Airline speaks out as they begin weighing passengers before they board flight
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An airline will soon be asking to weigh passengers with their luggage before boarding their flights.
Air New Zealand will use this information to determine the average customer weight, which pilots need to know before takeoff.
“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals on-board, to the luggage in the hold,”
Air New Zealand Load Control Improvement Specialist Alistair James said.
“For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”
The airline will start weighing customers for international flights starting in June.
Air New Zealand added that for the survey to be effective, around 10,000 passengers would need to step on the scales, and this was a Civil Aviation Authority requirement.
The airline added not everyone will be weighed, as it will only be for passengers who volunteer.
“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,” James added.
"It's simple, it’s voluntary, and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time.”
Many airlines across the US are also considering implementing this procedure before takeoff to ensure safety on board, as the obesity rate may be outdated.
The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention says 41.9 percent of Americans are obese.
According to airline blog View From The Wing, it would be best for airlines to weigh their passengers, citing a circular advisory from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
“Regardless of the sampling method used, an operator has the option of surveying each passenger and bag abroad the aircraft and should give a passenger the right to decline to participate in any passenger or weight survey,” the blog added.
The report also said that FAA said these carriers compile this data every three years and added that a passenger's weight will remain confidential.
"Some airlines, by the way, might not do this as a statistically valid survey every three years – carriers have the option of marking down the actual weights of each passenger on every flight, either by weighing everyone or just asking their weights and then having gate agents guess if a passenger is lying," it continued.