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.
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