM, Rob Harley <robert.harley at gmail.com> wrote:

> http://flyderrie-air.com/
>
> :)
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