How Rude! Finnair Begins to Weigh Passengers at Helsinki Airport Before Takeoff

How Rude! Finnair Begins to Weigh Passengers at Helsinki Airport Before Takeoff
AP Photo/ Lehtikuva/Markku UlanderTech03:33 03.11.2017Get short URL154621

While being asked to step on a scale prior to boarding a flight might sound rude, Finnair says their latest initiative is all about gathering data in order to make important safety calculations.

According to reports, the completely voluntary campaign is an attempt by the Finnish airline to save on operating costs by calculating the total weight of the plane, as officials are currently using 2009 estimates provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The 18-year-old estimates given to airliners play a key role overall in figuring out calculations that ultimately affect the balance, performance and fuel consumption of each flight, Päivyt Tallqvist, Finnair’s communication director, told the Huffington Post.

Under the new system, scales are brought out on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. On those lucky days, airport officials essentially have volunteers jump on the scale with all their outerwear and carry-on luggage to determine the magic number, which is only visible to the airline clerk.

“This is part of having a very strong safety culture in our organization,” Tallqvist said. “We want to see if the data we’re using for calculations is accurate. We use them for every flight, and they’re important for the aircraft’s performance. When you explain this to [passengers], they understand.”

As of November 1, officials have only managed to get 180 volunteers, which leaves them short 1,820 passengers from their total goal of 2,000.

“We want to make sure we have the best possible data at our disposal also in this respect,” Sami Suokas, a manager of customer processes at Finnair, told The Helsinki Times. “That’s why we’re collecting data from our own network.”

ESA’s estimates indicate that the average laden male passenger weighs 187 pounds while the average female carries roughly 147 pounds; however, passenger weights do vary by time of year. Tallqvist indicated that Finnish passengers typically bring on more weight during the winter months due to their bulky coats.

Once officials have finished collecting their data during the winter months the Finnair campaign will pick back up again in the summer when passengers are known to fly with lighter clothing, the BBC reported.

Finnair hasn’t been the only airline to pull out the scales on their customers, though. Back in 2013, Samoa Airlines made headlines for charging travelers by the pound, the Post reported.