Friday 9 February 2024

Finnair starts weighing passengers along with their luggage


One airline has started weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage in order to get a better idea of the plane’s weight before takeoff. The move was announced by Finnish airline Finnair, with the company telling the media it had started “measuring” passengers departing from Helsinki on Monday.

Spokeswoman Kaisa Tikkanen said: “So far, more than 500 volunteer customers have participated in the weigh-ins.” Airlines need to work out the weight of the plane and everything on board to balance the flight and to make for safe transit.

The airline promised that any data collected is not linked “in any way” to customers’ personal data. Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, said: “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.”

Often, average weights are provided by aviation authorities or the airlines may collect their own data. Finnair will record the weight of the passenger and their hand luggage as one number, with the weigh-ins set to continue until May.

The airline will then send the results to the Finnish transport and communications agency, Traficom, where they will be used for aircraft balance and loading calculations from next year until 2030.

The move has sparked anger from some on social media though, with some saying they would not use the airline as a result.

One person wrote: “I will not be travelling via Finnair as I won’t be fat shamed by a bloody airline. Am I alone?”

Another said: “Finnair are to start weighing their passengers? Have I read that correctly? I am utterly shocked! And disgusted.”

A third commented: “Finnair’s weigh in rules are not about passenger safety. No airplane has ever crashed because of overweight passengers. This is draconian law and nanny state.”

But Finnair’s communications director, Päivyt Tallqvist, has assured people the measures are purely for safety purposes. She told reporters “This is part of having a very strong safety culture in our organization.

“We want to see if the data we’re using for calculations is accurate. We use them for every flight, and they’re important for the aircraft’s performance.

“When you explain this to passengers, they understand.”

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