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Airlines may start weighing plus size passengers

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  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Will they raise the prices for the overweight flyers or eliminate the last to board passengers from flying? What a mess that will be.
    It's not about raising the price, it's about how much weight can be allowed on a plane to fly safely. If they don't stop passengers, then the next thing they may nix to reduce weight is LUGGAGE. So your luggage as a passenger on that flight, may come on another plane arriving later.

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    Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the past behavior of airlines makes me understand why some people might feel like this could be used as a justification for tiered prices based on weight. They haven't exactly acted in a way that inspires confidence that this WOULDN'T be used that way at some point.
    Possibly. They already charge extra for overweight luggage.

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  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member
    YellowD0gs wrote: »
    So it's been a couple of years since I've flown, but they still charge extra for over-weight luggage, right?
    Yes.

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  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,143 Member
    :lol:@ninerbuff

    You need to get back to work.

    The last 10 threads we had on this weren't enough for you?
    Lol I'm at work. Client cancelled this morning. :D

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  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,269 Member Member Posts: 39,269 Member
    MaltedTea wrote: »
    Granted, disclosure is optional. However, this seems like a odd problem solving approach.

    If passengers are getting larger (in an era where the aviation industry has been decreasing the sizes of their seats to increase capacity and profit margins) then seating room should be the first consideration.

    I say bring back the seat space and leg room that was standard back in, like, the 80s.

    (Picky sidenote from an aging curmudgeon: Also, the decorum of flying back then was much better than it is now. You'd dress appropriately - but still comfortably - to fly. Whereas since the 2000s, the dress code, hygiene and attitude of passengers - even in business or first - leaves much to be desired. Although this could also be because people are being packed into planes like sardines 🤷🏿‍♀️)

    It's just so much different now though. Flying was something that used to be quite expensive and not something your average person could do or do with any kind of frequency. I was 12 when I took my first flight to visit family in Los Angeles...so would have been 1986 or so and Southwest Airlines was just starting to really take off as a budget airline marketed to everyday people. IMO, they really had a big hand in changing the industry to more of what we see today, and that has both good and bad elements to it.

    On one hand I can decide on a whim that I want to spend a long weekend in San Diego and can usually get a round trip ticket from ABQ for around $100-$150 vs driving for 12+ hours. That would have pretty much been unheard of when I was a kid (adjusted for inflation, etc). Ultimately, everyone had to come down in price to compete with lower fare carriers like SW...and the only way you can do that and maintain profit margins is putting more people in seats.

    When I was a kid, it was far more common to drive to a destination or take a train...flying was pretty fancy. I only took that one flight to LA when I was 12...my next flight was en-route to boot camp when I was 18. COVID aside, it's pretty common for me and my family to fly 2-3 times per year now at least. My kids are 9 and 11 and flying is something that is just pretty normal to them...they've been on numerous flights since infancy. It's pretty much become basic public transportation. The good news is that you can buy business class or first class seats for about what it would have cost back in the day for economy (adjusted for inflation, etc)...so there are still options. My family is traveling to Miami for vacation in July and it will be for our first time treating ourselves to business class with our kiddos close by in economy.

    As dress and decorum goes...well, that's always changing for all kinds of things. I have a picture of my grandfather in the 40s wearing a full suit and hat on the beach in Florida in the middle of summer...aint nobody got time for that kind of nonsense.
    edited May 20
  • cmriversidecmriverside Member Posts: 31,444 Member Member Posts: 31,444 Member
    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    This paragraph makes it hard to take the article seriously...
    To put it plane-ly, the FAA wants to gauge how much fatter Americans have gotten, to prevent things from coming apart when planes take to the skies.

    I'm pretty sure that data is readily available from any number of sources in any number of industries. Pretty sure there are other motivations at play.

    But taking things at face value... if they are just gathering data, then they need to do it on a broader scale. There's no reason they can't put a scale in/under the metal detector "pods" you stand in and collect weight data in mostly real time, without singling out passengers, nor delaying the check-in/TSA/boarding process any more than necessary.

