Finnair explains why itโ€™s planning to weigh passengers before boarding flights

Finnair Airbus A350 airplane taking off at Helsinki Airport.
Markus Mainka /

Finnair is searching for volunteer passengers to be weighed, along with their hand luggage, before boarding their flight.  

The exercise will be carried out anonymously and no customers will be forced to take part, but Finnair is hoping to find some willing volunteers that can help.ย ย 

The data collected will help the Finnish flag carrier to optimize its current aircraft balance calculations which ensure that flights operate safely.  

While airlines know the exact weight of the aircraft, fuel, hold luggage, cargo, food and water, the passenger weight is calculated based on averages.  

Finnair can either gather the data itself and have it approved by the aviation authorities or use weights defined by the European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA). 

Finnair last collected passenger weight data in 2018 so is due to update its information that will be used for the next five years. 

โ€œWe use the weighing data for the average calculations required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer’s personal data. We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example. Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind,โ€ Satu Munnukka, Head of Ground Processes at Finnair, said. 

The process will take place between February and May 2024 at Helsinki Airport (HEL) and the data will be passed to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency between July and September 2024.ย 

Once verified, Finnair will use the information for aircraft balance and loading calculations between 2025 and 2030.   

The scheme will cover selected European flights within Helsinki Airportโ€™s Schengen area and a number of long-haul flights departing from the non-Schengen side.   

โ€œIn the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing, and we hope to have a good sample of volunteers, both business and leisure travelers, also this time, so that we can get the most accurate information possible for important balance calculations,โ€ Munnukka added.

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