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The airline weighs passengers before boarding the plane

The airline weighs passengers before boarding the plane

Anyone who travels knows that checked baggage is weighed at check-in at the airport. Many also know that sometimes, airline “finders” force us to show the hand luggage we carry into the cabin, to try to convince us that the backpack weighs a few grams more. But now there is an airline that weighs passengers before they board the plane.

Picture of a Finnair plane

The “weight of the passenger” is the determining factor in the cost of the trip

In a project for the European airline Finnair, at its operations center at Helsinki Airport, Volunteer passengers are weighed at the boarding gateso the company can improve estimates of the plane's weight before take-off.

In this process, passengers are weighed with their hand luggage. Payvit Tallqvist, Senior Vice President Communications at Finnair, said: CNNEverything is anonymous, only the employee at the boarding gate sees the weight.

The experiment began on Monday and Thursday morning 800 volunteers have already participatedTallqvist said, adding that the airline was "positively surprised by the number of volunteers."

We sent this survey to Finnair customers through our social media channels and mobile app, and the first volunteers asked to participate proactively, even before setting up the equipment.

said Pivit Tallqvist

The company plans to weigh 1,200 passengers in the winter and more in the summer

Tallqvist stated that the airline collects data on the average weight of passengers and their hand luggage "for the purpose of calculating the aircraft's balance and performance, which is essential for the safe operation of flights."

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Airlines calculate the weight of aircraft – the weight of each person on board, as well as the cargo and baggage in the aircraft hold, and things like on-board catering and water tanks – before each take-off, using their center of gravity.

The weight and shape of the aircraft can affect where passengers can be seated and, in some cases, even the number of passengers allowed on board and the amount of luggage that can fit in the baggage hold. Every aircraft you fly has a specific maximum weight for safe take-off.

Although airlines know the weight of all other items, the weight of customers and their hand luggage is calculated based on the average weights confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority.

said Telqvist.

Airlines generally use average passenger weights provided by the European Aviation Safety Authority, but they may also use their own weights approved by the authorities. Finnair has been using its own measurements since 2018, but they have to be updated every five years – hence the update.

Finnair collects data for winter and summer, as passengers tend to wear heavy clothes and coats during the cold Finnish winter. Winter readings will be completed in February and summer readings between April and May.

The airline will calculate the average weight from the measurements taken and send the data to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency for verification. The weights will be used for load calculations from 2025 to 30.