South Korea's flagship airline to weigh passengers before boarding


Korean Air, South Korea’s largest airline, will be weighing passengers before boarding as part of the government’s aviation regulations.

When will they start?: The nation’s flagship airline will begin weighing passengers, including their carry-on baggage, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 6 at Gimpo Airport for domestic flights and from Sept. 8 to 19 at Incheon Airport for international flights, reported Korea JoongAng Daily.

Why is Korea weighing airline passengers?: According to Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, calculating the passenger standard weight every five years is vital to determining aircraft weight distribution and enhancing flight safety.

“Korean Air passengers will be asked to step on scales with their carried-on items at each boarding gate,” an airline official told Korea JoongAng Daily. “The data collated anonymously will be utilized for survey purposes and doesn't mean overweight passengers will need to pay more.”

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Accurate passenger weight measurements can potentially reduce fuel consumption, which could yield annual savings of up to $1 billion. In a previous survey conducted in 2017, the ministry found that the average weight for adult men during the summer season was 178.6 pounds and 152.1 pounds for women.

Online backlash: The news has caused an online backlash, with many raising concerns about passengers’ privacy. However, Korean Air noted that passengers who do not want to be weighed may communicate their decision to the boarding staff.

The airline also noted that other Korean airlines would also have to enact similar measures to supply the required data to the Korean government.

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