You are currently viewing A European airline weighs its passengers at boarding

If you’re traveling soon with Finnair from Helsinki airport, chances are you’ll be asked to step onto a scale with your hand luggage. In fact, since February 5, 2024, the Finnish airline has been asking this favor, which may seem rather odd, of willing passengers at the boarding gate.

There’s a good explanation for this request.


Why Finnair weighs passengers

The purpose of this project is to improve aircraft weight estimates before takeoff.

This is a question of safety, as each aircraft has a defined maximum weight. It’s not just about knowing the total weight either: it’s also important to determine where the center of gravity is, so you need to know the specific weight of passengers, food carts, checked baggage, cargo, etc.

Finnair aircraft (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


Airlines such as Finnair, which do not use the average passenger weights provided by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), may use their own measurements.

However, these must be approved by the authorities and updated every 5 years, hence the new weighing project launched by Finnair. 

The exercise is, of course, for volunteers only, but the airline expects many passengers to want to take part, as in previous years.

Now it’s up to you whether you want to be weighed or not, but you should know that the data remains anonymous, or nearly so, as only the staff member at the gate sees the weight. Your reservation number and name are not collected. 

Finnair plans to weigh 1,200 passengers this winter, and even more next summer. This is because, with winter coats, passenger weights differ in the Finnish cold season.

Finnish winter (photo credit: Joni Kuusisto)


Although representing a small intrusion into privacy, it seems that this measure doesn’t bother travelers since in just 3 days since the project was launched, 800 volunteers have already taken part.

Finnair is not the only airline in the world to make this unusual request: Korean Air and Air New Zealand have also done so in recent years.


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Featured image: Svedjehamn, Finland (photo credit: Hendrik Morkel)

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Monika K

    Fabulous idea!
    As a former flight attendant (with an airline in Canada) this should have been implemented eons ago.

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