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Finnair Asks Passengers to Be Weighed Before Flying

Airlines simply don't know how much the total weight of each flight is, so Finnair is trying to get a more accurate estimate.
Finnair Asks Passengers to Be Weighed Before Flying
Image credit: shutterstock
Senior Editor
2 min read
This story originally appeared on PCMag

Finnair, the largest airline of Finland, is requesting that passengers getting on its flights be weighed. Before anyone starts getting upset about this, Finnair is making it clear the weighing is optional and not a precursor to charging more for heavier passengers.

For every single flight that leaves the ground, airlines can work out some but not all of the total weights. The aircraft weight is known, as is the weight of the fuel on board and the check-in luggage weight can be recorded as it passes through an airport. However, passengers are not weighed and neither are their carry-on bags.

In Europe, there is a passenger standard weight estimate provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), but it is simply an average and therefore not very accurate.

The tweet above simply translates to "The weighing of volunteer airliners started."

According to the BBC, Finnair has enticed 180 passengers into being weighed so far, but they would like at least 2,000 so they can get a realistic total weight for people on a flight. The only problem with making this voluntary is the results will be skewed, but the total should still be more accurate than the EASA standard figures.

As to why Finnair is doing this, they simply want to check how accurate existing estimates are and adjust if necessary for fuel and safety reasons.

It's quite common for passengers to get charged extra if their check-in luggage is too heavy, or be told to check a carry-on bag that is too large, but passenger size and weight is not checked. Should that change? There are strong arguments on either side of that argument and it is being tried already, albeit on a very limited scale (Samoa Air and Hawaiian Air).

It would be a very brave major airline to attempt to bring in variable pricing based on passenger weight, but if airline costs rise drastically it could happen. Would it also encourage people to lose more weight before their holidays?

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