New Safety Test Requires Airline To Weigh Passengers

Korean Air became the latest airline to ask travelers to step on the scale before boarding, CNN reported.

The airline is one of many worldwide that is required by government regulations to periodically collect plane weight data.

The short-term program will only affect some air travelers. From August 28 until September 3, some passengers departing from Gimpo International Airport were asked to get weighed. Then, from September 8 to September 19, some travelers departing from Incheon International Airport will do the same.

But the weighing isn’t just for passengers. Both travelers and their luggage will be anonymously weighed. This data will then be submitted to South Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport.

The program is voluntary and no passengers will be required to participate. Any passengers who do not want to have their data collected can opt out of the program by informing a Korea Air staff member, according to the airline.

The policy to periodically weigh passengers and baggage is not one made by the airlines. Instead, it is mandated by government air travel regulators in certain countries.

In late May, Air New Zealand kicked off a 5-week passenger weigh-in for international flights. A similar program was launched in 2021 for domestic air travel.

From May 29 until July 2, passengers on specific international flights were asked to voluntarily step on the scales at Aukland International Airport.

Air New Zealand said the 5-week program was aimed at improving fuel efficiency and to better determine the weight distribution aboard the aircraft.

Many worldwide carriers are still using the 2009 average passenger weight data from the European Aviation Safety Agency (now the European Union Aviation Agency). The data from the recent weigh-ins are aimed at updating this information.