    Exactly, it's a click-baity topic, always has been.
  • Diatonic12Diatonic12 Member Posts: 32,351 Member Member Posts: 32,351 Member
    It's about safety. Aircrafts can only lift so much weight to get the airflow over the wings so it can lift off the ground.
  • nooshi713nooshi713 Member Posts: 4,451 Member Member Posts: 4,451 Member
    There is nothing wrong with this. It is a matter of safety.
    edited May 20
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,689 Member Member Posts: 1,689 Member
    dsc84 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Will they raise the prices for the overweight flyers or eliminate the last to board passengers from flying? What a mess that will be.
    It's not about raising the price, it's about how much weight can be allowed on a plane to fly safely. If they don't stop passengers, then the next thing they may nix to reduce weight is LUGGAGE. So your luggage as a passenger on that flight, may come on another plane arriving later.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the past behavior of airlines makes me understand why some people might feel like this could be used as a justification for tiered prices based on weight. They haven't exactly acted in a way that inspires confidence that this WOULDN'T be used that way at some point.
    Possibly. They already charge extra for overweight luggage.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    So I flew just recently, and I've always wondered why they would charge for extra/overweight luggage. I've been in line to check baggage multiple times only to find that the person in front of my was overweight on luggage so they move stuff from that bag to their carryon to avoid additional charges. The weight of what was being placed on the plane did not change, just distributed to a different bag. I finally asked. A big part of this isn't for reducing weight on plane though it does encourage people to think twice about what they bring with them to avoid line delays, but also safety for employees. Reducing the weight of the bag that is handled by airport employees can reduce risk of injury, which is also why they throw that "HEAVY" sticker on over weight bags as well.

    Sorry this may have been a bit off topic. I will say that at the end of the day I feel that safety should come first, but it can start with bags and reducing flight capacity if this is truly their biggest concern.

    The weight limit used to be 70 lbs before incurring a fee, but after OSHA got serious that a single person shouldn't lift more than 50 lbs regularly, that changed across the board. If your luggage is overweight, they're charging you as a deterrent so they can protect their employees, to help offset the cost of maybe needing an extra person tending to baggage, and to offset the cost of an employee injury (or lawsuit). I think there's a charge over 50 lbs and a hard limit of 70 lbs, plus you pay per checked bag to deter you from bringing your whole house with you on vacation, so I don't think putting any more caps on checked luggage is a solution. As far as design calculations go, that's pretty baked in.

    Carry-ons are out of control. You're only supposed to have one stowable bag and one personal item, but I can't count how many times I've seen someone waddling down the aisle with 4 or 5 bags hanging off them, and no airline worker did anything. These never get weighed, so the only constraint is the space they can fit in. Of course, many don't actually fit and end up getting gate-checked for free, so all those deterrents they set up for regular checked luggage have no effect. But the carry-ons are the one "luxury" airlines have continued to allow, so there will be outrage if they start weighing them and charging for overweight bags. There's already a ridiculous amount of grousing and entitlement over not being allowed to bring an oversized carry-on onboard with you.

    Airlines have managed to reduce the number of carry-ons by selling Basic Economy seats. You're not allowed a carry-on with that fare, so while Basic Economy primarily exists to compete with ultra-budget airlines, it also has the effect of giving regular-fare passengers more storage, and it reduces the total weight carried into the cabin.

    What this article doesn't mention at all is that almost all commercial airliners carry freight with them. That box of cookies that you're mailing Express to your Aunt June 5 states away might be going on a Delta flight. If airlines are going to rebalance the weight they carry because people are fatter, they're much more likely to keep packing us in like sardines and give USPS a little less square footage because we pay more.
    edited May 20
  • Noreenmarie1234Noreenmarie1234 Member Posts: 6,635 Member Member Posts: 6,635 Member
    I like the idea. I’d so much rather be safe than take the chance. Maybe it will give people even more of an incentive to lose weight. I know it would make me want to lose weight to not be pulled out and weighed.
    edited May 20
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,877 Member Member Posts: 1,877 Member
    dsc84 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Will they raise the prices for the overweight flyers or eliminate the last to board passengers from flying? What a mess that will be.
    It's not about raising the price, it's about how much weight can be allowed on a plane to fly safely. If they don't stop passengers, then the next thing they may nix to reduce weight is LUGGAGE. So your luggage as a passenger on that flight, may come on another plane arriving later.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    Not to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the past behavior of airlines makes me understand why some people might feel like this could be used as a justification for tiered prices based on weight. They haven't exactly acted in a way that inspires confidence that this WOULDN'T be used that way at some point.
    Possibly. They already charge extra for overweight luggage.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    A big part of this isn't for reducing weight on plane though it does encourage people to think twice about what they bring with them to avoid line delays, but also safety for employees. Reducing the weight of the bag that is handled by airport employees can reduce risk of injury, which is also why they throw that "HEAVY" sticker on over weight bags as well.

    Yep employee safety is huge. My boss worked at a small airport while going to school. He's taller and the luggage compartment of many planes doesn't allow one to stand up straight (especially if taller) so especially hard on the back.

    Also, be nice to airport employees. He said it was common practice to route the luggage of a difficult passenger to another location vs where the passenger was going. Like Cairo Egypt instead of Orlando.
  • jungkooksdonut17jungkooksdonut17 Member Posts: 171 Member Member Posts: 171 Member
    Maybe they'll have a weight limit for both your luggage and your body weight? So that if you are overweight, you have to pack light, that way, they can make sure no one goes over the limit (this is of course if the person themselves doesn't outweigh the limit).
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,279 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,279 Member
    From the article:

    "In order to update guidelines on “standard passenger weight,” airlines will have to up the weight of an average adult male passenger and carry-on bag to 190 pounds in the summer and 195 pounds in the winter — a 20-pound increase from the current guidelines, Fox reported. Meanwhile, female passengers and carry-on bags will increase from 145 pounds to 179 pounds in the summer, and 150 pounds to 184 pounds in the winter."

