Samoa Air has scrapped its traditional pricing structure and switched to a pay-what-you-weigh system. Under the new rules, passengers are required to enter their weight along with the weight of their baggage when booking. The combined weight will then be used to calculate the fare, and the details will be verified again at the airport to stop people from lying to get a cheaper rate. The cost will vary significantly depending on the length of the flight, but passengers will pay roughly $50 - $200 per 100lbs.
The airline told The Sydney Morning Herald that "a family of maybe two adults and a couple of mid-sized kids ... can travel at considerably less than what they were being charged before." It claims that its new system is "the fairest way of travelling," but even if other airlines adopt the strategy, the difference in price is unlikely to be as pronounced. Samoa Air's fleet is comprised almost entirely of 12-seater aircraft, which means that passengers and their baggage account for a far larger proportion of the overall takeoff weight than those flying on larger planes.