Fat People Cost Airlines Big Time

from the wonderful dept

And you thought the biggest problem with overweight people on airplanes was that one might sit next to you and overcrowd your tiny seat. Turns out a much bigger issue for the airline industry may be that fat people are a drag... literally. The growing obesity problem in the US means that planes fly heavier, and that's costing big bucks in fuel. In fact, a new report suggests that this... um... weighty issue meant 350 million extra gallons of fuel in the year 2000 (it took them this long to get these stats?!?) costing approximately $275 million. No wonder the airlines are going bankrupt. Maybe some of these newer airlines need to set up exercise rooms in the airlines, rather than comfier seats. Get people out of the seats and moving around... It's for the good of the industry.
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  • identicon
    dorpus, 4 Nov 2004 @ 6:21pm

    Math problem of the day

    Andy is a 300-pound, white computer programmer with an anime fetish, living in Tokyo. He meets Kasumi through a shady internet dating site, and the two agree to meet at exit R7 of a huge train station in Tokyo. The directions to R7 are long and complicated, so Andy's sweating, wheezy body will arrive there at any time between 3PM and 4PM. Kasumi is also carried away talking to her dozens of friends on the cell phone, so she will arrive there at any time between 3PM and 4PM (with equal probability). Compute the average amount of time the first person will wait for the second person.







    Answer:
    x = Andy's arrival time (0 x < 60)
    y = Kasumi's arrival time (0 < y < 60)

    Joint distribution function f(x,y) = 1/3,600

    Case 1: Andy arrives before Kasumi
    Wait time function g(x,y) = y - x
    Find expected value E(g(x,y)):
    double-integrate g(x,y) * f(x,y) from x = 0 to 60, y = x to 60
    Answer = 10 minutes

    Case 2: Kasumi arrives before Andy
    by symmetry, answer = 10 minutes

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2004 @ 6:25pm

    No Subject Given

    how about making the seats bigger, thus accomodating less people, therefore meaning less weight, and comfier customers?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2004 @ 2:35am

    No Subject Given

    simple answer: Fat Tax.

    Before boarding, make everyone weigh in. if you're more than 5% over the average, you can pay for the honor. I doubt that this by itself is going to help the obesity problem, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      thecaptain, 5 Nov 2004 @ 4:25am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Yeah but who determines the "average"? Vogue and Cosmo where anyone one in a picture (man or woman) is 25 pounds underweight?

      Or airline execs who salivate at the thought of making ANYONE pay a "fat tax"

      I can see it now:

      "I'm sorry sir, you are 5'11 and 185, you are 35 pounds overweight, the surtax will be 237.54..thank you and have a nice day"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      me, 5 Nov 2004 @ 5:05am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Riiiight..more taxes...good one.
      A step in the right direction?!?!?
      Don't make me make someone else invoke godwin's law.
      Obesity is pretty personal situation...please don't say you want govt to dictate your WEIGHT?!?!?
      Maybe length of hair next(gets caught in subway doors), perhaps a dress code(short skirts giving men evil thoughts).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      J, 6 Nov 2005 @ 12:37pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      REPLY TO ANONYMOUS COWARD:

      That wouldn't work. You can't do it by weight. I mean, if you've got a 200lb 4ft9 woman - wait this is American [right?] (no effence to Americans, but the vast majority are overweight - it's just the facts people!). start again.

      Ok, lets say there is a 297lb woman who is 4ft 11" and a 297lb 6"1 muscle man and that they are both 10% over the average weight. who has to pay fat tax? you can't say yes to the woman but no to the man (she'll see it as sexist - big no-no.) because they're the same weight. you've gotta do it on body fat or something (note: BMI is useless 'cause that's just height/weight ratio and makes the muscle man clinicaly obese).


      The other issue is that the lines in airports are enormous already; creating a Fat Tax will make them even longer, meaning you're going to need to be there 3 hours before for just DOMESTIC flights (and i'm getting up and 5 in the morning for them when you have to be there and hour before; gotta love traffic).

      I'm not saying that obesity isn't a problem and well, we all hate sitting next to a really fat person on a plane, but fat tax is not the way to go folks.

      Thanks for your time... not that many of you actually read to the end of this.
      J.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        tina, 13 Jun 2008 @ 5:30am

        Re: Re: No Subject Given

        again I will say how petty your lives must be to want to complain and moan about sitting next to a fat person for a few hours, I just dont get it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 5 Nov 2004 @ 4:36am

    275 million - not that much?

    As an absolute amount, 275 million is a bunch. As a fraction of annual airline expenses, I suspect that it's down in the noise. Though, I do remember that American thought it was worthwhile to reduce the number of olives on first class salads and eliminate one of the utensils supplied with coach meals (back when there was still food on flights).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John, 5 Nov 2004 @ 5:54am

    Baggage Weight

    How about checking the total weight associated with a passenger, including carry on bags. Sure I may weigh more then someone else, but I don't have a 75+ pound carry on that makes the overhead bin groan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2004 @ 6:35am

      Charge by the pound

      Ticket cost should be based on the passenger weight (including their baggage) and the distance traveled. You (and your bags) weigh more, you pay more.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        lickmysweaty, 8 Nov 2004 @ 7:42am

        Re: Charge by the pound

        a common cause for irresponsible eating is unhappiness, do the overweight really need more reasons to be unhappy and eat more out of deppression

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        tina, 13 Jun 2008 @ 5:26am

        Re: Charge by the pound

        are you crazy, whatever happened to americans and their level of tolerance. Is it really such a big deal to spend maybe five hours of ones lifetime next to a fat person on a plane, I think theses whiners are pretty lucky if thats all thats going to cause your life so much trouble.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RJD, 5 Nov 2004 @ 6:28am

    TAX -- REFUND

    And for those of use who are a bit more streamlined than our bovine brothers, how about a refund ? I'm all for letting the fat boys/girls pay a little extra but I want some change for carrying less weight AND having to put up with the porker next to me.

