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Airline Charging Discriminates Against Men

Filed under: Gender Politics,General — Ministry of Men's Affairs @ 9:55 am Thu 4th April 2013


Heavy Discrimination Against Men

Community group the Ministry of Men’s Affairs has expressed concern that Samoa Air’s policy of charging according to passengers’ weight will heavily discriminate against men.

Spokesman Hans Laven said ‘Through no fault of their own men are on average taller and heavier than women so men will be subsidizing air travel for women.’

‘This policy is as discriminatory as any sexism or racism’ claimed Laven. ‘The only fair approach would be to charge for any weight above an average range of body mass index (BMI) for each passenger, that is, an average range of weight for each height and gender.’

Laven bemoaned the fact that the anti-male gender implications of the airline’s policy had not been raised by other commentators. ‘The only gender concern I have seen is about pregnant women and how unfair it would be to make them pay more.’

‘Our society seems to have become so femi-centric that we are largely blind to unfairness and exploitation regarding men, and this highlights the importance of a Ministry of Men’s Affairs.’

‘The Ministry of Men’s Affairs would support an additional weight allowance for pregnant women. However, we cannot tolerate discrimination against men on the basis of their biology.’

A Community Group because successive governments have failed to protect the welfare of New Zealand men

PO Box 13130
Tauranga 3141
[email protected]

Contact: Hans Laven (07)5712435 or (0274)799745
or Kerry Bevin (09)4247762


  1. As a man, i consider that this must rank as the most ridiculous pro male argument I have ever seen! This truly does no favours to mens interests but rather makes us out to be pathetic individuals who want our cake and be able to eat it while also denigrating the pro female bias that most correspondents (Hans particularly) regularly complain about!

    Putting it simply, the more weight an aircraft carries the more fuel it requires thereby increasing related operating costs. And since excess baggage is charged out at a fixed rate for all passengers, irrespective of gender, adopting a passenger weight based regime makes sense and further extends the ‘user pays’ philosophy that underpins the NZ economy! Since it costs more to carry a 160kg person than a 69 kg person the lighter one effectively subsidises the other! It should also be borne in mind that such a charge would then be able to satisfy the misogynists on this site since they could agitate for a weight based charge to be applied to pregnant females too and mothers carrying babes in arms!!!
    I must ‘fess up and say that I am of small stature and very lightweight so I am biased, of course. But even if I was one of those caught in Hans’s definition I would still support the initiative.

    Comment by Its all B....s"! — Thu 4th April 2013 @ 2:03 pm

  2. Oh well, thanks for your kind comments; it’s good to feel valued for one’s efforts.

    The fact remains that the policy will see men pay considerably more on average than women for air travel simply due to their biological nature. That is no more acceptable than, for example, paying employees on the basis of their measured strength. The gender implication of that would be that women are paid less on average than men in the same roles, and you can be sure that women would complain about that. Similarly I believe it’s fair enough for men to point out the gender implication of the airline policy, and I do find it interesting that nobody in the debate so far has done so.

    The gender implication of the policy has nothing to do with “those caught in Hans’ definition”. Of course there will be women heavier than some men and there will be particularly lightweight people such as yourself, but on average men will be paying more than women for the air travel. Using a system of charging for weight greater than an average range of BMI would be fairer, and that same system could also allow fare reductions for those below the average BMI range.

    You are entitled to your opinion that it’s ok to run a policy that will necessarily charge men more on average due to their biology but I don’t happen to agree with you. However I will show the respect to refrain from calling your opinion the most ridiculous I have ever heard.

    Under your reasoning we might also tax people on the basis of the demands they place on the health system; that would see pensioners paying several times the rate of tax that younger people pay. I don’t think I would support that and I don’t necessarily support all other examples of the ‘user pays’ trend that you (erroneously) claim “underpins the NZ economy”.

    Also, I’m not sure what you meant by satisfying “the misogynists on this site”. I’m not aware there are any, so would you care to identify them? I would expect the airline policy to be doing exactly what you say, charging pregnant women more because of their weight and there is no need for anyone to “agitate” for this. You don’t seem to have thought through the issue. Certainly, if an exception to the weight-based charge were made for pregnant women but not for the biological inheritance of men, that would be sexist.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Thu 4th April 2013 @ 3:05 pm

  3. If the airline goes ahead with this stupid bit of misandric policy, then on the same rationale of user pays for weight of passengers they should charge Tongans more than Indonesians who are much lighter. Likewise they should charge about twice as much for basketball players as they do for jockeys.
    They should also give discounts to midgets and amputees.
    They should charge extra for Americans than for Japanese. etc etc.
    And how long does anyone seriously think such a stupid bigoted racist airline should and would stay in business?

    Comment by Skeptic — Thu 4th April 2013 @ 5:49 pm

  4. actually, this policy may not be such a bad idea. Think about the size of some of those femi-nazi out there …

    Comment by black pete — Thu 4th April 2013 @ 6:51 pm

  5. Its,

    Get real, this policy is plain dumb.

