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Finnair has begun weighing passengers

Finnair has just begun a new program where it weighs passengers before take-off to help the Finnish airline collect more accurate data about weights on its flights. Paivyt Tallqvist, director for media relations at Finnair, confirmed that the airline was weighing passengers on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Helsinki airport. ( More...

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clarify 12
Given that passengers self-select for weighing, the ultimate data could be very misleading. Only weighing everyone or getting a truly randomized sample would provide good data.
Kris Durbin 9
It's optional. You're weighed with all your carry-ons. It's a study to see how accurate the government standards are. It ends next summer once they have a large enough sample of data. No reason to freak out about precedent-setting or any other conspiracy theory.
this is actually funny! there used to be a chart used for weights and balances purposes which was used to calculate number of passengers,average bag weight,adult weight versus a child,amount of fuel needed or allocated, and any cargo etcetera..this was done before the computer set everything up and did the "paperwork" for the ground operations and the captain..i remember doing that on the smaller commuter aircraft,and you had to be acccurate..I might add also, that on the few helicopter sightseeing trips i have been on, the pilot asks you how much you weigh and seats you accordingly on the helicopter..that may have changed in recent years along with everything else!i can see it now..a Finnair agent saying,"your bag is 75 pounds, therefore, because you weigh 200, its either you or your bag"!!
eccsandiego 4
Actually the Finnish agent would say kilos... Still your scenario is extremely funny!
Kris Durbin 3
Say No to Kilo.
John Freschl 1
I recently went on a helicopter sightseeing trip in Kauai, and they weighted all passengers beforehand. Anyone over 250 lb. has to buy an additional seat.
David Rice 0
Obviously, you are not serious about "you or your bag", since bags are only loaded for those actually on-board (at least in flights originating or bound for the US).
twhiteca 5
Back in my station agent days(60's to 90's), all adults were 165 pounds and all checked bags were 24 pounds. Pretty hard to find many passengers coming in with those numbers now especially given the size and weight of carry-on.
Jim Heslop 3
Or the size and weight of the ‘waddle’ ons!
Ken McIntyre 1
Exactly. When I started, 1980, the weight for passengers was 160, jumped to 165 later. But, we carried a lot of college athletes. They averaged 195, and I figured that on our weight and balance sheet. I'll bet the average pax weight, including women, is now in the 180-190 range.
mdburd 5
Actually, I'm a big guy, 6'2 and 285.

I'm ok with this; Hell, UPS, FedEx and the USPS weigh packages, and charges more for a 50 pound box than a 5 pound one.

I should probably pay more to be "shipped" by the airline than a 4'11, 105 pound person.

Which I do: I only fly in first or business for the space and comfort of my bigger self...
Gene N 2
Ya exactly... I’ve been paying (well my clients pay) for first for many years. As a fat guy I’m less comfortable in coach, so I sit up front... no problem. I think any push back would be from fat people paying more for seats that are too snug. Rename first class to Fat class is fine by me!
E Davis 6
It's amazing that overly obese people panic at the idea of being weighed - why? It is obvious that there is a problem - why not just attack the problem?
sparkie624 -3
The reason it is Problematic is because they have no clue how much they weigh and don't want to find out or anyone else to find out... Most say it is because of being Diabetic, but for most if they just laid the spoon and fork to rest the Diabetes would take care of itself!!
joel wiley 3
They'd benefit from the 'early pushback procedure' - slide back from the table earlier.
vle1 3
Well given that the average weight of a person is more than current out of date average weight government data, there has been concern and minor and the rare major incidents that have happened with aircraft being over weight due to out dated regulators average weight data, mining company I used to work with weighed every one before boarding their aircraft because of an over weight incident, an investigation found the regulators average (in which the company was using) was so wrong and needed an overhaul. I see this as a good proactive move for everyone's safety and to get more up to date accurate weight data.
sparkie624 0
If they redo the standard weight for people and make it anywhere near correct a 70 seat aircraft will only be able to carry 35 people! Too many double and triple wides out there!
Tiberon 2
Good opportunity to educate the reader about SAWE (Society of Allied Weight Engineers)
This, amongst other things is what they do along with Standards development.
WhiteKnight77 2
After reading some of the comments here then reading the article, I think some here are jumping to erroneous conclusions. That it is a voluntary weigh-in speaks volumes since no one is forced to do so. I see it as a help to get better data on weights of passengers, it might not show the whole picture unless there are those who might be heavier who decide to go ahead and get on the scale. I know I would since I am much heavier now, especially since I quit smoking and gained about 60 pounds afterwards (food tasted even better).

