Finnair: Airline announces it will now weigh passengers before they board flights - as well as carry-on luggage

Finnair has begun weighing passengers before they board flights to get a more precise sense of how much weight people add to cabins
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Finland-based airline Finnair has begun asking customers to provide information about their body weight before they board flights. The airline said it's collecting the data anonymously from volunteers - and emphasised the fact that passengers are not required to step on scales to fly with the airline. 

The airline added that those who do step on the scales will not have their weights shown publicly, only the customer service agent can view the number. Airlines typically calculate total passenger loads based on averages to make sure aircraft loads don't exceed the plane's maximum weight limit. But Finnair wants a more precise sense of how much weight passengers add to cabins. 

The airline said in a statement: "We're collecting anonymous data from volunteers on the average weight of customers and their carry-on baggage at Helsinki Airport in February, April and May. The data will be used for aircraft balance calculations.

The airline added that it is hoping for "a good sample of volunteers” and the data it collects "will be used for future aircraft balance calculations. Airlines collect exact weight measurements for everything else on their planes, including fuel, meal and baggage but the weights of customers and their personal belongings are typically tallied using average weights.

Finnair has begun weighing passengers before they board flights to get a more precise sense of how much weight people add to cabins. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)Finnair has begun weighing passengers before they board flights to get a more precise sense of how much weight people add to cabins. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Finnair has begun weighing passengers before they board flights to get a more precise sense of how much weight people add to cabins. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)

Airlines have the option of using standard weights, defined by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), or relying on their own measurements, which must be confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority. Airlines that use their own measurements must update their data every five years. 

Finnair last surveyed customers for their weights in 2018 and said it is “now time to collect updated data”. Passengers' weights are kept confidential and are "not linked in any way to the customer's personal data," Finnair head of ground processes Satu Munnukka said in a statement. 

Munnukka added: "We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example. 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”. Passengers on long-haul European flights will have the opportunity to participate in the survey, should they choose to do so. 

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