What’s next, paying by the pound?

Now that Spirit Airlines has done the unthinkable, announcing plans to begin charging for carry-on bags this summer — that’s right, carry-on bags — the question everyone seems to be asking is: What’s next?

Pay toilets? Too late. Ryanair, the irreverent Irish discount carrier, is reportedly considering the concept. No, the next big idea could be paying by the pound. Seriously.

Airlines have always had a strained relationship with passengers of size, at least the ones in economy class. Fitting into a 17-inch wide seat is a squeeze for the average American, and it’s becoming even more of one as the population expands. A Gallup poll found that the average American weighed 13 more pounds in 2007 than in 1990.
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