Airline announces it will weigh passengers with carry-on luggage before boarding flights

7 February 2024, 19:49

An airline has announced it will start weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage before boarding their flight to better determine the weight of the aircraft before take off
An airline has announced it will start weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage before boarding their flight to better determine the weight of the aircraft before take off. Picture: Finnair

By Christian Oliver

An airline has announced it will start weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage before boarding their flight to better determine the weight of the aircraft before take off.

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Finnish airline Finnair started "measuring" passengers from Helsinki Airport on Monday, and will continue the scheme through the month, and then in April and May.

"More than 500 volunteer customers have participated in the weigh-ins," airline spokesperson Kaisa Tikkanen told AFP, confirming the weigh-in was on a voluntary basis.

The study is aimed at better determining the weight of the aircraft before take-off. They said flight balance calculations require airlines to know how much their aircraft weighs - including fuel, cargo, passengers, and their baggage.

Airlines can either use average weights calculated by aviation authorities or collect data of their own.

Finnair wide-body aircraft at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Vantaa, Finland
Finnair wide-body aircraft at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Vantaa, Finland. Picture: Alamy

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Finnair said the customer service agent working at the scale can see the weight of the passenger and their luggage, the airline said

Data collected by weighing the passengers was in no way part of accumulating personal data, the airline stressed.

Finnair previously carried out a similar scheme in 2017, where passengers were again invited to weigh themselves with their carry-on luggage.

The Eurovision Aviation Safety Agency's statistics, which airlines like Finnair use to calculate aircraft luggage weight, estimate the average male passenger at around 85kgs (over 13 stone) and the average female at 67kg (10.5 stone).

Passenger weights can however vary between nationalities and depending on the time of year. Men in first class also tend to weigh more than men flying in economy.

Korea's largest airline, Korean Air, announced it would also start weighing passengers flying from Gimpo and Incheon Airport in August last year. The scheme lasted only for a short period through September.

Last year, UK airline easyJet requested 19 passengers flying from Lanzarote to Liverpool disembark the flight as it was "too heavy to take off".

A spokesperson for the airline at the time said the passengers "volunteered to travel on a later flight as a result of the aircraft being over the weight limits for the weather conditions".

"This is a routine operational decision in these circumstances and weight restrictions are in place for all airlines for safety reasons."

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