Why Air New Zealand will weigh passengers before they board flights
As part of a ‘passenger weight survey’, Air New Zealand will start weighing passengers boarding international flights from the Auckland International Airport from July 2. The flag carrier said the programme will help collect data on the weight load and distribution for planes.
The survey has been described as an ‘essential’ initiative. It will be used to find the average customer weight, which pilots need to be aware of before departure.
A couple of scales will be set up for the programme at gate lounges at the airport. Passengers to depart on international flights will be asked to step on a set of scales. They will also be asked to put their baggage on another identical scale for separate weighing.
From the cargo to the meals distributed onboard, everything that goes on the aircraft is weighed, Alastair James, Air New Zealand’s load control improvement specialist said. For the crew, customers, and cabin bags, average weights obtained from doing surveys are used, he added.
“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting.” For every passenger uncomfortable about being weighed before departure, the airline assured them it wasn’t mandatory and their weight would not be visible to anyone, not even the staff.
Air New Zealand carried out the same survey for domestic passengers back in 2021. But the one for international travellers got delayed as Covid infections raged worldwide. For the latest initiative, at least 10,000 people need to be weighed for the survey to be effective.