Along with their luggage, passengers flying Finnair over the next month may be asked to step on the scale themselves as part of a pilot project aimed at collecting data on plane loads.
Before you tweet the airline to express your outrage, however, take note that the program is voluntary, and for a good cause: to collect data on the average weight of passengers and their carry-on bags during the winter months, when travelers don heavier coats and winter boots, reported Yle News.
Airlines in Europe base their plane loads in part on stats from the European Aviation Safety Agency. The last report, dated 2008-2009, recommended calculating 94 kg for male passengers (207 lbs) and 75 kg for females flyers (165 lbs) including carry-on luggage.
But the report also spoke of the rise in obesity rates, notably among children and adolescents, and pointed out the need to update calculations in the next 10 years when the demographic grows into adulthood.
To fine-tune its fuel needs, plane loads and safety checks, Finnair will be conducting its own data-collecting study during the month of November, with the aim of recruiting about 2,000 volunteers.
It’s not the first time an airline has asked its passengers to disclose their weight. In 2013, Samoa Air made international headlines when it announced plans to charge passengers based on their body mass.
Hawaiian Airlines also conducted a voluntary survey in 2016 asking passengers to step on the scale with their carry-on luggage as part of a fuel-saving, weight-distribution and safety measure.