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31st May 2023

Major airline set to weigh passengers before they fly

Jack Peat

The new policy will be introduced from June

A major airline is reportedly going to weigh all passengers travelling internationally from June.

Air New Zealand will bring in the policy to help pilots work out the balance and weight of the aircraft before embarking on long-haul journeys.

The information will help the airline to fly safely, an official said, but the policy has divided opinion.

Responding to the news, social media users compared the policy to an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm where Jeff Greene refuses to disclose his weight for a private flight, saying: “My weight my business”.

Marina Cherry also asked: “Will you get cheaper flights for weighing less?”, while others questioned whether the information would be public.

Alastair James, Air New Zealand’s load control improvement specialist, assured passengers their weight would not be displayed for others to see.

“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo, to the meals, to the luggage in the hold,” he said.

“For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”

He was quoted by Sky News Australia as saying: “It’s important because we need to know the weight of everything that goes on our aircraft.”

James reassured passengers that weight information would be captured privately on a computer screen and would not appear in front of other travellers.

While the study will focus on international passengers, the airline weighed domestic passengers in 2021.

“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting,” James said.

“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.

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

Air New Zealand said it needed at least 10,000 passengers to participate and the survey was a Civil Aviation Authority requirement, reported.

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