Saturday, February 10, 2007

Leaving on a jet plane

As we all know there are many concerns for the health of not only the population but also the planet. We're told the population is becoming more obese and we all need to cut our carbon emissions, and so Gordon has slapped a 'green tax' on air travel. (Do we think for a nano-second that the revenue will be spent on 'green issues'? Do we bollocks.) With a bit of lateral thinking both these problems can be tackled at once. Bear with me.

When it comes to the tricky problem of baggage allowances and excess payment due, would it not be much fairer to give a total weight allowance per passenger, person and bags, and not just the weight of the bags? The average baggage allowance for European flights is 20kg; a small person with full allowance would still weigh less in total than an obese person, but the porker is still allowed a baggage allowance on top, without penalty. How can it be fair for a light person to be given what is effect a fine for having a bag that weighs 21kg, when in total they still weigh less than a heavy person who can then add a further 19kg to the weight on the plane, and yet not get penalised? With a total weight allowance system the fat person would have to pay a surcharge simply to travel at all, and the skinny person could take another suitcase without penalty. A blubber-surcharge or the risk not being able to take any luggage would surely be an incentive to lose weight - especially for the return journey (no stuffing one's face and bloating on holiday)! If the options of losing weight or paying extra are both unacceptable then maybe fewer people would fly, so less carbon would be put into the atmosphere, especially at the altitude where it does the most harm.