This is the latest airline to weigh passengers before they fly

The measure from Korean Air is supposedly to maximise safety on flights, but passengers can opt out if they wish

Liv Kelly
Written by
Liv Kelly
Contributing Writer
Korean Aeroplanes on Runway
Photograph: Shutterstock

Korean Air is the latest airline to announce plans to weigh passengers before they board flights. While this sounds pretty humiliating, it’s all in the name of safety, according to the airline.

Korean Air – the largest airline in South Korea – announced on its website that it intends to weigh passengers, plus their carry-ons, at two Seoul airports during certain times. Those flying from Gimpo Airport on domestic routes could be weighed from August 28 to September 6, and those flying from Incheon International Airport between September 8-19.

According to Simple Flying, airlines need to periodically reassess average passenger weights to make distribution adjustments, ensure stability during flights and determine fuel requirements. Korean Air is keen to update its 'Aircraft Weight and Balance Standards'. This typically takes place every five years. 

Apparently, people who don’t want to share their weight can simply opt out by informing airport staff. Air New Zealand announced a similar plan in June this year, initially proposing the pre-boarding weighing of more than 10,000 passengers. 

However, participation was completely voluntary, and data from the digital scales went straight into the survey, so passengers and airport staff were none the wiser. 

A spokesperson from the airline told the Independent that ‘[weighing passengers] is crucial for safety of flight operations, and Korean Air complies with this mandate and remains committed to safety, its number one priority.’

What’s more, ensuring weight distribution as effectivelt as possible can reduce the environmental impact of each flight. Nick Braiser, chief operating officer of start-up tech company Fuel Matrix, believes that airlines currently burn 0.3 and 0.5 percent of their fuel unnecessarily. Ensuring weight measurements are up to date could drastically reduce this, according to Braiser

The process might sound pretty awkward, but fundamentally, it is in aid of maximising safety and efficiency. 

Did you see that a child-free zone will soon be introduced on this European airline?

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