Airlines Could Reportedly Start Weighing Passengers Before They Board Planes

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It’s never polite to ask someone how much they weigh—so we imagine that if you suddenly had to start weighing yourself before boarding a plane, people would freak out. However, the concept doesn’t seem to be too far from reality.

According to the airline blog View from the Wing, U.S. airlines may need to start having passengers step on the scale in order to comply with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.

Why? It has to do with how much weight a plane can handle.

“For safety reasons, carriers need to calculate an aircraft’s weight and balance, and it has to be within allowable limits for the plane,” the blog notes.

The problem is, the standard amounts that aircrafts have been using from the CDC have become outdated. “Americans are getting fatter, and the federal government wants airlines to find out how much fatter their passengers have gotten, at least for smaller aircraft,” the blog states. Weight surveys may be done at airports representing at least 15% of an airline’s daily departures, and located in the secure area of the airport (so that all connecting passengers are included). The passengers will be selected at random.

It’ll be completely voluntary and passengers will have the option to opt out. In that case, airlines will choose another passenger at random .

“Regardless of the sampling method used, an operator has the option of surveying each passenger and bag abroad the aircraft and should give a passenger the right to decline to participate in any passenger or weight survey,” according to AirInsightGroup.

So will this become a regular occurrence in the near future? Maybe! “The FAA recommends operators accomplish such a review every 36 calendar-months,” the guidance states.

And because we KNOW you’re wondering: If you get weighed at a boarding gate, the number on the scale will be hidden from other passengers. It’s for no one else to see—just simply data to keep everyone on the plane safe!

The U.S. is actually a bit late to the game here—weighing passengers isn’t all that uncommon abroad. Actually, Air New Zealand was one of the most recent airlines to try this weighing method out. Plus, about six years ago, Uzbekistan Airways required all passengers to weigh in prior to boarding their flight.

What do you think about getting weighed before getting on airplane? Would you be okay with getting weighed publicly in th airport before boarding?