Even when I was in the military, I carried much more luggage (2 suitcases and a seabag as well as a couple of carry-ons) between airports and bases even though I was thinner. As a former crew chief on Phrogs, I know that weight and balances are important and if we carried anything inside the birds, we had to ensure that things were placed in respect to where the CG was. Carrying a couple of 250 gallon range extending fuel cells onboard really played with weights and balance as well as smoking.
joel wiley 1
From my other comments you may well categorize me as one jumping. Thanks for your perspective. I cannot help but wonder about Finnair's ulterior motives ( I discount Finnair management saying "hey, it's Tuesday, what say we weigh pax").I keep thinking of the instructions for boiling a phrog. er frog - Put in cold water then turn on the heat.
Thanks for your service.
Alan Hume 3
I can remember being weighed on a Fokker F-27 flight from Sydney, Australia, to Norfolk Island in the South Pacific back in 1984. It was half-full of cargo under a huge cargo net at the front of the aircraft and overall weight was a critical factor as to whether the poor old F-27 would cover the distance with enough reserves in its tanks on arrival at the Island. It's a real and legitimate issue given the amount of humans that can now be accommodated, on wide-bodied aircraft especially, and the huge distances being demanded of them. I'm all for it and for a ticket cost differential too for those excessively above a "reasonable average" weight.
womlliv 2
Now to find a kind, tactful way to educate the public and implement...
sparkie624 3
Sounds like a great idea.... But in the US that will fly like a Lead Balloon... Personally I think that the ticket price should be based on the person's weight because a heavier person requires for fuel.... It is simple math!
ringeralle 4
As a tall, but not overweight, person, I don't see why I should be punished for my genetics by paying by weight. If the issue is weight, then the airlines need to understand what the average weight per human is (as Finnair is doing) and adjust their aircraft accordingly. If the issue is obese people, they need to assess the impact of wider people on the comfort of other passengers.
Chuggins5 1
How is it a punishment? If your total weight is 250, you should pay for 250, regardless of how you got there. Here's my flip side: as a small woman, 5'0" and 115 lbs. I should not be punished by subsidizing all the larger, heavier people.
And don't get me started on larger people spilling over into my seat. Just because I don't take up all the space doesn't mean that I don't want it in between us!
Ken McIntyre 0
Good point. Maybe this added "tariff, should be based on butt width. Oops, I'm rather wide, but still in decent shape and not seriously over weight.
eccsandiego 1
It’s been years since my brother-in-law and I wanted to start a new airline that not only sold tickets accordingly to weight, but also seated passengers accordingly. And this after both he and I had to sit in the middle seat between two extremely large individuals who “overflowed” into our seats, on LONG transatlantic flights that became even “longer” for that reason. My bones still ache at the mere memory of it...
sparkie624 5
I can appreciate that one... I was on a full flight and being non-rev I was the last one one... Center Seat.... I had to sit on my side doe to these 2... Seriously.. I had less than 8" of seat remaining. the FA took note as she knew me well from being a mechanic and she said: "I told the Captain that you were on board and wondered if you would like to fly Jump Seat Today"... I jumped on that deal.... LOL, she was being politically correct, when I got to the cockpit she told us what situation you were in... We all had a good laugh... The Jump seat is not necessarily comfortable, but is a lot better than sitting on your side for 3 hours!
Ken McIntyre 4
My airline used to fly Beach 99's. We had tail stands for the aircraft while they were on the ground. But, every once in a while, an agent might forget or the plane might be on a charter without a stand. I remember one instance, I think it was in Medford, OR, where a put our 99 on it's tail on the ramp. He plopped into the double seat at the door, and down she went. Wheelie!
sparkie624 1
That reminds me of a Dash-8 departing ROA about 10 years ago... 37 passengers packed to capacity with 19 on board. I was working the gate that day... Got a call for 3 seat belt extenders... I told her that I did the service check on the a/c the night before and the plane had all it was supposed to have... She said: "You don't understand.... We have a TOPS group on board going to a convention and I need 3 more... One lady needs 2". I robbed from another a/c and picked some more up at the hangar later to replace those and sent them on their way. One lady was so large that she had to walk up the step sideways to get to her seat.... Once she go there should could not turn around and had to walk all the way back out and down the stairs (air stairs), turn around 180 degree and walk back up because there wasn't enough room for her to turn around.

