Airline to weigh passengers before they board flights

Airline to weigh passengers before they board flights

More than 10,000 passengers flying with Air New Zealand throughout June will be asked to step onto the scales before they board their flight.

The airline is looking for those travelling on its international network to take part in its passenger weight survey.

It is an “essential” initiative to ensure “the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft”, according to Air New Zealand, and is also a requirement from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Fliers on the domestic network were weighed in 2021, and now that international travel has resumed following the pandemic, it’s time for international flyers to weigh in.

As The Independent has reported previously, weighing every passenger before a flight can increase safety and cut the environmental harm caused by each flight; currently, airlines use “assumed mass”, estimating the total weight of the passengers by using set figures.

The carrier is keen to reassure passengers who might be hesitant about getting weighed – while holding their hand luggage – that there is nothing to worry about.

“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight – not even us. It’s completely anonymous,” said Alastair James, Air New Zealand’s load control improvement specialist.

“It’s simple, it’s voluntary, and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time.”

Mr James explained that before each take-off the pilot needs to know the weight and balance of the loaded aircraft.

“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft, from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold. For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”

The survey will take place at the entrance to the gate lounge of selected Air New Zealand flights departing from Auckland International Airport between until 2 July 2023.

Earlier this month, a woman went on Tiktok to recount the moment that a fellow traveller was allegedly asked to step on a baggage scale to be weighed before boarding a flight.