Airline Faces Backlash for Alleged Fat-Shaming by Weighing Passengers Pre-boarding- FinnAir

CHICAGO - MARCH 1: Travelers walk past a baggage scale at O'Hare International Airport March 1, 2004 in Chicago, Illinois. The National Transportation Safety Board states that airlines should check the weight of passengers periodically prior to boarding, resulting in more accurate information on the overall weight of the departing plane.

A Finnish airline (FinnAir) has begun its contentious plan of weighing passengers before takeoff, a move that has been harshly criticized as fat-shaming.

Finland’s national carrier is implementing a voluntary program in the capital city of Helsinki to assist in determining fuel requirements and ensuring safe take-offs by calculating the maximum weight.

Lisa Kennedy of Fox News expressed her opinion on a podcast regarding airlines and their potential criteria for discrimination. She suggested that if airlines were to target specific behaviors, they should consider addressing issues such as disruptive toddlers kicking seats and individuals emitting unpleasant odors.

More than 800 passengers have willingly participated in the FinnAir scheme by undergoing weight measurements.

Other airlines, such as Air New Zealand and Hawaiian Airlines, have also implemented customer weighing in recent years.

FinnAir’s Weight Measurement Policy Sparks Controversy

An employee of the Finnish airline company Finnair, wearing surgical mask, guides a passenger at the Helsinki Airport in Vantaa, Finland, on May 18, 2020.


A Finnish airline (FinnAir) has implemented a new policy of measuring passengers’ weight prior to boarding, which has sparked significant controversy and drawn strong criticism for potentially promoting body shaming. 

FinnAir, a European carrier, has recently implemented a voluntary programme at Helsinki Airport. This programme involves weighing passengers at the departure gates.

According to Finnair, this initiative will help airlines improve their calculations of weight estimates for planes prior to takeoff. 

Passengers were observed standing on scales at the airport, adjacent to a prominent sign that states: ‘Voluntary Customer Weight Survey.’

Finnair emphasizes the importance of comprehending the varying weight carried by an aircraft during different trips, which can significantly fluctuate based on geographical location and the time of year. 

A spokesperson had previously stated that the scheme aims to gather precise data for aircraft performance and balance calculations, which are crucial for ensuring the safety of flights. This would eliminate the reliance on European standard weights.

According to a previous statement by a communications director, it is observed that individuals in Finland often opt for warmer clothing during colder months. ‘This is indicative of our organization’s unwavering commitment to safety,’ they said. 

We are interested in verifying the accuracy of the data we are using for calculations. We rely on them for every flight, as they play a crucial role in optimizing the aircraft’s performance. ‘When you clarify this to passengers, they grasp the concept.’

Engineers have expressed support for the move, emphasizing the importance of airlines having access to the latest data to enhance flight safety.

Air New Zealand has emphasized the importance of certain measures for the smooth and secure operation of their aircraft, as mandated by the Civil Aviation Authority Despite the voluntary nature of the plans, some individuals were taken aback by the news.


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