In the name of fuel effeciency among airlines, a British start-up is looking into the idea of weighing passengers — just like luggage — before flights.
The more a plane weighs, the more fuel it will need to burn to complete its flight. This is why your luggage is so carefully taken into consideration.
Currently, people’s weights are taken into account, but only by using standard numbers. The most recent European Aviation Safety Agency’s numbers, from 2009, are 194 pounds for men, 154 pounds for women, and 77 pounds for children.
But, as we all know, everyone is different. And having more exact numbers could improve an airline’s bottom line.
“It’s critical to know the actual weight an airline is carrying to ensure the correct fuel uplift,” Fuel Matrix CEO Roy Fuscone tells Lonely Planet.
By weighing its passengers before takeoff, an airline would know exactly how much fuel it would need to make the flight and reduce any extra — saving not only money but carbon emissions.
But it doesn’t seem like you’ll be hoping on a scale in front of everyone. Lonely Planet reports Fuel Matrix is talking with airports about discreet methods of weighing passengers. Ideas include pressure pads somewhere during the check-in process or during body scans.
And it seems like body-shaming wouldn’t be part of the equation — you wouldn’t be prohibited or kicked off flights, the information would only be used to help calcuate fuel for flights.
Fuscone told Lonely Planet that the data collected would be securely maintained and protected in the same way other passenger information is currently gathered through technology at airports.
Lonely Planet reports that passenger weighing isn’t exactly new. In 2017, Finnair started asking passengers to voluntarily step on scales at the Helsinki airport.