The Samoan businessmen have filed complaints with the U.S. Transportation Department after being weighed at the airport “in the name of safety.” Along with weighing passengers at the airport, Hawaiian airlines has also stopped allowing passengers to choose their own seats. They claim that this allows them to keep control and ensure proper weight distribution around the cabin.
In order to meet the safety guidelines of the Boeing 747, airline staff were often required to redistribute the weight of its passengers. But David Haleck, one of the passengers voicing his complaint, believes this to be discriminatory as Hawaiian Airlines is only applying this process to flights in and out of American Samoa.
Hawaiian is saying that ‘yes it is a safety issue’ but, you know, weight distribution,” Haleck said, “so have we been flying unsafe for all these years?”
The rule only applies to Pago Pago, the capital city of American Samoa. A spokesperson for Hawaiian Airlines said that the procedure was carried out during a six-month survey, which has since ended, to confirm the theory that their cabin weight estimates had been incorrect. The survey allowed them to reserve specific seats for young children, and allow only a certain number of adults in each row.
The U.S. Transportation Department is investigating the complaint, but in 2013, Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to charge passengers according to their weight, paying for each kilo that they carried onto the plane combined with their weight.
Many support the airline’s decision, stating that if it made flying safer for everyone, they didn’t have a problem with it. Others find it discriminatory regardless of safety concerns. What do YOU think about this approach to airline seating?
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