Air New Zealand starts weighing passengers before they board their flight

Originally published at: Air New Zealand starts weighing passengers before they board their flight | Boing Boing


I guess I’m not seeing the big concern here. Weight and balance is a crucial calculation for all airplanes so conducting research to determine if changing the average passenger+baggage weight is needed is an important step for safety and fuel efficiency. This sounds like a bit of sensationalism going on here.

People are getting heavier in general and airlines have already increased average passenger weight many times over the years. Currently in the US, airlines factor adult males with an average weight of 190lbs in the summer and 195lbs in the winter, while adult females have an average summer weight of 170lbs and winter 175lbs. Children are 82lbs and 87lbs respectively.

Though many countries follow the FAA’s lead on safety and regulation, and thus may be updating their own standard weight requirements, some take a more direct approach. The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand requires Air New Zealand to hold a “weigh week” every five years to keep the average weight estimate current.


Originally published at: Air New Zealand will weigh passengers before they board | Boing Boing


Hopefully airline staff have not developed a deeply insensitive passenger classification system based on IATA ULD codes. That could get awkward.

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What I want to know is “Is this for statistical purposes, or will this affect my seat assignment before I board the plane?”

I am familiar with the importance of weight and balance for smaller aircraft and have needed to adjust what I pack for these trips, where a 30-50 lbs difference would be a flight go/no-go. In some of these cases this would entail a traveling ground crew or local resources shipped ahead of time.


Having flown on several small commercial flights in northern Canada, getting weighed before a flight is a regular occurrence, to the point where passengers have been rearranged on the plane to achieve equal weight distribution. Staff definitely got to see the result in that situation, but if you wanted to fly safely there is little that can be done.


Depends on the route. Hawaiian Airlines did away with preassigned seats on their Honolulu to Pago Pago route because the average weight of passengers is almost 30% higher than on other routes - due to the almost 75% obesity rate among the Samoan population.


Will toilets in New Zealand now provide receipts?


With Air New Zealand, perhaps there’s not a big concern. When (not if) American airline executives decide to do this, things will get … interesting.


The FAA current estimated weight for an adult passenger plus their carryons in the US is 190 pounds per PAX. In the winter it’s 195 pounds per PAX.

So … that’s how they balance planes now.


Well, from the article it was clearly a statistical exercise. If you are really concerned, don’t fly Air New Zealand…

from May 29–July 2

…while the survey is conducted. Also see @anon81034786’s post - the first one in the thread - above.


They fly into the US. There will be a lawsuit.

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“Load-based pricing to better align with customer value”


Happy (late) Towel Day


This immediately made me think they were weighing the passengers in order to charge them more money for more weight like they do with luggage.

But that would be wrong.

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Usian airline execs are drooling at the thought of doing this.

Cries in being a bigger guy who has flown on WN

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Maybe it’s time to start thinking about flying lessions.


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