Finnish airline Finnair has begun to apply a controversial measure: weighing its passengers before they board their planes, a decision that is being highly criticized.

Finnair has started its voluntary program of weighing passengers at departure gates at Helsinki Airport, which it says will allow the airline to calculate better estimates of aircraft weight before takeoff.

The first passengers have already tried a scale at the airport, next to a large sign that says: “Voluntary Client Weight Survey.”

Finnair says the action is necessary to understand the weight a location carries on a given trip, which can fluctuate greatly depending on where you are in the world and the time of year the flight takes place.

A spokesperson told Daily Mail that the plan would obtain “accurate data for aircraft performance and balance calculations” that are “necessary for the safe operation of flights”, rather than relying on standard European weights.


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But frequent travelers warn that policies should not overstep their bounds, arguing that weighing passengers for safety reasons could be “humiliating” for some who could be left “particularly vulnerable to discrimination” and to incur “fatphobia”.

“Weighing passengers and their luggage before each flight to manage weight distribution at an individual level rather than relying on averages is sensible, but if they weigh you at the door, “It’s too late and it’s a huge inconvenience if they tell you you can’t fly to avoid tipping the scales (not to mention embarrassing),” says travel and consumer rights journalist Laura Sanders.

“This could leave overweight people and those traveling alone particularly vulnerable to discrimination, as they are the easiest to eliminate (families and friends will want to stay together)”, he continues.

Saunders proposes that airlines considering weighing passengers could request that these disclose your weight when booking the flight to support safety directives without exposing travelers to humiliation.

So far, the company said, more than 800 people have voluntarily weighed themselves, adding that it was “positively surprised by the number of volunteers.”