Finnair now weighing passengers and carry-on luggage before boarding

James Reynolds
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Finland’s national carrier Finnair has begun weighing passengers.
Finland’s national carrier Finnair has begun weighing passengers. Credit: Supplied/Finnair

An international airline has started weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage before boarding.

Finland’s national carrier Finnair has begun measuring passengers departing from Helsinki Airport to get a better estimate of their aircraft’s weight before take-off.

“So far, more than 500 volunteer customers have participated in the weigh-ins,” a spokesman for the airline said.

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Finnair, which services the UK with budget flights to and from Finland, said that airlines work out the weight of the plane, its interior and the passengers on board to balance the flight and make the journey safer.

Airlines may use average weights provided by aviation authorities – assumed to be 88kg – or collect their own data.

Finnair assured potential passengers that collected data is not linked ‘in any way’ 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,” said Satu Munnukka, Finnair’s head of ground processes.

Passengers will stand on a scale in all their clothes and with their carry-on luggage at the same time to get a combined reading, the company explained.

Communications director Paivyt Tallqvist told HuffPost that Finns tend to bring far more weight on to the plane in colder months as they come prepared with heavy coats. Of the new weighing system, she said: “This is part of having a very strong safety culture in our organisation.

“We want to see whether 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.”

Weigh-ins will take place at Helsinki Airport in February, April and May. The company added that these will be done on a voluntary basis and staff will also take a note of age, gender and class of travel.

Finnair is not the first airline to estimate flight weight by measuring passengers themselves.

In August last year, Korean Air similarly weighed passengers at Gimpo Airport and Incheon Airport, both in Seoul, for a short period through September.

And in July, an easyJet flight from Lanzarote to Liverpool asked 19 passengers to get off the jet because it was deemed ‘too heavy to take off ’.

Airlines offer compensation in these circumstances, similarly to when they oversell tickets for a flight then ask passengers to volunteer to reschedule.

In 2017, a poll by jetcost.co.uk revealed that nearly 90 per cent of Britons believed overweight passengers should pay more to fly.

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