An airline weighs its passengers upon boarding to better assess the weight of the aircraft

An airline weighs its passengers upon boarding to better assess the weight of the aircraft

Tickets, passport and weigh-in soon? For the Finnish company Finnair, this has become a reality since Monday February 5, reports CNN. At Helsinki Airport (Finland), passengers on the company’s flights can now, on a voluntary basis, be weighed with their hand luggage.

This initiative, already taken by Air New Zealand and Korean Air on the other side of the globeallows the approximate weight on board the aircraft to be recalculated more faithfully to reality before takeoff.

Weighings are not linked to individual bookings or passenger data. “Everything is anonymous and only the staff at the gate see the weight,” Päivyt Tallqvist, first vice president, told CNN from Finnair. As of February 8, already 800 volunteer passengers had been weighed, a “positive surprise” for the airline which did not expect such a high number. They plan to weigh 1,200 passengers for the winter season, and more in the summer.

Why weigh passengers?

Before each takeoff, an airline must calculate the weight of the plane. This includes people on board, checked baggage, food on board and water tank. This also makes it possible to deduce the center of gravity of the plane. The total weight can indeed have an influence on the location of the seats, the number of passengers allowed on board and hold baggage.

Each aircraft has a maximum weight set to be authorized to take off. However, airlines have no way of knowing the exact weight of passengers and their hand luggage. In Europe, they must simply retain an average weight defined by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. “While we know the weight of all the other elements of the plane,” insists Päivyt Tallqvist.

Data collected by the company will not be linked to the passenger concerned, would like to reassure Satu Munnuka, in charge of ground checks: “We record the total weight and general information of the customer and their hand luggage, but we do not ask for the name or number reservations, for example,” he said.

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