June 28 - Samoa Air already charges passengers by their weight - but is now launching an extra-large seat service for the fuller figure. Paul Chapman reports.
Samoa Air claimed a world first last year when it started charging its passengers by their body weight. Now it's launching an extra-large seating class for those over 130 kilogrammes. In a country where almost 60 per cent of the population is considered obese Samoa Air boss Chris Langton says it makes sense. (SOUNDBITE)(English) CHRIS LANGTON, SAMOA AIR CHIEF EXECUTIVE, SAYING: "We've actually taken out a complete row of seats and replaced it so there is much more leg room for the passenger. There's no arm rest." Passengers pay just over a dollar thirty per kilogramme for domestic flights. It costs just over a dollar per kilo for its only international route to American Samoa. And it seems passengers are getting used to hopping on the scales at check-in. (SOUNDBITE)(English) UNIDENTIFIED SAMOAN AIR PASSENGER SAYING: "It felt crazy when I heard about it...jump on the scales. I was like, what? Jump on the scales? But it's all good, it's not that bad." Pacific Islands nations have some of the world's highest levels of obesity. The World Health Organisation ranks Samoa at number four for expanding waistlines.