Ryanair to target those carrying extra baggage

RYANAIR has decided it’s going to live off the fat of the land — by charging overweight customers an extra fee.

The new “heavy levy” for passengers, with a “spare tyre” or two, could net the airline more than €2 billion, according to figures from a Bloomberg analyst.

Finance expert Tracy Alloway said Ryanair charges €15 per kg of excess luggage. Assuming that about 25% of Ryanair’s 58.6 million passengers are overweight and are likely to be carrying at least 10kg extra, introducing the weight charge would net the airline €2.2bn a year — almost its total revenue last year.

If Ryanair was to introduce what it is calling the “fat tax” it would not be the first airline to do so.

Southwest Airlines introduced a similar policy in 1980 and United Airlines said this week its staff will ask passengers to relocate from seats and pay extra if they’re unable to lower the arm rest and tie a seatbelt.

The move by Ryanair stems from a poll conducted among passengers. According to the airline, 40% voted for excess fees for overweight passengers and 20% for a charge of €3 to smoke in a toilet cubicle.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “In the longer term we would not rule out asking overweight passengers to pay for an extra seat.”


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