How would you feel about being asked to step on a weighing scale before your flight? In a controversial move, one airline is asking passengers to weigh themselves before takeoff.
Finnair said that it will be weighing customers and their carry-on baggage at the departure gate. The reason: the voluntary program will help the airline collect data that will be used in “aircraft balance calculations.”
In a statement, Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, assured that the information will not be linked to customers’ personal data.
“Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind,” aid Munnukka.
So how does it work?
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The airline will record the passenger’s weight along with their carry-on baggage. While they do ask for background information such as the passenger’s age, gender, and travel class, they won’t ask for the passenger’s name or booking number. Weighing areas are available on select flights departing from Helsinki Airport.
Data collected will then be delivered to Traficom, the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency. The airline will then use the information for aircraft balance and loading calculations.
Finnair isn’t the first airline to announce that they’re weighing passengers.
In 2023, Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, announced that it would be temporarily weighing passengers on domestic and international flights. But like Finnair, the decision isn’t meant to be a body-shaming tactic but rather to collect and better understand plane weight data.
“Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MOLIT) has advised all Korean flag carriers to weigh passengers with their carry-on baggage to update its ‘Aircraft Weight and Balance Management Standards,’” Korean Air said in a statement to Daily Hive.
“This is crucial for [the] safety of flight operations, and Korean Air complies with this mandate and remains committed to safety, its number one priority.”
Would you participate in this voluntary program?