Australia Proposes “Tubby Tax” for Obese Travelers
“Pay extra or leave your fat behind on terra firma.”
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That could be a new airline rule in the near future if a proposal by Australian health experts passes into law. The proposal intends to charge obese passengers an additional tax for every extra kilo they weigh. According to Dr. John Tickell who’s heading the Australian committee behind the proposal: carrying a whole load of heavy weight cargo costs airlines fuel, and if you’re the one bringing all the additional weight on board it’s only fair that you should pay for it.
The sentiment is cynically practical, but you can expect discrimination charges to begin flying around faster than you can say “Jenny Craig.” In actuality, it’s a polite way of telling hefty passengers, “No fatties, please — at least not for free!” Any attempt to set a prescribed weight limit for flying is liable to open up a legal can of worms.
It begs the question of how skinnier travelers will respond to such rules if they are implemented. Would a size zero swizzle stick guarantee free extra baggage? After all, someone like Posh Beckham – who probably folds up neatly enough to fit in the overhead compartment – would fall below any prescribed weight limit by at least a couple of dozen pounds. Would she receive an extra baggage allowance to balance out the weight ratio? Or would two super skinny people be allowed to share the same seat, thus saving on the fare?
And what of people who owe their obesity to health conditions like a thyroid disorder or tall people who have nothing but their genes to blame for any additional weight? Should they be made to pay for extra body mass? So many questions …
Already those who will be affected most by any “tubby tax” are vehemently opposing the proposal saying airlines should introduce a few extra large seats to accommodate obese passengers, instead of taxing them for their weight.