Weight A Minute: Airline to Weigh Passengers Before Flight
Uzbekistan Airways has announced it will begin weighing passengers in a special area at the gate prior to departure of all flights.
The weight will include passenger handbags and carry-ons, the airline says, so it can determine an average weight for the flight.
Passenger weights will not be disclosed, and the airline promises “full confidentiality.” It did not say if it planned to use the information to arrange seating in a specified way or if larger passengers would be required to purchase a second seat.
"According to the rules of International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines are obliged to carry out the regular procedures of preflight control passengers weighing with hand baggage to observe requirements for ensuring flight safety," Uzbekistan Airways said in a statement.
But an IATA spokesperson told CNN no such regulation exists.
"We are not aware of an IATA rule concerning the weighing of passengers and their hand luggage prior to flight," Chris Goater, manager of IATA corporate communications, told the network via email. "All airlines have policies in place for load calculations, weight and balance of their aircraft. These policies in turn are subject to the rules and regulations of their national aviation regulator."
London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, citing a 2008 report from the World Health Organization, stated that more than 44 percent of those 20 years and older in Uzbekistan were found to be overweight, while nearly 15 percent were obese. The WHO report further predicts that by 2020, 13 percent of men and 20 percent of women in the same age group will be obese.
The Telegraph also ran a poll with its story asking if you would get on a flight if you had to be weighed first. Some 32 percent said no, 11 percent said they would only if guaranteed confidentiality, and 57 percent said yes, it’s a great idea.
TravelPulse Founder and CEO Mark Murphy was on CNN to, ahem, weigh in on the issue:
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