Obesity prompts airlines to occasionally weigh passengers before flights
Several airlines are temporarily requiring their passengers to be weighed before boarding, the data from which is used in the calculation of take-off weight to ensure flight safety, as the number of obese passengers increases.
A recent study, conducted by RMIT University in Australia, indicated that obesity is becoming a problem in many countries and is tending to get worse. As such, several airlines now find it necessary to adjust the average weights of male and female passengers periodically, so they can calculate the take-off weight more accurately.
This average weight adjustment is necessary for wide-bodied aircraft, which can accommodate up to 300 passengers. For instance, if there is a mistake of one kilogramme in the average weight of a passenger, that means an aircraft which carries 300 passengers could be carrying 300kg more than estimated and the take-off weight will be incorrect.
According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, the average weight of male and female air passengers has been adjusted to 88.4kgs and 70.3kgs respectively, from 81kgs and 69kgs respectively, in accordance with a survey in 2017.
Before Bangkok Airways decided temporarily to impose passenger weight measurements before boarding, Air New Zealand had weighed more than 10,000 passengers since June this year. Finnair and Hawaiian Airlines have previously applied the same measure. The measure is mostly temporary and not mandatory and depends on the willingness of passengers to be weighed.
In the case of Bangkok Airways, it asks for cooperation from passengers by being weighed before boarding.