Air New Zealand wants passengers to step on the scale prior to boarding international flights.
As part of a month-long survey, Air New Zealand says that it is weighing passengers in order to give its pilots better information prior to takeoff. All airlines already weigh baggage, meals, and more, in order to gauge the weight and balance of their planes, and now it will be adding passenger weight on international flights through July 2.
The airline, according to the AP, is promising that the numbers will be confidential, so passengers shouldn’t worry that the rest of the passengers waiting in the gate area will be able to see. It is also voluntary, so passengers are able to opt-out if they do feel uncomfortable.
"We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold.? For customers, crew, and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey,” Air New Zealand Load Control Improvement Specialist Alastair James said.
"We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight – not even us! It's completely anonymous.”
The numbers are reportedly required by New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which governs the country’s airline industry. Airlines can either weigh passengers to get an average of each’s weight or accept the CAA’s average weight (around 190 pounds including carry-on luggage).
Air New Zealand says that the weights will help it fly more safely and efficiently. It’s not the first time Air New Zealand has undertaken this kind of survey—it did so with domestic flights just a couple of years ago.