BERLIN (Reuters) – A German hotel owner who charges guests according to their weight defended himself Thursday against accusations he was discriminating against fat people.
Juergen Heckrodt said the 50 cents ($0.64 cent) per kg rate he charges for his Hotel Ostfriesland is competitive for local three-star hotels and added there is a 74-euro ($94) limit for a double room for those who refuse to get on the scale.
“It’s not discrimination at all,” Heckrodt told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper. “First of all, there’s the upper limit. And besides that I don’t force anyone onto the scale. Nevertheless, no one has yet to say ‘no, forget that’.”
He said that some guests strip down to try to save money. The single-room maximum fee is 39 euros — or 78 kg (172 pounds). Heckrodt got letters complaining he was discriminating against fat people from people who read about his hotel in German newspapers.
“Sometimes men strip down when checking but women usually don’t go that far,” Heckrodt said. “One man stripped all the way down to his underwear to try to push the price down.”
Heckrodt, 49, got the idea to charge by the kg from one guest who had gained weight every year. He told her jokingly he would soon start charging her an extra fee for being so heavy. A year later, she had lost 35 kg (77 pounds) and asked for a discount.
“It seemed like a reasonable demand,” he said.