Get us in your inbox

Finnair Airbus A330 Airplane
Photograph: Shutterstock

This European airline is now weighing passengers before flights

Data about how much individuals and their luggage weigh will be used to better balance planes

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly

We reported a few months back that Korean Air had plans to weigh passengers before they fly, and now? It seems like airlines in Europe could be catching on. 

Finnair, Finland’s national airline, has begun weighing passengers (and their carry-on luggage) to gather data. More than 500 people have participated already this week, and the programme will run until the end of February, and resume in April and May. 

But don’t worry – the process isn’t as awkward as it sounds. It’s only the customer service agent recording the stats that can see the figures, and no one’s name is attached to the data they submit. You can even opt out if you don’t fancy it – no biggie.

So, why is Finnair doing this? Well, the idea is to improve how seating arrangements on the plane are calibrated. The calculations about how best to distribute weight factors in the plane itself, the weight of fuel, checked luggage, cargo, onboard catering and water tanks, as well as customers. 

Improving the flight’s weight distribution not only makes them safer, but lessens their environmental impact too, as planes are less likely to burn unnecessary amounts of fuel.

Typically, European airlines use estimates which have been calculated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, whose last review was carried out in 2022. But Finnair have decided to do their own research, just because it’s slightly more accurate. 

And it’s not even the first time they’ve gathered this data – back in 2017, several hundred passengers at Helsinki airport were weighed voluntarily. Air New Zealand and Uzbekistan Airways have also carried out similar measures, as well as Korean Air. 

Did you see that these two dazzling European countries could soon get a high-speed train link?

Plus: Japan is launching a digital nomad visa this year.

Stay in the loop: sign up to our free Time Out Travel newsletter for all the latest travel news.

You may also like
You may also like