The American based carrier, Hawaiian Airlines has won a controversial court case, where it has the right to weigh passengers before they board and to assign certain seats on their planes, according to weigh distribution.
The company bought about the changes, after an internal study found that flights between Hawaii’s biggest city and Capital, Honolulu and Pago Pago, American Samoa – consumed more fuel than their general flights, because the travelers and their luggage on these flights weighed more than 14kg, than the norm.
The airline then decided to spread passengers around their planes, in a effort to evenly distribute weight around the planes and thus not give passengers the option to choose seats of their choice.
Many people who are of Samoan descent and who constitute the majority of passengers on the flight, complained about Hawaiian Airlines changes, stating that the rules were discriminatory. American Samoa is known to have the highest rate of adult obesity in the world.
Six complaints were filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation calling the policy discriminatory because it only applies to the flight between Honolulu and American Samoa. The complaints were denied, according to a transportation department spokesperson, who told the AP the policy is, “not on its face discriminatory.”
According to the airline, weight surveys on other flight routes did not find any evidence of excess weight.