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Finnair Asks Passengers to Step on the Scale

To collect new passenger weight data for the next five years, Finnair is asking for volunteers to get weighed with their luggage before flights.
Before you get on your next Finnair flight, the airline is asking for a simple favor.


The carrier announced they would begin seeking volunteers to be weighed with their luggage prior to boarding, starting February 5, 2024.


Data Collection to Optimize Aircraft Balance Calculations

There are several weight calculations airlines and pilots must do to ensure safe aircraft operations. The measurements include aircraft weight, fuel, checked baggage and cargo, catering, and water tanks. The average weight of a passenger – and their carry-on luggage – also factors in.


European authorities require airlines to update their average passenger weight figures every five years. With the last measurements taken across 2017 and 2018, Finnair is looking to update their information with new data.


“While airlines know the weight of all other aspects, the weight of customers and their carry-on baggage is calculated using average weights confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority,” the airline said in a statement. “The alternative option is for airlines to either use their own measurements and confirmation of their results by the authority, or use standard weights defined by the European Aviation Safety Authority.”


Instead of weighing everyone on the flight, the airline will take volunteers to get weighed with their carry-on luggage in hand. While the airline will collect some anonymous information about the passenger, such as age, gender, and travel class, the weight will not be tied to their booking number or their name.


The collective anonymous data will be sent to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency between July and September 2024. Once confirmed, the airline will use the data to determine average passenger weight for the five-year period between 2025 and 2030.


“In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing,” Satu Munnukka, head of ground processes at Finnair, said in a press release. “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.”


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DeltaFlyer123 February 9, 2024

My first flight was in 1957, on a charter flight operated by Maritime Central Airways DC-4 aircraft from Vienna to Moncton, NB (Canada) as a refugee. Every passenger with his/her suitcase was weighed prior to boarding, with all 60 or so passenger in full view of the large scale. The pilots recorded the weights on a clipbloard, and even dictated which row the passengers were to occupy. The flight took just over 24 hours, including the two enroute refueling stops - at Prestwick (Scotland) and Keflavik (Iceland). For the last leg, which was the longest at ten hours against a headwind, knowing the exact weight of the aircraft was pretty critical.That last leg was so turbulent, that I told my mother I'll never get into an airplane again. Well, almost 70 years later, I have flown roughly three million miles (mostly on business), and still love to fly!

azmojo February 8, 2024

Yep, although tough to implement in reality, travel costs are a function of weight and size. It would be far cheaper to fly a plane full of grade school kids vs a plane full of sumo wrestlers, yet they both pay the same price for a ticket. 

earkandee February 8, 2024

The day will come when you pay for the space you occupy and the weight. If you ship a package 📦 you pay for the weight because it is a major determinant of cost.