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Meanderings of a Working Travel Agent

That Scale is Wrong

Word has it that some airlines might start weighing passengers before check in.  How is that going to go down?  If the check in agents faced abuse in the past can you just imagine??

Look, it makes total sense and I am not getting at those larger people.  These are the days (supposedly) of tolerance and understanding.  We are not all built in the same mold ( have to be careful how you spell that!! )  I do feel bad for those larger people who have to ask for the extended seat belt.  And now they might have to weigh in as well. 

Finnair is launching this experiment and they say it is so that they can properly calculate weight to refine performance in the air and as this is just brand new all results are anonymous and this is just an experiment “at this stage”.

The passengers who volunteer for this (I bet they are all skinny and gorgeous) will be weighed with their carry on.  No record will be kept linked to their personal identities.

But I bet it will do one thing – if you are being weighed with your carry on bag you sure as hell want that carry on to be as light as a feather!

Would I get on that scale?  Hell no!  Especially after a couple of fantastic cruises and one coming up. 

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14 Responses

  1. Yikes. I have a friend who is 6 foot 5. Will the airlines take his size as too big ? Chop off his legs to fit in what they portray as normal? This is discrimination to for involved. Shameful behaviour and lawsuits will be brought!!!

  2. Thanks for this information Lesley. I really enjoyed your unfiltered commentary AND an image of the face I would make if asked to weigh-in!

    Sad to think that weight discrimination is the last socially acceptable injustice (loads of online articles covering that topic) but nice to see New York City was reported in The New York Times as passing a law in 2023 adding weight & height to the list of characteristics protected from discrimination (Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/05/26/nyregion/weight-discrimination-law-nyc.html).

    I’m a new subscriber to your newsletter and have enjoyed them very much. Thanks!

    1. That’s interesting Gail about New York City. Thank you for sharing and thank you for your kind comments. Have a great day, Lesley

  3. My understanding of this new process is indeed as stated. This is not personal, but rather to really monitor total weight, as the airplane cannot takeoff if overweight. All calculations up to now have been on average weights of men and women 50 years ago. As we have noticed, this has change drastically and it makes a difference in their overall calculations (especially if there are 400 people onboard. I’m sure it really isn’t personal – it’s safety.
    Just saying…. (I watch a lot of the show MAYDAY)

    1. Yes when you think of the idea of taking people up in the air and flying them over oceans – I think it is amazing that air travel is as safe as it is. I haven’t watched that show but now you have piqued my curiosity!! thank you

  4. I have never understood why I am required to pay the same price as someone who out weighs me by 100 pounds. Charging by the pound seems appropriate (and fair) to me.

    1. Well Rod I am sure there will be lots of people disagreeing with you because I think there would be a problem with discrimination. That’s why Finnair was so careful to say that the results would be anonymous. Touchy subject for sure! But things are constantly changing. Remember when people used to smoke on planes!~~! 🙂

  5. We were weighed before our helicopter trip above Victoria Fall a few years ago and they totalled the weights. I wondered if we had to worry about the total capacity of the helicopter and how close we were to its capacity.
    A number of years ago and we can’t remember where, we were on a plane when the pilot came on the PA and asked for a number of passengers in a fairly empty plane, to please move to the rear to balance the plane. Yes sir!

    1. Oh yes, the helicopter tours usually weigh and it is an endless source of embarrassment to my clients when I have to fill in the form. Worse than asking a lady her date of birth!!
      Oh goodness – balancing the plane. Now there’s a new one! Sounds like an Indiana Jones adventure!

  6. If they want to look at the weight of passengers, they also need to look at the weight of carry on bags and the # of bags per person. I have never seen so many passengers with excess luggage on board in my life…..multiple coats, hats, over sized purses, backpacks, sport bags, computer bags, lunch bags and men with a purse! Seems to me the increased baggage fees simply promote more carryon…way beyond the limits and ultimately hard to estimate weight on the plane.

    1. You are totally right – and how about when someone takes up the space of TWO overhead bins because they have brought too much stuff! 🙁

  7. Balancing the “Weight & Balance” of the aircraft is a real thing!
    I worked on the ground for an airline at the Calgary International Airport for years, and it was quite common to ask a few passengers to move around between the cabins to distribute the total weight & balance.
    Passengers (Man, Woman, Child & infant) are all allocated a standard weight. Then the total number of people in each age group is multiplied by that static weight number (lbs or kgs) which is added to the total weight of the aircraft (fully stocked with catering, with bag weights, etc.).
    I’d feel safer knowing the true weight of the aircraft as they use that number to calculate the amount of Fuel that’s needed.

    1. That’s interesting. Lee. Thanks for letting us know how it really works behind the scenes. Very important as well to get the proper weight. I’m sure that is quite vital to any flight. That’s probably the reason that those helicopter sightseeing flights need you to register your weight at the time of booking.

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The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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