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Airline Finnair will start weighing some passengers along with their luggage

The process is part of the airline's routine five-year update to its average weights measurement to ensure all planes take off safely.
Finnair aircraft at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport
Finnair aircraft at Helsinki Airport in Finland on May 22, 2022.Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Finnair is weighing passengers voluntarily, as well as their carry-on luggage, for three months on flights from Helsinki Airport in Finland.

The process is anonymous. Only the ages, genders and travel classes of the people will be recorded in the database.

“We do not ask for the name or booking number," Satu Mannukka, the airline’s head of ground processes, said in a news release. "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.” 

The Finnair weighing area will rotate between short Schengen-area flights and longer-haul ones in February and April-May to gather seasonal results. 

The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency will check average weights calculated from the data this summer. The airline will use those numbers for aircraft balance and loading calculations from 2025 to 2030. 

Each aircraft has a set maximum weight to ensure safe takeoff, according to Finnair. While the airline knows the weights of standard items, such as the plane, fuel and onboard catering, the weights of customers and their carry-on bags are approximated using data. 

The airline has been using its own average weights measurement from data collected in 2018. Aviation authorities require the figures to be updated every five years. 

“In the previous measurements five years ago, a good number of volunteers wanted to participate in the weighing," Mannukka said. "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."

Finnair did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.