    They could prorate it based on each flight. You weigh in, they collect the surcharge from Mr and Ms hefty, keep 50% to cover their 'costs' and then redistribute the remaining 50% back to the customers who are packing extra tonage underneath their clothes.

    Hey, Overweight people could become the next ostrisized group of people. We've pretty much consigned the smokers to the bowels of their own homes.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 5 Nov 2004 @ 6:35am

    No Subject Given

    275 M gallons = $350M? The real story here is that jet fuel is $1.27/gallon, while I'm paying $2.20 for 87 octane.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2004 @ 7:56am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Jet fuel is less expensive to refine than gasoline. In addition, most airlines hedge their fuel costs using forward contracts and the like.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous, 5 Nov 2004 @ 8:26am

      Re: No Subject Given

      Given that kerosene is cheaper than gasoloine...

      If you bought in million gallon lots, you'd get gas at an equivalent price.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      voodoo poptart, 5 Nov 2004 @ 11:14am

      You reversed the numbers

      It's 350m gallons = $275m which means only 79 cents a gallon. Wow.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Blue Meanie, 5 Nov 2004 @ 10:03am

    Tax weight? No, tax width!

    I'm all for taxing fat fliers, if only for the times getting stuck behind a pack of them when trying to make final boarding call has made me miss my flight. But don't punish fit folks. I'm 6' 3" and weigh 220 because I box for fun. I might cost a bit in fuel, but if anyone tries to take over a plane again I bet you'd be glad I was on board ;-)

    Also hell isn't a long flight next to a fat person, it's a long flight BEHIND a fat person. Coming back from web.builder stuck behind Marc Canter taught me that.





    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2004 @ 12:18pm

    Data is incomplete, the airlines are really ahead

    If it's true the average weight has increased by 10 lbs, then the airlines are ahead. It used to be that you could check in a bag of 70 lbs w/o paying a fee. A few years back it quietly dropped to 50 lbs. So with a single bag you're now carrying 20 lbs less. If you got 10 lbs heavier then the airline is still ahead and has no reason to complain.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Normal guy, 8 Nov 2004 @ 11:12am

      Re: Data is incomplete, the airlines are really ah

      but still if your that fat y make excuses just go on a diet its embarrassing being fat you shouldnt try to explain that the world is just fine with fat people who would you rather sit next to a fat person or a normal sized one?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jim, 5 Nov 2004 @ 2:25pm

    airlines business is

    In the cabin, the airlines are transporting people. they seem now to want to go the extra distance and reduce us to just transporting meat blobs around, and now charge us for being larger than the norm.

    they have blessed us with seats that never fit me overweight or not, and now the final insult.

    this trend is what will result as other people gradually tell everyone else how to live think and breath, and is just one of the first stabs at correcting all this bad behaviour we have

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nobody Important, 20 Oct 2006 @ 6:57pm

    Craziness

    All of this is completly crazy. if people are overweight, its definetly not the airlines fault. sure, they should accomadate ate alllllll kinds of people, but isnt it thier job to make people happy? you have to admit, even some of t he FLIGHT ATTENDENTS are overwieght! just face the facts, america is the fattest nation, and theirs nothing YOU can do about, unless you want to go talk to all the people who are helping make this nation fatter. which let me tell you, is, last time i checked, not the airlines fault.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    I AM FAT!!, 15 Dec 2007 @ 3:38pm

    I AM FAT!

    IM 490 AND IM ONLY 12 AND I CANT GO ON A PLANE BC IM TO FAT I EAT BAD FOOD ALL DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    MY MOM LOVES ME BEING HAPPY EATING FOOD ONCE I SAT IN A SCHOOL CHAIR AND ITS LEGS BROKE SO I GOT A BIG SEAT MY TEACHER SAID ITS UNHEALTHU BUT I DONT CARE I EAT MORE THEN MY MOM AND DAD FOR A WEEK SOMTIMES I DONT SLEEP AND EAT ALL NIGHT MY BF LOVES MY FAT AND JUST PLAYS WITH IT AND WE DO IT AND HE SAYS THE FAST MAKES IT GOOD AND HE IS SKINNY MY MOM AND DAD ARE SKINNY BUT THEY ARE SO HAPPY THAT I AM HAPPY WHEN I EAT SOMEPEOPLE SAY THEY CAN HELP ME LIKE MY EX-BFF
    I HAVE A NEW ONE

    ONCE I TRIED TO GO ON A PLANE BUT I COULD NOT FIT IN IT AT ALL

    I WEAR BIG PEOPLE CLOTHES AND IM ALMOST OUT OF THEM

    I LOVE TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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