    I admit, it's been a while since I've flown anywhere. Last time I did, I checked, and the max weight for a carryon on the airline I used was 50 pounds. Since I was going to a big bead/jewelry event, I was packing a bunch of tools, so my carryon was close to 50 pounds. I'm not a very large woman, these days, at 125 pounds. Right there, that's 175 pounds, and I'm not going to fly nude, so 179 pounds is only marginally achievable in that scenario. 145 is highly, highly improbable.

    Yeah, most people don't have 50-pound carryons (and some of the sweet young men who wanted to help me put mine in the overhead bin didn't think this li'l ol' lady did either, from their body language when they grabbed it 😆😬).

    But still. It's hard to believe those average weights, when carryon (last I knew) allows for not just the (maybe) 50-pound bag, but also a personal item (purse, daypack, briefcase), and the bodyweight of a person who stands decent odds of being overweight or even obese.
    When at a ticket counter checking in our bags on a domestic flight, we were next to a really tall and obese couple. The bags they were checking were the twice the size of ours. I thought the must have some really big clothes in their bag to boot.

    This is sort of an aside, but I was astonished how much less space my clothes took up in a suitcase, when at healthy weight, vs. obese. And I was just barely over the line into obese BMI (BMI 30.4, at 5'5", 183 pounds), not severely obese. I'm gauging this from weekend trips to races, so the quantity/type of clothing was quite consistent, in the cases I'm comparing.
  • GummiMundiGummiMundi Member Posts: 358 Member Member Posts: 358 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I heard about this yesterday. Unlike a vehicle or ship, WEIGHT matters much much more when traveling by air. How the weight is dispersed on a plane matters much more than vehicles by land travel or by ship for obvious reasons. For the longest time now, aviation has used an average weight per person to decide on passengers and luggage for capacity on a plane. But with the ever growing waistlines of many, it's becoming more of a concern for safety issues. While a few hundered pounds don't matter as much to other vehicles, with planes is does matter much more.
    So now airlines are possibly looking at random weighing of passengers who likely exceed the average weight. Personally I do see this a couple of ways: it is a safety issue. If they do institute this, they better have a great back up plan for those that they may deem may not be able to board a flight due to weight overload.

    Okay, let's hear it.

    https://nypost.com/2021/05/18/airlines-to-weigh-passengers-before-boarding-airplanes/

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I've been on numerous small commuter planes (30 passengers or less) and after everyone was boarded the attendant said they were overweight and asked for volunteers to get off and get a later flight and a travel voucher for their trouble or move people around to balance weight.

    Heck we were even on a Airbus 200 or so seat plane where they didn't fill the last 8 rows because it would have been too heavy for the runway at Maui Airport headed to LA.

    I'm thinking it will ultimately result in a surcharge (user fee) for heavier passengers. But it will be a *kitten* storm.

    I'd be raising my hand even before the attendant finished their sentence. :s

    I understand that if a policy like the one being discussed was implemented, it would raise all sorts of questions and some uproar. But, considering that potentially the plane either lands safely or doesn't land at all, I know which side of the argument I'd support.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,877 Member Member Posts: 1,877 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    From the article:

    "In order to update guidelines on “standard passenger weight,” airlines will have to up the weight of an average adult male passenger and carry-on bag to 190 pounds in the summer and 195 pounds in the winter — a 20-pound increase from the current guidelines, Fox reported. Meanwhile, female passengers and carry-on bags will increase from 145 pounds to 179 pounds in the summer, and 150 pounds to 184 pounds in the winter."

    I admit, it's been a while since I've flown anywhere. Last time I did, I checked, and the max weight for a carryon on the airline I used was 50 pounds. Since I was going to a big bead/jewelry event, I was packing a bunch of tools, so my carryon was close to 50 pounds. I'm not a very large woman, these days, at 125 pounds. Right there, that's 175 pounds, and I'm not going to fly nude, so 179 pounds is only marginally achievable in that scenario. 145 is highly, highly improbable.

    Yeah, most people don't have 50-pound carryons (and some of the sweet young men who wanted to help me put mine in the overhead bin didn't think this li'l ol' lady did either, from their body language when they grabbed it 😆😬).

    But still. It's hard to believe those average weights, when carryon (last I knew) allows for not just the (maybe) 50-pound bag, but also a personal item (purse, daypack, briefcase), and the bodyweight of a person who stands decent odds of being overweight or even obese.
    When at a ticket counter checking in our bags on a domestic flight, we were next to a really tall and obese couple. The bags they were checking were the twice the size of ours. I thought the must have some really big clothes in their bag to boot.

