Flights to Cairo or Dubai could be made more comfortable with the widely supported proposal of imposing a ‘fat tax’ on passengers who will not fit into a single seat.


A survey of more than 550 people has found that fewer than one in four would object to a ‘fat tax’ being imposed to charge heavier customers more for their seat.

More than three-quarters (76 per cent) of respondents supported the proposal, which could lead to extra comfort on a flight to Cairo, Dubai, or short-haul to continental Europe.

Barry Smith, director and co-founder of Skyscanner, says: “On one hand, it’s not unreasonable for airlines to charge passengers extra if they occupy more than one seat.”

He adds, however, that the argument could also be seen as supporting the claim that airlines’ seat sizes should be adjusted to accommodate passengers in comfort.

The debate about a so-called ‘fat tax’ arose following an announcement from Air France.

However, the airline stressed that it is not planning to force heavier passengers to pay for a second seat.

Rather, it is now offering a refund on second seats paid for by heavier passengers as part of its optional, discounted comfort service, if the aeroplane cabin does not become fully booked for the relevant flight.

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