United Kingdom

Air New Zealand asks shocked passengers to get weighed along with their luggage

Passengers on Air New Zealand flights had more than their baggage weighed this week with some flyers being asked to step on the scales themselves. 

New Zealand media personality Hilary Barry was among those caught up in the weigh-in at Auckland airport as the airline surveyed customers to find out their average weight. 

'OMG Air NZ announces to everyone in the terminal it's conducting a survey to weigh both passengers and hand luggage today,' Ms Barry wrote to Twitter on Wednesday. 

Some Air New Zealand passengers were asked to step on the scales before they boarded the plane this week (stock image) 

The airline said they have to conduct the weight survey every five years to get an accurate picture of the weight aboard the plane for balance and fuel requirements (file image) 

'That won't be embarrassing at all. They also said it's a requirement they do it every five years,' she said. 

People commenting on Ms Barry's post shared in her apprehension at the thought of being weighed at a crowded airport terminal. 

'I am flying tomorrow but not if this is happening,' one person said. 

'Funny. That is approximately how often I weigh myself,' another said. 

One person pointed out passengers did not have to participate but that the information was important in calculating the flying weight of the aircraft. 

'It's not compulsory for a start. But I'd rather know the aircraft I'm traveling on isn't overloaded and out of balance,' they wrote. 

Another passenger, economist Shamubeel Eaqub, wrote that he was also weighed on Wednesday and the results were actually not able to be viewed by those doing the measuring. 

'I asked what weight I was. But the staff can't see it. Phew' he wrote. 

Air New Zealand has resumed a large part of their domestic service within the country and there is also talk of a travel bubble with Australia later this year 

A spokesperson for the airline also outlined the reason for the impromptu weigh-in and said taking part was not compulsory. 

'In order to fly safely and efficiently, we need to calculate the weight, balance and fuel requirements of each and every flight ahead of take-off,' Air New Zealand chief operational integrity officer Captain David Morgan said.

'To do this, we need to know the average weight of our passengers, crew and cabin baggage.' 

A 2003 survey conducted by the Civil Aviation Authority weighed 15,000 flyers and found the average weight of each passenger and their carry-on baggage was 85.4kg. 

Based on this information the CAA set the 'standard' weight of passengers over 13-years-old at 86kg which is used to calculate boarding capacity for planes. 

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