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Airlines may start weighing plus size passengers

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  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,279 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,279 Member
    I feel like we've sort of lost track of where this all started.

    It may be interesting to go back not just to the New York Post article that the OP linked, but also to the FAA advisory it's reporting on**. I guarantee that the situation is much, much more complicated and nuanced than our discussion is generally assuming.

    ** https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-27F.pdf

    When an airline is using survey methods (i.e., weighing actual passengers as a basis for estimating weight loads), the advisory includes things like weighing the actual aircraft (required to happen in still air, down to remarkably small tolerances, on a defined schedule, with different rules for different-sized aircraft and different-sized fleets); accounting for fluids like potable water and lavatory fluids, including how those fluids will move when in flight; considering fuel weight including conditions that affect density, depletion of fuel in flight, physical movement of fuel in the aircraft; considering movement of crew and passengers in the cabin (right down to provisions for flight crew leaving the flight deck to use the lavatory), and much, much more. That's just a small sample, from the advisory.

    The overall intention seems to be to establish acceptable limits within which each aircraft can safely operate, then make sure each aircraft stays comfortably within those limits. It's a complicated set of statistical estimates and actual measurements.

    There are various methods that apply to various craft, and one method of accounting for passenger weights would be to survey actual passengers on a random-sampling basis. Even this is very constrained. These are quotes about that part of it, from the advisory:
    Regardless of the sampling method used,
    an operator has the option of surveying each passenger and bag aboard the
    aircraft and should give a passenger the right to decline to participate in any
    passenger or bag weight survey. If a passenger declines to participate, the
    operator should select the next passenger based on the operator’s random
    selection method rather than select the next passenger in a line. If a passenger
    declines to participate, an operator should not attempt to estimate data for
    inclusion in the survey.
    An operator that chooses to weigh passengers as part
    of a survey should take care to protect the privacy of passengers. The scale
    readout should remain hidden from public view. An operator should ensure
    that any passenger weight data collected remains confidential.

    IME, when examined up close and referring to materials used by those with actual applied expertise, most things are much, much more complicated, detailed and carefully thought out than us average folks tend to assume, when we use our gut feelings and unrelated experiences to evaluate what the pros are doing, and why.

    We're just kind of shooting our rank-amateur mouths off, in here. 😆🤣

    NYP got a lot of clicks out of agitating people about this, though. 🤣
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,052 Member Member Posts: 24,052 Member
    yirara wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    In 2004 I flew on a very small plane in Costa Rica and all of the passengers and luggage were weighed. I had no problem with this, possibly because while in the USAF I had cargo aircraft load planning training, and so was well aware of the need.

    The article is a little confusing because it mentions weighing both plus-sized passengers and choosing passengers using random selection.

    I'd be against weighing plus sized people only, as it would then be mathematically impossible to achieve the stated goal of getting an average weight, and this practice would be ... fraught. I think it would be better to weigh everyone. Or if sampling is done, to make it perfectly clear that random selection is being used.

    Been on a flight as well where passangers were weighted, to Alderney. I think the plane was for 10 people.
    To be honest, it might not be a popular opinion, but very obese people should always buy two seats. There's nothing worse than sitting for hours next to a person who flows over into your seat. And it's double terrible when you're on the spectrum. I don't want to touch people. They should stay away from my seat.

    I'm not sure how unpopular that opinion is. I agree that if you don't fit into the seat, you should buy two seats. I paid for my seat and don't want someone else in it.

    But also the airlines are trying to cram too many people in.
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Member Posts: 3,932 Member Member Posts: 3,932 Member
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    yirara wrote: »
    kshama2001 wrote: »
    In 2004 I flew on a very small plane in Costa Rica and all of the passengers and luggage were weighed. I had no problem with this, possibly because while in the USAF I had cargo aircraft load planning training, and so was well aware of the need.

    The article is a little confusing because it mentions weighing both plus-sized passengers and choosing passengers using random selection.

    I'd be against weighing plus sized people only, as it would then be mathematically impossible to achieve the stated goal of getting an average weight, and this practice would be ... fraught. I think it would be better to weigh everyone. Or if sampling is done, to make it perfectly clear that random selection is being used.

    Been on a flight as well where passangers were weighted, to Alderney. I think the plane was for 10 people.
    To be honest, it might not be a popular opinion, but very obese people should always buy two seats. There's nothing worse than sitting for hours next to a person who flows over into your seat. And it's double terrible when you're on the spectrum. I don't want to touch people. They should stay away from my seat.

    I'm not sure how unpopular that opinion is. I agree that if you don't fit into the seat, you should buy two seats. I paid for my seat and don't want someone else in it.

    But also the airlines are trying to cram too many people in.

    The cramming of more people into the plane seems to be done via reduced seat pitch, the width of the seats of the seats hasn't changed. While I'll blame the lack of sufficient leg room on the drive to add more seats to the plane, spilling into the seat next to you is due to our increasing width.
  • The_EnginerdThe_Enginerd Member Posts: 3,932 Member Member Posts: 3,932 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    xrj22 wrote: »
    Unfair and pejoritive to target those who appear heavy. Are they also going we weigh people who are heavier because they are over 6' tall? If they really need to weigh passengers, then weigh everyone. If the weight of all passengers (or all passengers in 1 section) is too high, then ramdomly pick people to move or remove until total weight is low enough.

    But the real problem is that airlines are just trying to pack on too many people and not leaving any margin. Quit packing in more seats and over-booking flights.

    And how much more are you willing to pay for "unpacked" flights? 10%, 25%, 50%?

    We can complain about the lack of room on airlines, but the fact of the matter is, we are voting with our collective wallets for this. The market is providing other options for those willing to pay a higher price, such as Economy Plus seating.
  • Alinouveau2Alinouveau2 Member Posts: 547 Member Member Posts: 547 Member
    For the record I've been weighed getting on a flight. I think the plane ended up being smaller than they had anticipated and they had a lot of cargo and needed to make sure they would have enough fuel to get us from Vancouver to Hawaii.

    I didn't read he article just saying I have seen this happen and it wasn't in private you basically stepped on a scale as you walked away from the gate.
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