I noticed when they turned out of the gate that both main struts were FLAT!... I watched the take off roll and where they usually use about 1800 feet of runway, this guy used over 4000 feet and was climbing very very slow....

If there was one person on that plane less than 450 lbs, I'll be a Monkey's Uncle...
eccsandiego 4
And here’s another “good” one from 1 July 2000 – which exact date I still recall for “obvious” reasons – when I flew on the erstwhile Deutsche BA from Munich to London, bypassing Paris which was my home at the time (and for 20 years). As I stood in the check-in line behind a “large” American family of 4, consisting of father, mother, teenage daughter and aunt, I thought for sure I was “dead even before arrival”. Imagine how I broke out in a cold sweat when the father said to the BA agent, that they didn’t want to... sit together!!!!!!!! But then imagine my “yuge” relief as the agent replied, I’m sorry but your seats are... pre-assigned and cannot be changed. I could hardly contain myself and wanted to do a wild dance right on the spot and shout at the top of my lungs, There IS a God after all!!! Finally, since I was already seated towards the front of the plane when that family walked by towards the back, to this day I wonder just how they had managed (or not). And also to this day it remains my greatest nightmare to be thus stuck in a center seat, such that I’d do everything possible to avoid it – paying extra to choose my seat early, even upgrading to the next class, you name it. As the saying goes, I’m getting too old for this!
Dee Lowry 2
All I see in this forum is discrimination. Really unfortunate.
I've seen carry on bags that weigh more than the passenger. Weight and balance is critical on any aircraft. Good for Finnair. Safety is the primary focus with Airlines.
sparkie624 -2
Where is the discrimination... I mean really, weight = fat and people fail to keep their own weight under control... A lot of people are eating fast food, sit back watching TV, Texting with their friends, never exercising and then wonder why they can't take off the pounds
Bruce Atkinson -4
Another "victim". Jump right to the absolute worst case scenario. Carryons that which more than the passenger? Really. Was the passenger a 10 yr old?
Watch a sport team boarding. Their lgg would rarely fit in the test cell yet alone weight. Backpackers too. Carry on a pack too large for overhead lockers. They don't want to wait for checked lgg.
James Simms 1
The starting offensive line alone for my college football team is around 3,000 pounds sans QB. Add in 75-100 other players, coaching staff, cheerleaders, other staff, wives, & miscellaneous equipment & bags usually warrants a 757-200 from a 6500 foot runway. Heavier equipment travels in a semi truck dispatched the previous night. Post season trips (playoffs) usually warrant an A333 or 767 from the airport that has a longer runway 60 miles up the road. A recent trip to the Championship game required a 747 for everyone involved.
Dee Lowry 1
I am not a victim. I happen to be a 30 yr Flight Crew mumber.your words mean little to me. Don't ever get on my airplane and if you do...I'll make your flight the worst one you have ever been on!
fxmos 1
I am surprised that this hasn't happened a long time ago. Seems weird that as a 65kg person I would have to pay extra for carrying an extra 3 kg in my carry on luggage.But those are the rules, even though I sometimes wonder when I see people having an incredible amount of carry on luggage. Specially when they receive their duty free booze at the waiting area.
Jason Homan 1
They should figure out how to weigh several at once, say 7 - 10 pax at a time. That way no one person's weight is revealed. Bring in a cargo scale!
sparkie624 0
The trouble with that is Weight and Balance.... The Heavier weight people should be over the center of gravity, unless they cannot exit safely thus clogging the entry way (and yes that happened in DCA) where they exited over the wing and a lady got stuck, could not get back in, could not get out.. Fire fighters had to get her out!
Dee Lowry 1
The Flight Crew should have relocated her if she was going to be a "Blocker" to the window exits. Actually the relocation of seats should have started at the podium with the gate employees.
sparkie624 -1
20-20 Hind sight... Maybe they thought that she should would be able to squeeze through.
Dee Lowry 1
Who knows, Sparkie, but I would have relocated her.
Jason Homan 1
well, they are not assigning seats after they weigh folks, according to the news story. They are merely trying to get accurate data, weighing them as they board. Do you propose that the heavy husband will need to be separated from his slender wife? The real concern is the combined effect of relying on potentially inaccurate standards. I believe the heavier passengers would be less opposed to the "group weigh" idea. It gives you actual weight of all passengers and carry-on's combined, rather than relying on an industry standard.
sparkie624 0
Not necessarily... But safety of flight and a good weight and balance is very important
joel wiley 1
Wasn't Samoa Airlines charging by the pound as early as 2013?
Dee Lowry 1
Yes, I believe so.
Mike Connor 1
Peter Hill 1
why not weight the entire plane once boarded
Tiberon 1
More granularity of information needed than your proposed gross type weight. They need the more precise weight distribution to calculate various aircraft performance parameters such as CG, etc.
Squigish 1
Would a separate scale for each wheel provide enough information?
sparkie624 0
Interesting idea, but I think the logistics of rolling on scales and getting the weight and balance may not be as cost effective as you may think.
John Spencer 1
I have suggested to some of my aviation friends the following. Determine airline fare by weighing the passenger and all of his/her luggage including carry on. This might discourage excessive items being brought aboard
John Spencer 1
Of course the fare would be predicated on the total weight
Bob Green 1
Reminds me of flying from Chrisiansted Virgin Islands to an adjacent island of Saint Thomas. My seat assignment was based on my weight. (Made me think about dieting!)
Gene N 1
It really is a cattle car now!
Dee Lowry 0
Gene- It has been since President Carter approved deregulation.
Mike Williams 1
Back about 1985 or before I was a passanger on a small 10 seat or so flying from Cincinnati, Ohio to Detroit, Michigan. My employee booked that flight. They asked me my weight. Back then I was about 170 lbs. It jumped north stopping cities. No food or liquids or stewards just the pilot and right hand buddy.
bettiem 1
When I started flying (1950s in DC4-M BOAC Argonauts), being weighed was part of the adventure!
toolguy105 1
I think this is a good idea one all airlines should undertake to get an idea of the average weight of their passengers on the routes they fly. The total weight of the aircraft important it effects everything from runway selection, to length of take off role, fuel required and the CG of the aircraft among the many things that the weight effects.

