FinnairEuropean airline weighs its passengers before departure
It’s not just your suitcase that’s weighed at Helsinki airport: the Finnish airline Finnair has already started weighing its passengers before they take off.
It is common for airlines to put your checked baggage on the scales before departure – this ensures that the weight is evenly distributed on the plane and (hence the surcharge for excess baggage) that no more kerosene is used on the route than charged. Airlines from Korea and New Zealand have started weighing their passengers for the same reasons. Finnair is now the first European airline to follow suit.
A first run will run until the end of February, and the second measurement will take place at the airport in Finland from April to May. Passengers can have their weight and that of their hand luggage recorded voluntarily and anonymously. You will be asked about your age, gender and the travel class you have booked. But Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, says: “For example, we don’t ask for the booking number. The data collected is in no way linked to our customers’ personal information.”
That’s why we weigh it
That doesn’t have to be the case. The airline uses the data collected to determine the average weight of its guests. This is intended to prevent aircraft from being overloaded. Finnair says it waives the standard weight information set by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA), but has to update its self-determined data every five years. This last happened between 2017 and 2018. So the next measurement follows now.
Will Swiss airlines soon also weigh their passengers?
Would a similar procedure also be conceivable in Switzerland? It doesn’t look like it. Swiss spokesman Michael Pelzer told the daily newspaper “Blick”: “Weighing passengers is not an issue for us.” Instead, they rely on the EASA data mentioned above: “We continually check this data against the flight data we collect ourselves, such as effective fuel consumption, and can therefore confirm EASA’s specifications.”