Senior management at Ryanair have confirmed that the price of a seat on one of their flights will soon be directly linked to the weight of the passenger buying it. The new pricing policy will come into effect next year and will apply to all Ryanair flights throughout Europe.
The airline had considered introducing the fat tax several years ago but the idea was scrapped, so why have they decided to bring it in now? We asked Public Relations Manager Dermot Gallagher.
“People are getting fatter, that’s why.” he told us. “Have you seen some of the specimens boarding flights lately? You’d wonder how the planes manage to get off the ground.”
According to the World Health Organisation obesity is spreading across the globe and is spiralling out of control. It’s clearly a worldwide problem but how does this effect the airline industry?
“The heavier the load, the more fuel a plane burns. It’s that simple.” Mister Gallagher continued. “Fuel costs money. As well as that, the matter of weight distribution on an aircraft has also become a serious issue lately. Incidents of planes leaning to one side are far more frequent these days as people continue to balloon in size. When allocating seats it’s vitally important to spread chubsters evenly around the aircraft. Airlines charge passengers by weight for their bags so why not for themselves. As we say in the aviation industry, a kilo is a kilo – it makes no difference whether it’s in your luggage or your arse.”
So how will Ryanair implement the new fat tax and how will they determine how much each passenger should pay for their seat?
“People checking in online will soon be asked for their weight when filling in their personal details.” he explained. “The heavier the passenger, the more expensive the ticket. We call it pay-as-you-weigh. All of our boarding gates will soon have weighing scales installed and passengers will have to step up onto the scales while showing their boarding pass. Anyone found to have lied while booking their ticket will not be allowed onto the plane and will have to waddle off home and book another flight.”
As expected the controversial new pricing policy has outraged many people including some civil rights groups. Militant overweight support group The Fat Panthers held a protest march down O’Connell Street in Dublin on Saturday. They had intended to march to O’Connell Bridge and hold a rally there but none of the marchers managed to make it that far.
We managed to catch a quick word with Mister Ryanair himself – the often controversial and never dull chief executive Michael O’Leary. Outspoken and direct as ever, his response certainly wasn’t what would be considered ‘politically correct’ when we asked him if he thought the new fat tax might offend some people.
“Ah offend me hole.” he replied. “The world today is full of moany gobshites looking for stuff to be offended by. They should be thanking us. This is exactly the incentive the overweight need. Hit them in their wallets and just watch how quickly they stop shoving burgers down their gobs. It is absolutely right that heavier people should pay more to fly. It’s just a shame Ryanair doesn’t operate in America. We’d make a fecking fortune.”