Saturday, October 22, 2016

Discriminatory? Hawaiian Airlines wins right to weigh passengers, Samoans outraged

Hawaiian Airlines to weigh passengers: Is one US based airliner new policy discriminatory? Samoan passengers argue they’re being specifically targeted.

Hawaiian Airlines has won the right to begin weighing passengers in a bid to save fuel after discovering its average passenger and carry on luggage was heavier than expected.

According to a report via the independent, the American based airline will move forward in forcing passengers to step up scales if they want to fly the 2600 mile route between Honolulu and American Samoa. To boot, passengers will not be able to pre book seats.

Instead, passengers will be assigned seats upon checking in with Hawaiin Airlines as the airline makes sure that weight is evenly distributed across the plane.

The go ahead has left some passengers stymied, arguing that the policy is discriminatory as it only targets those passengers flying on one route, from Honolulu to Pago Pago, with most passengers being of Samoan descent.

Vexing, is the fact that Samoans have among the highest rate of obesity in the world.

According to a report via the Economist, six complaints have been filed with the US Department of Transportation since September 29.

The department ruled in favor of the new policy, with airline officials claiming an even distribution of weight could prevent a crash landing. The airline will try to keep at least one seat open per row or place children in those seats.

Defending its position, Hawaiian Airlines told of having conducted a voluntary, six-month passenger weight surveys on other flight routes, but had scrapped seat pre-selection only on the American Samoa route because the others showed no evidence of excess weight, as reported by the Associated Press.

The airliner also told of ruling out other possible causes of fuel-loss, such as strong winds, adding that the policy was similar to that already applied with checked and carry-on luggage.

Hawaiians Airlines is not the first passenger carrier to make the move. It follows Samoa Air starting to weigh passengers in 2013.

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