Starting Wednesday, Finnair began asking passengers to volunteer to be weighed at the boarding gate and offers them a free bag voucher if they agree, according to Business Insider.
Passengers are encouraged to weigh themselves voluntarily, Photo Shutterstock
Finland's national airline joined Air New Zealand, Korean Air and Hawaiian Airlines in making similar requests to passengers over the past year to collect data on flight safety. Uzbekistan Airlines started weighing passengers for the same reason back in 2015.
Finnair urges passengers to weigh themselves together with their hand luggage at the departure gate so that the company can update its average weights as required by the civil aviation authority.
In a statement on February 5, Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, assured that passenger names or reservation numbers are not recorded along with their weight. “We use the weighing data for the average calculations necessary for the safe operation of the flights, and the data collected is not linked in any way to the personal data of the customers”, he stated.
The procedure is extremely simple and volunteers are not asked for their name or reservation number, explained Satu Munnukka. “Only the customer service agent working at the measurement point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind,” said Finnair's head of ground processes.
The data will be collected in February, April and May for a variety of flights departing from Finnair's Helsinki hub, the airline said.
600 volunteers in 5 days
Since Wednesday, 600 passengers have volunteered to be weighed, the Guardian reported, citing a spokesman for the Finnish airline. People who agreed to be weighed were compensated with a free luggage tag.
Finnair uses the obtained data for its own flight safety calculations; regulations in the field require the data to be updated every five years. The latest round of data was collected between 2017 and 2018, according to the release.
The European Aviation Safety Authority also collects its own passenger weight data to calculate aircraft mass and balance. Its most recent study, carried out in 2022, showed that the average weight of passengers had not changed significantly since the last study in 2009.