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Airline Will Start Weighing Passengers In Addition To Luggage To Calculate ‘Flight Balance’

Finland’s airline is introducing voluntary passenger weighing to enhance flight safety amid the global obesity surge.

| Image: Getty image
Finnair Photo: | Image: Getty image
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Finnair, Finland's leading airline, has unveiled a new initiative to weigh passengers alongside their luggage, aiming to enhance flight safety through improved balance calculations. This move, set to be implemented on a voluntary basis until May, is part of Finnair's strategy to optimize aircraft balance and ensure compliance with maximum weight limits.

According to Finnair's statement, the airline will collect data by weighing willing customers and their carry-on baggage at the departure gate. Emphasizing that the process is voluntary and anonymous, Finnair assures passengers that the collected data will solely be utilized for optimizing current aircraft balance calculations, with no utilization of personal information.

Satu Munnukka, head of Finnair's ground processes, underscored the airline's commitment to privacy, affirming that passenger data will not be linked to personal information. Finnair reassures passengers that no names or booking numbers will be requested from those volunteering for the weighing process.

Experts suggest that changing dietary habits and increased obesity rates among passengers pose safety concerns for airlines. Exceeding weight limits due to heavier passengers can impact various flight parameters, including runway length, climb, and obstacle clearance.

Most European airlines, including Finnair, rely on mean passenger weights provided by regulatory agencies. However, obesity rates have surged globally, with statistics indicating a significant increase in the number of obese individuals over the past few decades.

Airlines worldwide have faced criticism over their treatment of overweight passengers, with some carriers mandating additional seat purchases for those unable to fit in a single seat. Advocates for obese individuals argue that airlines have reduced seat widths to maximize profits, leading to discomfort for passengers.

Joining the ranks of airlines implementing passenger weighing initiatives, Finnair follows in the footsteps of carriers like Korean Air, Hawaiian Air, and Air New Zealand. However, such measures have sparked controversy, as seen in South Korea, where passengers voiced opposition to mandatory weighing laws introduced last year.

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