Friday, 24 April 2009

Bulk of the passengers

There has been a great deal of comment recently about the Ryanair proposal, following a poll of their passengers,to charge very fat people extra for flying if they overlap their seat Unfortunately this is not turning into the public relations disaster they deserve for pandering to their passengers' prejudice. They are getting publicity and not many are criticising them.

However their ploy is doubly cynical because not only are fat people an easy target, but also, as was explained on the BBC this morning, there is a perfectly well known example of how to manage this risk sensitively. South West Airlines in the US indicate that if you think you might not fit into a seat then you should consider buying the one next to you. In the event of the plane not being full then South West refund the cost of the extra ticket.

South West's approach is ethical and compassionate and a good example of thinking about the risks from the point of view of not just the majority but also of those unfortunate not to fit the seat space. They exhibit far better risk management than Ryanair.

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