Finnair Asks Passengers to Get on Scale at Gate

Airline says survey is voluntary, anonymous
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2024 5:43 AM CST
Finnair Asks Passengers to Get on Scale at Gate
Finnair planes on the tarmac at Helsinki international Airport.   (Markku Ulander/Lehtikuva via AP, File)

Passengers on Finland's national airline are being asked to get on a scale at the departure gate—with their carry-on bags—to help Finnair collect accurate data on passenger weight. The airline says the program is voluntary and anonymous and it's been surprised by the number of volunteers, CNN reports. Passengers were told about the program via social media, "and the first volunteers were proactively asking to take part even before the equipment was set up," says Finnair spokeswoman Päivyt Tallqvist. She says the program began on Monday and there had been 800 volunteers by Thursday morning. The airline plans to weigh 1,200 passengers in winter and more when the weather warms up.

"We will need data for both winter season and for summer season—in winter season people typically have heavier clothing, which impacts weights," Tallqvist tells the AP. She says passengers who take part are rewarded with a reflective baggage tag. Tallqvist says the data is being collected for "the purpose of aircraft balance and performance calculations that are needed for the safe operation of flights."

The airline has decided to use its own data instead of relying on average passenger weights provided by the European Aviation Safety Authority. Finnair has told passengers that the survey is completely anonymous and the data will not be linked to names or passenger numbers. "Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind," Satu Munnukka, Finnair's head of ground processes, said in a statement. (More airlines stories.)

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