The one true unknown of a passenger flight is the passenger weight and the weight of their luggage.. Everything else regarding weight is known including the weight of the freight and mail. Prior to the jet age all luggage was weighed and passengers were charged for every pound over the allowed weight. With the advent of the jet weight became less of a factor. Today weight once again is a factor with bigger airplanes came bigger baggage compartments now called cargo holds the planes are heavier than ever on departure. An A380 and a 747-8 can take of with a load factor nearing a million pounds. It is important to have an accurate weight.

Instead of allowing one or two free backs the airlines should go back to allowing sixty pounds free baggage and update the now average weight of 200 pounds per passenger. Up form the old weight of 175.
joel wiley 1
I can see this two ways: 1) more accurate weight numbers enables Finnair to better determine fuel needs to fine tune fuel loads and reducing cost-of-doing-business and 2) charge-by-weight to enhance revenue. Are there 3rd & 4th ways?
Cargo is the unknown quantity in this article. Airlines need to update weight standards for the average male and female or whatever gender and build seats accordingly. Passengers would be happier except for the extremely obese. Airlines might need to charge more per seat because of a couple fewer seats, but it would be humane for a change.
Dee Lowry 2
No wonder the world is what it is today. Can't you accept people for who they are and not discriminate because they're not like you or me? Unbelievable!
" Passengers would be be happier except for the extremely obese"!
Don't understand the lack of compassion. If this issue upsets you that much, Bruce...Fly First Class. That should take care of the weight and balance.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Mike Connor 1
Jono Ponces your right i dont want to be wheighed.


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