Last updated: 10:49 AM ET, Fri September 11 2015

Poll: British Travelers Aren't Opposed to Weighing in at Airport

Airlines & Airports | Patrick Clarke | September 11, 2015

Poll: British Travelers Aren't Opposed to Weighing in at Airport

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In wake of Uzbekistan Airways announcing plans to weigh passengers and their carry-on luggage prior to depatures last month, many have wondered whether more airlines would follow suit in the name of safety.

A recent poll of U.K. travelers conducted by Holiday Extras reveals that more than half (58 percent) approve of weighing in at the airport prior to boarding a flight and would be content if heavier passengers had to pay more to fly, the Daily Mail reported.

What's more, 45 percent said they would be unaffected by having to pay fares based on their weight.

However while six percent said they would be encouraged to use an airline that implements weight measures, more than one in five respondents (21 percent) indicated they would boycott an airline that made weighing in a requirement. 

"There's currently no initiative to weigh customers at check in the U.K. Even so, the idea has sparked some lively debate with holiday travelers," Holiday Extras communications director Ant Clarke Cowell told the Daily Mail. "Changes in airline procedures often do receive an adverse reaction initially, so it's pretty surprising to see that many holidaymakers appear to be tolerant to the idea of weighing passengers at check-in. "

"Personal space is a certainly a very sensitive issue so it will be interesting to see how views about this topic evolve," Cowell concluded.

Uzbekistan Airways cited safety as its top reason for applying the policy. But travel expert Bob Atkinson indicated to the Daily Mail that there could be financial motivation for airlines to adopt similar policies.

"To get a plane into the air, airlines need fuel. The heavier the aircraft, the more fuel and therefore the higher the cost — and fuel is cited as the largest cost an airline incurs," said Atkinson.

Plus, as TravelPulse Founder and CEO Mark Murphy pointed out on CNN last month, such a policy could open the door for airlines to charge heavier passengers fees based on their weight. 

Although passenger weight has become a more prominent issue among air travelers in recent years, with some travelers having to purchase multiple seats in order to fly, it remains to be seen whether the benefits of weighing passengers ahead of time exceed the controversy. 


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