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You know your checked bag is going on the scale before being accepted, but Air New Zealand is currently making passengers weigh in before being welcomed onboard.
One Mile at a Time reported that starting yesterday and through June 2nd, Air New Zealand is weighing over 10,000 passengers as part of its international weight survey. Airlines need to calculate an average weight per passenger in order to estimate maximum takeoff weight, fuel needs, and more. This can’t just be guessed and it seems like people continue to gain weight with each passing year.
New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority requires weight surveys to be conducted once every five years to measure changes in the population. The last time Air New Zealand did a survey was 2021 for domestic flights. This international survey will provide additional needed data.
Apparently, the data is anonymized and this isn’t mandatory. Air New Zealand is asking for volunteers, but I can see many passengers shying away from being weighed in public. One thing to note is that passengers are weighed with their luggage. I guess you could always claim you packed heavy for a trip.
Air New Zealand’s Load Control Improvement Specialist, Alastair James, said:
We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold.For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey. We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight – not even us! It’s completely anonymous. It’s simple, it’s voluntary, and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time.”
This is not the first time an airline has weighed passengers. In 2016, Hawaiian Airlines conducted a survey for flights to American Samoa. The airline saw it was burning more fuel on its Honolulu to Pago Pago route as 94% of the population in American Samoa is overweight or obese. Over six months, passengers and their bags were weighed and seats were assigned at check in. This helped to distribute weight on the plane efficiently.
Anthony’s Take: Getting weighed in public doesn’t sound fun for anyone. I’ve been weighed for smaller flights on Cape Air and others in order to determine the flight’s needs. These were on planes that only sat a handful of passengers. It will be interesting to see the results and if any other airlines decide a weigh-in is necessary.
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