Forget your checked luggage - this airline is weighing passengers

Forget your checked luggage - this airline is weighing passengers
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Finnair is asking for a few volunteers, not to take a later flight, but to step on a scale before boarding the plane.

The Finnish airline told CNBC that it has asked about 180 passengers to weigh in before flights from Helsinki Airport this week and it needs about 2,000 travellers to get an accurate read on passenger weights and their carry-on bags.

The study will continue through spring 2018, Finnair said, because it wants to collect data when travellers are carrying heavy winter coats and when they are travelling lighter in warmer weather. The information will be kept anonymous, the airline said.

The aim of the weigh-ins, which might be more familiar to travellers who have flown on small planes, is to update nearly decade-old data on average passenger weights as it expands its route network and needs to accurately forecast payloads and how much fuel it requires.

"We have a strong safety culture at Finnair, and are also a very data-driven organisation, so we want to ensure we have the best possible data in use in aircraft performance and loading calculations," Finnair said.

The airline said it, like other carriers, is using European Aviation Safety Agency data from 2009, which lists the standard weight, including carry-on luggage, for a male passenger at 88 kilograms (194 pounds), 70 kilograms (154 pounds) for a female passenger and 35 kilograms (77 pounds) for a child.

"Now we feel it is time to update the data, as our traffic has developed and grown a lot," Finnair said. "We have a very international customer base, as many of our customers transfer with us between Europe and Asia, and then we have our domestic traffic as well."

At least you can leave your shoes on.

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