Airlines to Charge Passengers Based on Body Weight

Wellington, New Zealand – New Zealand Airlines announced on Thursday that it will be weighing passengers prior to their boarding on international flights. This move will be a part of a bigger scheme the Airline company will be following to determine the average weight of each passenger to improve fuel efficiency.

As part of a survey to determine the average passenger weight, Air New Zealand will weigh 10,000 passengers throughout the survey’s duration. This initiative from the Airline company will help pilots determine the overall weight and the balance of each trip before taking off.

“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold,” the airline’s load control improvement specialist, Alastair James, said in a statement.

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

Before boarding, passengers will be requested to stand on a digital scale, where afterward, all the data will be automatically sent to the survey. It is worth mentioning that all data will remain confidential and will not be shared with the agent’s screen.

The decision for the survey came from the country’s civil watchdogs, Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority.

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

Based on the authority’s controls, airlines have several options to estimate the passenger’s weight.

In accordance with the authority’s regulation, airlines have been provided with several options to determine passenger weight.

One approach involves conducting periodic surveys, as currently undertaken by Air New Zealand, to establish an average weight. From another aspect, airlines can adopt a standardized weight value provided by the authority.

Presently, the authority has designated 86 kilograms (190 pounds), inclusive of carry-on luggage, as the average weight for individuals aged 13 and above. This weight value was last updated in 2004, when it was raised from 77 kilograms (170 pounds).

Health statistics indicate a concerning trend of increasing weight among New Zealanders. The most recent national health survey reveals that the adult obesity rate has risen to 34%, up from 31% the previous year. Similarly, rates of childhood obesity have climbed to 13%, compared to 10% in the previous year.

A couple of years ago, Air New Zealand requested customers on domestic flights to participate in weighing procedures.

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