Finnish airline Finnair requires passengers to voluntarily weigh themselves before boarding flights

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Almost everything that gets on a commercial plane is weighed — fuel, checked baggage, cargo and meals. For passengers and their cabin baggage, most airlines use average data.

But Finnish national carrier Finnair said on Friday that it began asking passengers this week to voluntarily and anonymously jump on the scales with their hand luggage at the country's main airport in Helsinki, the airline said on Friday. The goal is to get their own numbers.

“We will need data for both the winter season and the summer season — in the winter people usually wear heavier clothes, which affects the weights,” Pivette Tallqvist, a spokeswoman for Finer, told the Associated Press, adding that the survey would continue until May.

She added that passengers boarding European and long-haul flights will not be “penalized for their weight,” and “numbers will remain confidential, away from prying eyes.”

About 800 people have joined the survey so far, and those who agree to participate receive a small gift — a reflective luggage tag, Tallqvist said.

Tolkvist said airlines can either use official data from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, known as EASA, or make their own standard weight measurements. Finnair chose the latter option, but safety authorities require the survey to be renewed every five years. The last time Finnair weighed passengers was in 2018.

In June, New Zealand's national carrier also weighed passengers before boarding.

The weight figures will be sent to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency later this year and will be used to balance aircraft and loading calculations for the period from 2025 to 2030.

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“We hope to have a good sample of volunteers, whether they are business or leisure travellers, this time as well, so we can get the most accurate information possible for the important balance calculations,” Sato Monoka, Finnair's head of ground operations, said at a press conference. . statement.

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This story has been corrected to show that the name of the EU agency is the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, not the European Aviation Safety Authority.

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