Finnair not weighing all its passengers

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“And we will not be weighing in the future either,” airline says

Media have been filled over the last week with stories about Finnair wanting to weigh all of its customers before allowing them to board. But it is not in fact the case that you’ll have to step on the scales if you fly Finnair.

“We’re not weighing all passengers and will not be weighing in the future either,” Finnair spokesperson Manti Väätäinen-Pereira tells the business magazine Fast Company.

Finnair was preparing a one-off study to help make the airline safer, the airline said, asking for volunteer passengers to take part, and weighing them together with their carry-on baggage. This can help to see if it has accurate data on passenger standard weights and find out the overall cargo load.

Like many airlines, Finnair uses European Aviation Safety Agency standard weight averages dating from 2009 for men (88kg), women (70kg) and children (35kg), figures that include carry-on luggage.

But because people flying to Finland tend to carry either a lot of clothing in winter or very little in summer, the Finnish carrier decided to collect its own data from its own flights.

Anonymous volunteers
Having more accurate overall weight data can improve loading as well as flight performance in terms of mileage, which can mean safer flights, Finnair claims. It weighed around 180 volunteers anonymously in a private area of Helsinki Airport.

“The feedback has been positive and customers have understood the importance of the data collection,” said Väätäinen-Pereira.

It is now using that data to see how many more customers need to be weighed to get statistically accurate data – probably around 2,000 volunteers in total, from flight this winter and next spring.

Several airlines have courted controversy before for weighing passengers, most recently Hawaiian Airlines.

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