Some Air New Zealand passengers to be weighed before international flights, Latest Travel News - The New Paper

Some Air New Zealand passengers to be weighed before international flights

Until July 2, selected Air New Zealand passengers will be asked to get on a weighing scale before flying, all in the name of safety.

Since Monday, passengers of the national airline departing on some international flights from Auckland have been asked to log their weight before boarding.

Air New Zealand said in a statement on Monday that the survey is “essential to the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft and is a Civil Aviation Authority requirement”.

Regulations mandate such a survey to be conducted every five years, so this is not a first for the airline, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The data will help pilots understand the weight and balance of loaded aircraft before each take-off, said the airline’s load control specialist Alastair James.

He added: “We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold.​

“For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”

Travellers will be asked to stand on a digital scale when they check in for their flight, according to CNN.

The information about their weight is then submitted to the survey but will not be viewable on the agent’s screen.

They will also place their luggage on another identical scale for separate weighing.

Acknowledging that weight can be a sensitive matter, the airline said customers had nothing to fear as data will be collected anonymously, so not even airline staff will be privy to the numbers.

Said Mr James: “We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight – not even us!”

The survey will be conducted at the entrance to the gate lounge of certain Air New Zealand flights departing from Auckland International Airport.

At least 10,000 people need to participate for the survey to be effective, Australian national news outlet Nine Network reported.

The survey for international networks was last conducted in 2015 but this marks the first year since Covid-19 that there will be enough travellers to get an accurate number, according to the New Zealand Herald.

In 2021, customers on the airline’s domestic network were similarly called upon to be weighed, an experience described by broadcaster Hilary Barry as “not ideal” on Twitter.

Said Mr James: “It’s simple, it’s voluntary, and by weighing in, you’ll be helping us to fly you safely and efficiently, every time.”