Airline to start weighing passengers voluntarily ahead of takeoff

Finnair will start asking passengers to voluntarily weigh themselves and their carry-on baggage before takeoff in order to collect aircraft cargo data, the airline announced Monday.

The airline said passengers’ volunteered weight information will be anonymous and used to “optimise Finnair’s current aircraft balance calculations.”

The process is being employed to update weight averages last calculated in 2018. Estimating the weight of the passenger and cargo load is important to maintain aircraft balance and flight stability, the airline said.

Finnair collects its own measurements to determine passenger weight averages, and its figures must be updated every five years, according to aviation law.

“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,” Finnair ground processes lead Satu Munnukka said in a statement.

“We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example,” Munnukka continued. “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.”

The data will be collected starting this month through May, before being signed off by Finnish authorities and put into use for aircraft balance calculations starting next year.

“In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing, and we hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travellers, also this time, so that we can get the most accurate information possible for important balance calculations,” Munnukka added.

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