Passengers have gotten heavier over the years and now airlines have to carry more fuel in order to fly some trips as a result. Old assumptions about how much a plane is going to weigh, based on number of passengers, have gone out the window. But usually it’s the assumptions that get updated – rather than actually weighing each passenger before a flight.
A passenger posted a short video to TikTok, since-deleted, showing a woman standing on a baggage scale at a check-in counter,
The whole airport trying to mind their own business as a woman is asked to step on a BAGGAGE SCALE because she claimed she was 130 lbs.
It’s a tiny plane so they needed our weight to take off for safety reasons.
How much passengers weigh can matter!
While it’s foreign to the U.S. flying experience, weighing passengers isn’t all that uncommon abroad. Air New Zealand weighed passengers two years ago to validate assumptions about average weight. Europe’s safety agency weighed passengers, too, and found passenger weights had been steady over the past 14 years.
Samoa Air reportedly charged passengers based on their weight, like the unmemorable chain restaurant I went to as a kid which ran a promotion charging children by their weight for meals. And in 2015 Uzbekistan Airways announced they would require all passengers to weigh in prior to boarding for safety even though airlines the world over maintain excellent safety records without the practice.
I’ve even had to get on the scale myself. When I first flew Maldivian from Male on my first visit to the Maldives in 2012 I had to get on the scale at check-in. So did my wife, and – it appeared – every other foreigner. Maldivians did not seem to be asked to weigh in.
On subsequent trips each year since the practice appeared to be abandoned. I was never asked to weigh in again, although Maldivian’s website says that the policy is still in place.
Q – Why do I get weighed at Check-in?
Ans – All passengers are weighed at check-in for safety requirements of our Dash-8 200 aircrafts.
Small variance can matter on small planes, and while one passenger’s weight may not make a material difference the weight of all passengers can. And when there are just a few passengers, they may not conform to averages. At least that’s the concern which does pop up from time to time.