Airline could soon require plus-sized passengers on the scale or provide their weight before boarding aircraft.
The initiative, which was outlined in a recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory, strives to provide new data on average passenger weight as the current numbers reportedly do not reflect today’s sky-high obesity rates in the US. In turn, this would help ensure aircrafts, especially the small ones, don’t exceed their allowable weigh limit, View from the Wing reported.
To put it in plane-ly, the FAA wants to gauge how much fatter Americans have gotten, to prevent things from coming apart when planes take to the skies.
The mandates, which were reviewed by airline industry publication AirInsight Group, would require airlines to take surveys to establish ”standard average passenger weights” for crew members, baggage and passengers via random selection, Fox reported.
Once they’ve chosen a traveler, an operator may ”determine the actual weight of passengers” by having the step ”on a scale before boarding the aircraft,” per the guidelines transcribed by AirInsight.
If that’s not an option, they’ve urged to ask each passenger their weight, while making sure to add 10 pounds to account for clothing.
They even have a contingency plan for when operators suspect flyers are miscalculating their heft. In that case, crew members should ”make a reasonable estimate about passenger’s actual weight and add 10 pounds,” per the document.
Naturally, weighing people like luggage may seem a bit obtuse, which is why the FAA also provided guidelines on conducting the procedure in a way that protects passenger privacy.
They stipulate that ”the scale readout should remain hidden from public view” while ”an operator should ensure that any passenger weight data collected remains confidential.” Chalk one up for bedside manner.
Thankfully, travelers have the option of declining ”to participate in any passenger or bag weight survey,” per the guidelines.
”The FAA issued an Advisory Circular in May 2019 that stressed the importance that airline weight and balance programs accurately reflect current passenger weights,;; the FAA said in a statement to the Post.
”Operators are evaluating their programs to comply with this guidance. While weighing customers at the gate in an option, most operators will likely rely on updated methods for estimating passenger weights.”
In order to update guidelines on ”standard passenger weight,” airlines will have to up the weight of an average adult male passenger and carry-on bag to 190 pounds in the summer and 195 pounds in the winter – a 20-pounds increase from the current guidelines, For reported. Meanwhile, female passengers and carry-on bags will increase from 145 pounds to 179 pounds in the summer, and 150 pounds in the winter.
Source: New York Post