Air-travel was once considered the pinnacle of luxury traveling, but nowadays it’s a panicky maelstrom of stress and regulations for most of us, and now thanks to a British technology firm you may also be weighed at check-in.
Airport regulations are tight for obvious reasons, but people are failing to see why their weight should matter when flying. British firm Fuel Matrix thinks that weighing every passenger before they are allowed onto the plane will help lessen fuel consumption in the long term.
The idea is that by ‘discretely’ weighing passengers at check-in desks with a system of pressure pads, then the airline will be able to use that information to load a more appropriate amount of fuel onto the plane instead of simply using an ‘assumed weight’ for passengers as they reportedly do at present. Ideally, then, should the total weight come out less than expected, then the plane can stock a little less fuel and expend less during travel.
Some have been quick to condemn this as ‘fat-shaming dressed up as economic fairness,’ and there have been those up in arms about the idea that people who weigh more will have to pay more for flights.
However, the Independent has clearly stated that ‘heavier passengers will not need to pay any extra,’ but did go on to say, ‘though some airlines insist that obese travelers who cannot comfortably sit in a standard seat buy an extra seat.’
Weighing passengers before boarding also has some safety benefits according to reports. By knowing the weight of passengers, the airline can balance out the seating arrangement so that the plane is more balanced and uses less fuel trying to stay balanced in the air.
Chief operating officer of Fuel Matrix Nick Brasier reckons ‘airlines currently load about one percent more than they need, and consequently burn between 0.3 and 0.5 percent more fuel in carrying the unnecessary surplus.’