    This is sort of an aside, but I was astonished how much less space my clothes took up in a suitcase, when at healthy weight, vs. obese. And I was just barely over the line into obese BMI (BMI 30.4, at 5'5", 183 pounds), not severely obese. I'm gauging this from weekend trips to races, so the quantity/type of clothing was quite consistent, in the cases I'm comparing.

    Which doesn't make any sense

    The average weight of American men in 2015-16 was 197.9 pounds; for women, it was 170.6 pounds. This is up from 189.4 pounds and 163.8 pounds, respectively, in 1999-2000.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/20/health/us-average-height-weight-report#:~:text=The average weight of American,respectively, in 1999-2000.

    Pretty small allowance for weight of carry on items. Plus the average weight shown for men and women have most likely gone up since 2015-16.
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,877 Member Member Posts: 1,877 Member
    GummiMundi wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I heard about this yesterday. Unlike a vehicle or ship, WEIGHT matters much much more when traveling by air. How the weight is dispersed on a plane matters much more than vehicles by land travel or by ship for obvious reasons. For the longest time now, aviation has used an average weight per person to decide on passengers and luggage for capacity on a plane. But with the ever growing waistlines of many, it's becoming more of a concern for safety issues. While a few hundered pounds don't matter as much to other vehicles, with planes is does matter much more.
    So now airlines are possibly looking at random weighing of passengers who likely exceed the average weight. Personally I do see this a couple of ways: it is a safety issue. If they do institute this, they better have a great back up plan for those that they may deem may not be able to board a flight due to weight overload.

    Okay, let's hear it.

    https://nypost.com/2021/05/18/airlines-to-weigh-passengers-before-boarding-airplanes/

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I've been on numerous small commuter planes (30 passengers or less) and after everyone was boarded the attendant said they were overweight and asked for volunteers to get off and get a later flight and a travel voucher for their trouble or move people around to balance weight.

    Heck we were even on a Airbus 200 or so seat plane where they didn't fill the last 8 rows because it would have been too heavy for the runway at Maui Airport headed to LA.

    I'm thinking it will ultimately result in a surcharge (user fee) for heavier passengers. But it will be a *kitten* storm.

    I'd be raising my hand even before the attendant finished their sentence. :s

    I understand that if a policy like the one being discussed was implemented, it would raise all sorts of questions and some uproar. But, considering that potentially the plane either lands safely or doesn't land at all, I know which side of the argument I'd support.

    Unless you were going to miss a connecting flight to your vacation and would miss a day or 2 , or you were travelling for work and your company got any air miles, vouchers for travel you were given, etc.

    There would generally be hands raised though. It wasn't uncommon for passengers to ask for a better deal than was offered.
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 25,741 Member Member, Premium Posts: 25,741 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    GummiMundi wrote: »
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    I heard about this yesterday. Unlike a vehicle or ship, WEIGHT matters much much more when traveling by air. How the weight is dispersed on a plane matters much more than vehicles by land travel or by ship for obvious reasons. For the longest time now, aviation has used an average weight per person to decide on passengers and luggage for capacity on a plane. But with the ever growing waistlines of many, it's becoming more of a concern for safety issues. While a few hundered pounds don't matter as much to other vehicles, with planes is does matter much more.
    So now airlines are possibly looking at random weighing of passengers who likely exceed the average weight. Personally I do see this a couple of ways: it is a safety issue. If they do institute this, they better have a great back up plan for those that they may deem may not be able to board a flight due to weight overload.

    Okay, let's hear it.

    https://nypost.com/2021/05/18/airlines-to-weigh-passengers-before-boarding-airplanes/

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png

    I've been on numerous small commuter planes (30 passengers or less) and after everyone was boarded the attendant said they were overweight and asked for volunteers to get off and get a later flight and a travel voucher for their trouble or move people around to balance weight.

    Heck we were even on a Airbus 200 or so seat plane where they didn't fill the last 8 rows because it would have been too heavy for the runway at Maui Airport headed to LA.

    I'm thinking it will ultimately result in a surcharge (user fee) for heavier passengers. But it will be a *kitten* storm.

    I'd be raising my hand even before the attendant finished their sentence. :s

    I understand that if a policy like the one being discussed was implemented, it would raise all sorts of questions and some uproar. But, considering that potentially the plane either lands safely or doesn't land at all, I know which side of the argument I'd support.

    Unless you were going to miss a connecting flight to your vacation and would miss a day or 2 , or you were travelling for work and your company got any air miles, vouchers for travel you were given, etc.

    There would generally be hands raised though. It wasn't uncommon for passengers to ask for a better deal than was offered.

    My company's travel policy specifically states that we can't volunteer for this kind of delay.
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