Finland Weighting Passengers
FILE - Passenger planes of the Finnish national airline company Finnair stand on the tarmac at Helsinki international airport, Helsinki on Nov. 16, 2009. Finnish national carrier is asking aircraft passengers and their hand luggage to voluntarily hop on a scale to update the standard weights. The anonymous weighing of passengers takes place before boarding onto European and long-haul flights at departure gates at the Helsinki airport.(Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva via AP, File)
travel

Finnair asking passengers to voluntarily weigh themselves before boarding flights

18 Comments

Almost everything that gets onto a commercial plane — fuel, checked-in baggage, cargo and meals — is weighed. For passengers and their cabin bags, most airlines use average data.

But Finland's national carrier Finnair said Friday that it started asking passengers this week voluntarily and anonymously hop onto a scale with their hand luggage at the country's main airport in Helsinki, the airline said Friday. The aim is to get their own figures.

“We will need data for both winter season and for summer season — in winter season people typically have heavier clothing, which impacts weights,” Finnair spokeswoman Päivyt Tallqvist told The Associated Press, adding that the survey would last until May.

Passengers boarding onto European and long-haul flights won't be “penalized for their weight,” and “the numbers are kept discreet, away from prying eyes,” she added.

So far, about 800 people have joined the survey, and those who agree to take part receive a small gift — a reflective baggage tag, Tallqvist said.

Airlines can either use official data by the European Aviation Safety Authority or do their own standard weights measurements, Tallqvist said. Finnair has chosen the latter, but safety authorities require that the survey is renewed every five years. The last time Finnair weighed passengers was in 2018.

In June, New Zealand’s national airline also weighed passengers before boarding.

The weight figures will be sent to the Finnish transport and communications agency later this year and will be used for balancing aircraft and loading calculations for the period running from 2025 until 2030.

“We hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travelers, also this time, so that we can get the most accurate information possible for important balance calculations,” Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, said in a statement.

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18 Comments
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They charge luggage by weight so why not passengers? An extra fee for those over a certain weight and a discount for those under.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Oh no! you mean I need to cut back on those raindeer sausages before I fly to avoid public humiliation on the scale?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's quite normal procedure on light aircraft,so why not?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

YES!!!!

This is great news! Although currently voluntary, it's a good step towards being mandatory.

There's no reason to make it public. Just get on the scale with your bags and only you and the clerk know the total - not what you weigh, just what you plus your bags weigh. Set prices for weight and boom! equality!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

can you imagine that in N. America?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

they wight your luggage right?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

can you imagine that in N. America?

Bruh.. I DREAM of it happening in America!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I've always felt that each passenger should have a weight-allowed quota for a combination of body weight and luggage. Anything over it, you pay extra. It's the only fair way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hilarious comments. If this is the future, squeeze’em dry, loss of freedom to be yourself, eat bugs, and big brother in your living room, oh and fat people should pay more, we’re doomed. Life is supposed to get better and more free as we go, not the opposite.

If we do ever find a way to cheaply power our modern world, no way these Authoritarian rules get rolled back. Idiocracy in action.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Paying more by weight?

So if you are very tall and your healthy body weight is is around 90kg you pay more than a short obese person weighing in at 85kg? How about over-muscled insecure tossers? I have a 6-foot mate naturally built like an English bulldog.

Seems a bit complicated.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

So if you are very tall and your healthy body weight is is around 90kg you pay more than a short obese person weighing in at 85kg? How about over-muscled insecure tossers? I have a 6-foot mate naturally built like an English bulldog.

What does it matter how well you take care of your body? It's not a reward or punishment. It's a matter of "what does it cost to carry you and your stuff around?".

There's nothing particularly complicated about it.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There's nothing particularly complicated about it

Not complicated but perhaps problematic.

It’s just that I’m sure some very tall people of naturally average build and therefore weighing above average weight may feel they are being unfairly penalized.

They would have a decent case. You are discriminating against someone for something they would be ill-advised to change.

Starving themselves to an unhealthy level isn’t really a solution.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Passengers boarding onto European and long-haul flights won't be “penalized for their weight,”

It makes sense to accurately weigh the cargo. They do this on modern roller coasters without even asking you.

That said, the sweating chubby fellow spilling on to me with bingo wings should pay more, obviously.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Fizzbit

It's not about penalizing people for being fat. It's about calculating total weight on the aircraft, to allow for safe flights.

That said, at some point you have to accept that insisting on one's "freedom" to be obese is a denial of another person's freedom to enjoy a comfortable flight, if the two are seated next to each other. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. For example, anyone over a certain weight, for example something like 180-200 kilograms (seriously obese, no matter what the height), ought to pay for (and occupy) two seats (in economy class).

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not complicated but perhaps problematic.

It’s just that I’m sure some very tall people of naturally average build and therefore weighing above average weight may feel they are being unfairly penalized.

They would have a decent case. You are discriminating against someone for something they would be ill-advised to change.

Starving themselves to an unhealthy level isn’t really a solution.

Obviously, I disagree. Such a person has to pay the same postage to send a 1 kilo package from L.A. to NYC. It's reasonable to ask them to do the same when what they are "sending" is themself.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

How about over-muscled insecure tossers?

lots to unpack in this curious statement.

As someone who hits the gym regularly and is quite muscle-y (my stunning wife and workout partner, as well), does this automatically make me an "insecure tosser"?

Is a flabby, pasty-white "bloke" whose only workout involves filling his piehole with "crisps" (British slang for crispy french fries) - then less likely to be an "insecure tosser"?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

That said, at some point you have to accept that insisting on one's "freedom" to be obese is a denial of another person's freedom to enjoy a comfortable flight, if the two are seated next to each other. A line needs to be drawn somewhere. For example, anyone over a certain weight, for example something like 180-200 kilograms (seriously obese, no matter what the height), ought to pay for (and occupy) two seats (in economy class).

Dr Maybe - you could always attempt what I successfully did a few years back after a 12-hour flight sitting next to one of these behemoths; write a stern, yet polite letter to the airline that since at least 25% of my seat was unusable, I should be refunded 25% of my airfare.

Which they did!

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Dr Maybe - you could always attempt what I successfully did a few years back after a 12-hour flight sitting next to one of these behemoths; write a stern, yet polite letter to the airline that since at least 25% of my seat was unusable, I should be refunded 25% of my airfare.

Which they did!

Ridiculous. You were not able to fully enjoy your seat. You should have asked for a full refund.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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