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Airline Baggage Weight Credits

"You're eleven kilos over." "Fy fan."
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I was travelling with my flat mate from Copenhagen to London and he had packed a computer which he was bringing into Britain from home. This computer made his baggage eleven kilograms overweight and he had to pay through the nose in Danish kronor to the get the thing on the plane, and then once again in Pounds to get his luggage to Edinburgh. He commented that "the number of times i've travelled without luggage i should be allowed this for free." And i'm inclined to agree.

The idea is to have an account with the airline which is credit with weight each time you fly. Thus, if you go over with 18 kilos, you can come back with 22. If you travel twice without hold-luggage, then that's 40 kilos credited to your account to use later.

Of course, companies will not doubt wish to include some restrictions so that the system isn't abused, such as only being allowed to use so many weight-credits at any given time, and the expiry of weight credits after five years.

This would be good for airlines because it encourages frequent travel and customer loyalty. It is good for us since it will make the excess-weight charge less likely to happen. And we could all do with a little extra "penge" in our pocket.

[ sctld ], Jan 11 2005

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       But the point of weight restrictions is that the airline can gauge the baggage weight on any given flight. Under this scheme they would have no idea how many 'plus credit' passenegrs were going to arrive wanting to use up their credit and potentiallly have say 200 passengers all looking for 10kg excess resulting 2000kgs of unexpected weight.   

       Or am I talking out of my jet exhaust?
etherman, Jan 11 2005

       Not all passengers will be wanting excess weight. Some will be wanting to increase their weight credits.   

       Most people when travelling are under weight with their baggage. This means that the allocated total baggage weight is more than required. With this system, you'll have people saving weight and others using weight (which was assigned to those who are saving.) This means that it will pretty much even out.
[ sctld ], Jan 11 2005

       The idea of fining you for extra weight is to discourage you from taking it with you. More kilo's/pounds of luggage means more handling/lifting/stowing for the airline company which, in the end, will increase the price for flying. I agree with etherman: what happens if 80 % of the people on a flight decide to take up on their discount?   

       What strikes me as curious, in this blue dental age, is an eleven kilo heavy computer.
Susan, Jan 11 2005

       What strikes me as curious is why airlines don't charge by combined weight of passenger and baggage. The travel agent weighs you, or you nominate your weight online when booking a seat, and the ticket price is based on your mass. The price also includes 20 kg baggage allowance. If you have less than 20 kg when you check in, a credit is paid back to you, or added to your FF points.   

       This would stop the unfair subsidising of the occidental by the oriental, the overweight by the underweight, etc.
ConsulFlaminicus, Jan 11 2005

       Susan: The comptuer of mention isn't of the blue dental age. It's of the age of magnetic tape.
[ sctld ], Jan 11 2005

       I'm with <consul>. I've never understood why airlines are so anal about the weight of the baggage and don't give a toss about the weight of the passengers. I mean surely the weight of a couple of rugby teams and a collection of American tourists is going to be of more of a factor than some prehistoric PC.
etherman, Jan 11 2005

       So what about passengers. If there was a freakishly large number of large passengers, could that possibly affect the flight of a large jet? Anyone?
etherman, Jan 11 2005

       With a few exceptions, passengers supply all the effort required to get themselves onto and off the plane. I would expect that baggage-handler's union rules indicate that any parcel over a certain weight must be lifted by two people, or by people who have been specially-approved for handling heavy parcels, etc. A 90kg traveller with two 30kg parcels represents more work for the airline than a 150kg traveller with two 5kg parcels even though the total weight of the latter is greater.
supercat, Jan 11 2005

       //what happens if 80 % of the people on a flight decide to take up on their discount?//   

       Right. I think that, in order to make this idea work, passengers should phone the airline 3 days prior to flight, letting them know whether they will be taking up on their discount. In case too many people do, airlines could encourage passengers to reduce the items carried in order, and double their points for further ocasions.   

       I like this idea. [+]
Pericles, Jan 11 2005

       The idea is good. but like its been pointed out airlines would run into all kinds of problems. The ERP system would go nuts.
nomadic_wonderer, Jan 11 2005

       typical scot thinking. keep their pennies in their sporran!
po, Jan 11 2005

       ConsulFlaminicus: What you are proposing is yet another way to discriminate our fellow overweight worldcitizens. A lot of them are not overweight by choice. Also it would not solve the problem of cargo handling. What BreauBeaton said is very true. Lots of cargo means lots of calculation. Since this Cargo is in the bulk of the plane, must be stowed on pallets and tied up, the weight distribution factors in far more then that of the fixed=seated people. Think of a topheavy pallet when the plane makes a curb. If it should shift, the weight distribution would affect the flight pattern which could lead to the afforementioned disaster. People only walk about when the plane is in a straight flying line (etherman) that is why the weight of the people does not matter for the flight (and also the reason why everyone has to be seated before takeoff/landing, not to mention the possible occurance of lumps and bruises).   

       Weight does not defeat lift, but it can sure hamper it!   

       What Supercat said is also true. I believe the maximum weight a person is allowed to lift without aid is 10 kg (not sure, can check if needed)   

       This Idea could well work, if instead of being allowed extra luggage (which I am sure is never going to be favored bij airline companies) you get a discount in price credits (I think this is what ConsulFlaminicus means?).   

       Nomadic: ERP = Economic Resources Planning?   

       Sctld: figured it had to be ENIAC age ;-)
Susan, Jan 11 2005

       I like the idea in general, but I agree with supercat that the main reason for the high cost of an overweight bag is the extra difficulty in lifting it. A good compromise might be to allow people to have a 3rd checked piece of baggage when they want to use their weight credit.   

       Another problem is that around Christmas everyone will want to use up all their points hauling presents around. A good solution might be to have a policy in place during that time where overweight bags cost double credit and underweight bags earn double credit.   

       Another idea: just tack this on to the frequent flyer program. Earn miles for having light luggage, use you miles if your luggage is overweight. Of course I only suggest this because I very rarely check bags and want to earn some free flights.
scad mientist, Jan 12 2005

       sorry, this is a bad idea, no one's pointed out that you'd earn weight credits with one airline, but try and spend them with others, whereas actually the airlines would be more concerned about kg/km.

unless you intend it just as a tally for this airline, in which case they'd be a lot less useful.

[etherman] the weight is important, but much more important is the weight distribution.
neilp, Jan 12 2005


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