Airline Begins Weighing Passengers Prior To Boarding


*Most of us have tried to trim down a bit before going on vacation. Soon, there may be a reason for that beyond trying to look good in that beachside selfie.

You may need to weigh in before getting on the plane. At least if you’re flying the friendly skies with Uzbekistan Airways.

According to CNN, the airline announced it will weigh passengers and their carry-on bags before boarding.  They believe it’s important to know just how much weight they’ll be adding to the plane.

So in addition to being my skinniest before going on vacation, I may have to ditch that Popeye’s I often tuck into my carry-on bag before longer flights.

“According to the rules of the International Air Transport Association, airlines are obliged to carry out the regular procedures of preflight control passengers weighing with hand baggage to observe requirements for ensuring flight safety,” the airline’s statement says.

In other words, “we want to do everything we can to keep that sucker up in the air.” Which begs the question: how’d they ensure that BEFORE this policy took effect?

Uzbekistan Airlines insists that passengers will be weighed on scales only in airport departure zones. So potentially, you can weigh in at check in, and get your grub on at the gate once you’ve made it past security.

While Uzbekistan Airways is citing IATA, that organization’s spokesperson isn’t owning up to knowledge of such a regulation.

“We are not aware of an IATA rule concerning the weighing of passengers and their hand luggage prior to flight,” says Chris Goater, manager of IATA corporate communications in an email to CNN.

“All airlines have policies in place for load calculations, weight and balance of their aircraft,” the email continues. “These policies in turn are subject to the rules and regulations of their national aviation regulator.”

As I contemplated this new policy, I wondered how Uzbekistan Airways will deal with overweight passengers. Will they be penalized? Charged more? Refused boarding privileges? At press time, the airline hasn’t responded to CNN’s request for clarification of the new policy.

If fat fliers are charged extra, it wouldn’t be the first time. In 2012, Samoa Air made headlines worldwide by implementing a pay-by-the-pound fee structure.

“The next step is for the industry to make those sort of changes,” said Samoa Air’s chief executive, Chris Langton in 2013. “What makes airplanes work is weight. We are not selling seats, we are selling weight.”

My mom was wrong, it seems.  Some of us, clearly, are worth far more than others. And some of us are worth a little more than we were just last year…let me get back to my protein shakes before my next trip.

This article was written by Michael P Coleman, a “healthy” freelance writer based in Sacramento. Follow him on Twitter: @ColemanMichael

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