Passengers Aboard Airline

Regulator requests airlines to weigh passengers for safety aboard

*The US Federal Aviation Administration has recommended the weigh-ins should be done at airports that represent a minimum of 15 percent of an airline’s daily departures once every three years

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Though it may sound somewhat weird to some, but it’s already being done in other countries, the United States airlines may begin weighing air passengers as a way to comply with the country’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

According to a report from ‘ViewFromTheWing’, as Americans have gained weight, the FAA never adjusted its weight and balance calculations for aircraft, especially smaller planes when flying.

While “Can you step on the scale, please?” isn’t likely to become a standard procedure at the airport, travelers will likely encounter it at some point in their flying life, report said.

The US aviation regulatory agency affirmed the weigh-ins should be done at airports that represent a minimum of 15 percent of an airline’s daily departures, and it should be done once every three years, so that officials have a better chance of calculating weight assumptions in the aviation industry.

The FAA recommends that the screenings be done randomly and take place outside of the regular TSA screening place and in a secure area of the airport where travellers catching a connecting flight can be included.

However, in order to avoid embarrassment, the agency will make sure that the readout of a person’s weight will remain hidden from public view.

To avoid any potential problems on the FAA’s proposal, it was learnt the agency is making the procedure completely voluntary.

Put differently, air travellers who don’t want to step on a scale don’t need to.

However, airlines have the option of weighing everyone or asking a passenger how much they weigh in the process.

Of course, asking someone their weight doesn’t always produce an accurate answer. Thus, in situations like that, the FAA has advised airlines to add 10 pounds to account for clothing, especially in winter.

It noted that if the personnel doing the screening thinks a consumer understated their weight, the screen “should make a reasonable estimate of the passenger’s actual weight and add 10 pounds.”

Still, another potential issue that might come out of this is that airlines might have to remove some seats in order to meet government weight rules if the average passenger weight goes up significantly.

Incidentally, that might make it harder for consumers to get a seat on a flight, and it would cut into airlines’ revenue stream.

Meanwhile, some airlines in other parts of the world already have weight checks in place.

In Samoa, for instance, where a study showed that 22 percent of Soman women were overweight and 58 percent were obese, Somoa Airlines tried its hand at fares based on weight, agency report said.

Similar to what the FAA is proposing, New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority recently mandated that airlines conduct weight surveys at least once every five years.

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