This Airline Is Weighing Passengers Before They Board — Here's Why

The new measure is a part of a safety survey.

<p>Courtesy of Air New Zealand</p>

Courtesy of Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand will weigh thousands of passengers on international flights this month as part of a safety survey.

The airline told Travel + Leisure it will seek to weigh more than 10,000 customers as part of the survey, which it said is a Civil Aviation Authority requirement and “essential to the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft.” The survey will be conducted on international flights only and is a follow up to a similar survey in 2021 when Air New Zealand weighed passengers on its domestic flights.

“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold,” Alastair James, Air New Zealand load control improvement specialist, said in a statement shared with T+L. “​For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”

As part of the survey, which is voluntary, Air New Zealand will not visibly display the weight of any passenger. The weight checks will take place at the entrance to the gate lounge of certain Air New Zealand flights departing from Auckland International Airport through July 2.

“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting,” James said, adding “No one can see your weight – not even us! It’s completely anonymous… and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time.”

Weight and balance on an aircraft is important, and the lighter an aircraft is, “the less work the engines have to do, the less fuel it uses, and the farther it can fly,” according to the National Air and Space Museum. Distance is especially important for Air New Zealand, which launched one of the world’s longest ultra-long haul flights last year from New York to Auckland.

The airline is also looking to make its flights more comfortable by adding its innovative Skynest bunk bed concept on flights from Auckland to both New York and Chicago. In addition, economy passengers can book an Economy Skycouch, which turns a row of seats into a makeshift bed, and Air New Zealand introduced a new “Economy Stretch” cabin class earlier this year featuring 39 percent more legroom for a total seat pitch of 35 inches.

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