    I’m not a midget and being tall already find plane seats uncomfortable as there is absolutely no room to sit comfortably with long legs.

    Airlines have created this problem by adding extra seats to maximise profit and minimise space.

    I note that airlines are not going to provide more roomy seats, just charge more.No improvement in service, just a cash grab.Fuel usage is a specious argument, its already budgeted for as a fixed operating cost. Using your logic if there was a headwind using more fuel even midgets should be charged more!

    Hans, agree or disagree, your maths adds up! Statistically men are bigger and will be most impacted by this. Your work is appreciated.


    Comment by Scrap_The_CSA — Thu 4th April 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  6. I flew Singapore Airlines on one occasion from Perth to Singapore and I sure as hell knew I was on an Asian plane – the seats must have been made by one of their local industries because they weren’t built for Europeans and I am not what you would call anything other than normal build. Where this issue has arisen is in the pacific islands where they have some very large people and many small planes and on that basis, I can understand the weight issue. When it comes to mainstream airlines, the law of averages applies. There are men and women and big people and small people. It is a silly argument that has been picked up by the media, even the BBC. I wouldn’t fly Singapore Airlines again because they put silly little seats in their planes and I wouldn’t fly on an airline charging by weight either. I don’t think it will catch on but if I take a local flight in Samoa, I’ll take the discount.

    Comment by Down Under — Fri 5th April 2013 @ 8:46 am

  7. I don’t agree with the idea that Samoa Air is targeting men with this policy. Traditionally the Samoan ladies are a damn site bigger that their men folk. Its also a bonus with taking children. No more paying per seat but by weight. I wish our local airlines would charge this way!!!!! Taking the kids on holiday would be cheaper than taking the car.

    Comment by roo — Fri 5th April 2013 @ 6:24 pm

  8. Hans. What happened to my expansive reply to yours responding to mine? EDon’t know if I can be bothered to put it all together again but while I cogitate on that I would like to say:

    Scrap…. I worked in the aviation industry for many years in UK including places like Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and all other Category and Category B airports and was intimately involved with ALL airlines’ moving in and out of the country: I have a modicum of knowledge on the matter much of which was gained from standing alongside Despatchers as they calculated weight ratios of checked in baggage, averaged weight allowances per passenger, and for carry on baggage plus legal requirements for additional fuel to facilitate emergency diversion to an airport nearest to original desitnation. On that basis I stand by my “specious” views! But if you have greater first hand operational knowledge that outweighs all of that then I unreservedly bow to your greater experience you!

    Skeptic….really? Your comments defy belief! They don’t even merit a response they are so pathetic!

    Comment by Its all B...s — Sat 6th April 2013 @ 8:03 pm

  9. It’s all B….s.
    Yes really.
    Don’t believe me – that’s fine.
    I look forward with others to boycotting bigoted airlines which charge men more than women.
    Users pay……or go elsewhere.

    Comment by Skeptic — Sat 6th April 2013 @ 11:17 pm

  10. Skeptic… like anyone else you are free to make whatever value choices you want. Only you are affected by them, of course. Its not a matter of whether I “believe” you or not (though what I am expected to “believe” mystifies me!!!!). There is no ‘logic’ in what you propound! I don’t believe that the airline concerned decided at the outset to discriminate against men… but rather it was simply a pragmatic and commercial decision, one they are quite entitled to make. If other men, and you, feel aggrieved about the policy then don’t use the airline, make alternative travel arrangements!!! Get a life…….

    Comment by Its all B...s — Sun 7th April 2013 @ 12:00 am

  11. I flew on an Island hopper flight a few years ago. Before boarding I along with my baggage were weighed! It was to ensure the aircraft was not overloaded. When you consider we flew for over an hour over the paific aiming fo what was little more than a pin prick on a map! Thanks the ocean looked awful big! I’ll co-operate with anything to get there.

    The end goal was well worth it though!

    Comment by Gwahir — Sun 7th April 2013 @ 8:02 am

  12. It’s all b…s (#8): I have no idea what happened to your previous reply.

    I still favour the option of charging people for extra weight over an average range of BMI. This would achieve much of what the airline seeks regarding load management whilst avoiding unintended gender discrimination.

    Nobody here as far as I can make out has suggested the airline set out to discriminate against men. But the effect of their policy will be discriminatory against men on average, and it’s important that this gender implication is highlighted.

    Your ‘argumentum ad hominem’ does no credit to your debate. Personally, I am sick and tired of this form of argument and of the disrespectful attacks by some participants here on others’ efforts and contributions. Referring to others’ opinions as “the most ridiculous”, “pathetic”, defying belief, not meriting a response, having “no logic” and telling other commenters to “get a life” all add nothing of merit to the discussion and only denigrate others from an implied but unjustified position of superior intelligence.

    Comment by Hans Laven — Sun 7th April 2013 @ 10:22 am

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