Another airline is making headlines by asking passengers to step on the scale before boarding.
Finnair, the national carrier of Finland, has started to weigh passengers prior to their flight. Finnair is asking all those departing from its hub in Helsinki to step on a scale, with their carry-ons, for the airline to get accurate data about weights onboard.
Finnair says that the weigh-ins are strictly voluntary, that the weights will all be confidential, and that no one will be punished for how large the number on the scale is. It’s also rewarding all passengers who volunteer with a reflective, Finnair-branded luggage tag.
According to the Associated Press, the process allows Finnair to get more accurate data to properly balance aircraft, especially with passengers wearing winter clothes, which typically weigh more than other seasonal garbs.
While asking passengers to weigh before a flight as if they are prizefighters trying to make weight is sensational news, it’s somewhat standard practice now. All European airlines are required to either use official data from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, known as EASA, or do their own weigh-ins.
Finnair did the same thing in 2018 in order to get accurate weights for operations from 2020 through 2025 (the current weigh-ins will do the same for flights through 2030). Air New Zealand also made headlines by doing the same thing last June.
Just like Finnair’s numbers are required by EASA, Air New Zealand’s are required by New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), which governs the country’s airline industry. The same process is used there, too—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).