Hawaiian Airlines has drawn complaints following a new passenger weight policy.
Two American Samoan business men have filed complaints with the United States transport regulator after they were weighed before boarding a flight from American Samoa to Honolulu.
Hawaiian Airlines introduced its new policy of weighing passengers at check-in so that seats can be allocated to manage weight across the cabin.
However, one of the businessmen at the centre of the complaint, Avamua Dave Haleck, says the new rule is discriminatory as it only applies to flights going to American Samoa.
He said he would understand if it was a safety issue, but asked: “So have we been flying unsafe for all these years?”
The airline operates several Boeing 767-300 aircraft, which have a seating capacity of 269 and a range of 11,090km (6,890 miles) – comfortably more than twice the distance of 4,176km (2,595 miles) between the two airports.
American Samoa has one of the highest obesity rates in the world.
However, Hawaiian Airlines’ decision may be driven by the fact that American Samoa has one of the highest obesity rates in the world. The high rates have been attributed to much of the population possessing a gene that increases the risk of obesity.
The company claimed their system was fairer than simply charging per seat, and that many families with small children were benefiting from the scheme.
Passengers input their weight into the airline’s online booking section.
Rates start from around 70p a kilogram for the total weight of the traveller and their baggage for the shortest domestic route.
The price goes up to around £2.75 per kilogram for the longer route from Samoa to American Samoa.
The US Transportation Department is currently investigating Mr Haleck’s complaint.