Airline Finnair weighing passengers at departure gates for data collection

February 8, 2024
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You may want to pass on the cheeseburger and fries before boarding your flight if you’re flying Finnair out of Finland. The airline is weighing passengers… voluntarily… and their carry-on luggage for three months departing Helsinki Airport.

The process is anonymous. Only the age, gender and travel class of the person will be recorded in their database.

“We do not ask for the name or booking number,” Satu Mannukka, Head of Ground Processes, said in a press release. “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 Finnair weighing area will rotate between short Schengen area flights and longer-haul ones in February and April-May to gather seasonal results. 

The average weights calculated from the data will be checked by the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency later this summer. The airline will then use those numbers for aircraft balance and loading calculations between 2025-2030. 

Each aircraft has a set maximum weight to ensure safe take-off, according to Finnair. While the airline knows the weight of standard items, such as the plane, fuel and onboard catering, the weight of customers and their carry-on bags are approximated using data. 

The airline has been using their own average weights measurement from data collected in 2018. Aviation authorities require the figures to be updated every five years. 

“In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing,” Mannukka said. “We hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travelers, also this time so that we can get the most accurate information possible.”

Finnair did not immediately respond to an NBC News request for additional comment.



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