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Finnair to begin WEIGHING PASSENGERS with their luggage
By Ava Grace // Feb 09, 2024

Finnish flag carrier and largest full-service legacy airline Finnair will begin weighing passengers with their carry-on luggage to better estimate the plane's weight before take-off.

Finnair said in a statement that the move would be voluntary and anonymous. The data will be used to optimize the current aircraft balance calculations and the "weighment area" will rotate around flight departure gates at the Helsinki Airport.

"We use the weighing data for the average calculations required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer's personal data," said Satu Munnukka, head of Ground Processes at Finnair. (Related: Commercial flights becoming insanely dangerous as virtue-signaling airlines hire based on diversity rather than merit.)

Finnair said the airline has seen some 600 volunteers sign up to participate, stating it is "great to see that our customers are interested in volunteering in this data collection." The Finnish flag carrier also noted that airlines need to work out the weight of the plane, its interior and passengers on board to balance the flight and make for safe transit.

Airlines may use average weights provided by aviation authorities – assumed to be 88 kg – or collect their own data, it said. Finnair assured potential passengers that collected data is not linked "in any way" to customers' personal data in their statement.

"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, head of ground processes at Finnair.

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The company said passengers would stand on a scale in all their clothes and with their carry-on luggage at the same time to get a combined reading.

It is not just bodyweight Finnair is interested in, then, but the whole package. Communications Director Paivyt Tallqvist told the outlet that Finns tend to bring a lot more weight onto the plane in colder months as they come prepared with thick, heavy coats.

"This is part of having a very strong safety culture in our organization," Tallqvist said.

"We want to see if 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 in February, April and May and are voluntary, the company said. It was not clear why they would not measure travelers in March. They will also take note of age, gender and class of travel.

Other airlines already taking passenger weight into account

Finnair is not the first airline to take the initiative and measure the weight of passengers themselves.

In August last year, Korea's largest airline, Korean Air, announced it would start weighing passengers at Gimpo Airport on domestic routes and at Incheon Airport on international flights for a short period through September.

The company said the move was aimed at reducing wasted fuel and helping more accurately estimate the weight of the plane.

A month prior, an easyJet flight from Lanzarote to Liverpool asked 19 passengers to get off the plane because it was deemed "too heavy to take off."

A spokesperson confirmed the incident in a statement, writing: "easyJet can confirm that 19 passengers on flight EZY3364 from Lanzarote to Liverpool volunteered to travel on a later flight as a result of the aircraft being over the weight limits for the weather conditions. This is a routine operational decision in these circumstances and weight restrictions are in place for all airlines for safety reasons."

The spokesperson said in the event a plane is found to be too heavy to take off, passengers are asked to volunteer to transfer to a later flight free of charge, and volunteers are provided with compensation in line with regulations.

Airlines offer similar compensation when they oversell tickets for a flight and ask some passengers to volunteer to reschedule.

In the case of the Lanzarote to Liverpool flights, passengers were offered "up to €500 per passenger," according to a crew member, citing easyJet.

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