July 8th, 2013
I’ve always found this to be an interesting story and I’ve heard this being discussed for years now. I’ll post a link to the CNN article I read at the bottom of this post.
Here is the basic idea: The fuel (gas) costs for airplanes is HUGE. Doing anything to save fuel costs is a very important business idea for any airline company. The problem is that this can be a very sensitive issue. We all know that it costs more money (a lot more) to fly with very expensive luggage. But what about if you are fat yourself? It’s not very easy for the airlines to say, “sorry sir, you are too fat. We need to charge you extra money to pay for the extra fuel required to fly your fat ass all over the world”.
I even remember a debate from years ago about charging super fat people double price. This idea was not because of the fuel price, but because some people were so fat that they literally needed to sit on 2 seats. We all know that airplane seats aren’t very big in economy class, and it’s easy to imagine that its absolutely impossible to put 3 super super fat people side by side in 3 seats. (If you don’t believe that there are many people who are really that fat, then, well, I guess you’ve never been to the USA!)
Anyway, this topic is about any extra weight on a plane costing the airlines money. Due to “political correctness” and an overly sensitive world (especially in the West) it’s impossible to charge passengers based on their body weight.
One Indian airline company recently had an interesting idea. They announced that they are going to hire mostly petite (small) female staff. A lot of airlines do this anyway, but they are making it a policy (rule) and their reason is that it will save them money on fuel costs. I think it’s obvious that most airlines want to hire attractive young female flight attendants for other reasons, like for all the male passengers who love staring at them (even though men don’t easily admit this). It’s good for almost any business to have attractive females deal with the customers. But it’s not easy to just say “we are only going to hire attractive women”.
Anyway, the Indian airline gets to have the “best of both worlds”. The way they are selling this idea to the public is they are saying that they want small females because it saves them “gas money”. Apparently, just hiring mostly small women will save the company $500 000 USD per year in fuel costs. That is a lot of money, AND it’s better for the environment.
I know what a lot of “western people” think about this topic, and I’m interested in your international opinion. Please share your comments as usual in the comments section below.
1. Do you think it’s ok for airline companies to start charging heavy people more money to fly? Why or why not?
2. Do you think people in the west are “overly sensitive” about these things?
3. Do you think it’s ok to hire only small females for this job? Is it fair? Why or why not?
There are really no right or wrong answers, all of this stuff is just personal opinion to get you guys talking and practising English. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.
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Here was the original article from CNN.
Can’t wait to read your thoughts!
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