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Airlines may start weighing plus size passengers

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  • ccrdragonccrdragon Member Posts: 3,018 Member Member Posts: 3,018 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.

    Our company policy is the same - the only excuse accepted for not being on the booked flight is a delay/cancellation by the airline (for weather, maintenance, etc). No volunteering for discounts, etc is allowed.

    As for the original topic, most of the smaller regional airlines have had this policy in place for years. It is a safety issue and the passenger weights are usually used to help balance the weight distribution evenly thru the plane. I don't have any issue with the major carriers doing the same thing.
    edited May 21
  • 33gail3333gail33 Member Posts: 885 Member Member Posts: 885 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 daughter had a short layover in Fiji and ended up with a 3 night free resort stay because she "raised her hand" to take a later flight when hers was overbooked. It can sometimes work out pretty well.
  • GummiMundiGummiMundi Member Posts: 378 Member Member Posts: 378 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.

    Obviously, there are specific circumstances in which people can't volunteer for a later flight, as you noted.

    Maybe I should have added that I get painfully anxious before flying, that can help explain my knee jerk reaction if something like that happened. It's not about a "better deal", it's about safety.
    edited May 21
  • PAPYRUS3PAPYRUS3 Member Posts: 9,990 Member Member Posts: 9,990 Member
    Realistically, they should be weighing all passengers. Think of some of the athletes who are muscular... It wouldn't bother me as much if everyone was weighed.

    If someone appears to be at or under the average weight, what's the point of weighing them?

    no doubt...I am quite underweight - can I get a discount?🤣
  • L1zardQueenL1zardQueen Member Posts: 8,750 Member Member Posts: 8,750 Member
    One dollar per pound.
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 701 Member Member, Premium Posts: 701 Member
    I don't like it, but I also don't have a good solution. I don't mind the actual flying part, but for me all of the logistics involved with taking a trip by air are just too much. My family hasn't flown in years, because even on "cheap" airlines we're priced out. We do like to travel but we stick to the ground for now. I actually rather like car trips.

    I haven't figured out what we might do for overseas travel. Do people still go by boat or is it all just freight? We'll have to travel like they did in the old days when you were gone for months or years. :D
    edited May 21
  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,934 Member Member Posts: 1,934 Member
    I don't like it, but I also don't have a good solution. I don't mind the actual flying part, but for me all of the logistics involved with taking a trip by air are just too much. My family hasn't flown in years, because even on "cheap" airlines we're priced out. We do like to travel but we stick to the ground for now. I actually rather like car trips.

    I haven't figured out what we might do for overseas travel. Do people still go by boat or is it all just freight? We'll have to travel like they did in the old days when you were gone for months or years. :D

    You can travel by ship say from NY to London but economy class flying is much cheaper.
  • MsBaz2018MsBaz2018 Member Posts: 364 Member Member Posts: 364 Member
    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

    It's a piece of information. Where is the debate side of it?
  • MsBaz2018MsBaz2018 Member Posts: 364 Member Member Posts: 364 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    It'd be embarrassing to be pulled out for a weight check before boarding a plane, but I'd rather be embarrassed than be in a plane that crashed due to the overall weight being too high.

    This seems like the case of a sucky solution to a real problem . . . but there may not be a better alternative solution.

    I would say that they could ask people to self-report their weight at time of ticket purchase, but I don't know if you could count on accurate self-reporting, especially if people felt it might increase ticket price.
    Apparently they would weigh them out of sight (maybe right after security check?) so that other passengers don't see it. What I think is odd is that there may be an "opt out" for passengers who get selected. But how then do they cover keeping those passengers from boarding?
    I've seen FAMILIES of large people boarding a plane at one time and knowing that they exceed the average weight limit (200lbs for adults and 100lbs for children) by several hundred pounds.


    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

    Why do you see it as boarding/not boarding? Is it not more an issue of how they sit people so that weights are better distributed? A few years back they used to allow more luggage allowance. On international travel at least it has decreased. Maybe because passengers' weights are already accounted for?
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,383 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,383 Member
    MsBaz2018 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

    It's a piece of information. Where is the debate side of it?
    I'm not against it because it could be a discrimination issue for overweight/obese people.

    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

  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 24,277 Member Member Posts: 24,277 Member
    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.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,544 Member Member Posts: 10,544 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    MsBaz2018 wrote: »
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    It'd be embarrassing to be pulled out for a weight check before boarding a plane, but I'd rather be embarrassed than be in a plane that crashed due to the overall weight being too high.

    This seems like the case of a sucky solution to a real problem . . . but there may not be a better alternative solution.

    I would say that they could ask people to self-report their weight at time of ticket purchase, but I don't know if you could count on accurate self-reporting, especially if people felt it might increase ticket price.
    Apparently they would weigh them out of sight (maybe right after security check?) so that other passengers don't see it. What I think is odd is that there may be an "opt out" for passengers who get selected. But how then do they cover keeping those passengers from boarding?
    I've seen FAMILIES of large people boarding a plane at one time and knowing that they exceed the average weight limit (200lbs for adults and 100lbs for children) by several hundred pounds.


    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

    Why do you see it as boarding/not boarding? Is it not more an issue of how they sit people so that weights are better distributed? A few years back they used to allow more luggage allowance. On international travel at least it has decreased. Maybe because passengers' weights are already accounted for?
    The average weight estimated for say a male is 200lbs. Say you have a 300lbs male waiting to get on board. And now 9 others who are over 100lbs of the average board as well. We're now 1000lbs over the average. That's half a ton. That DOES make a difference in flying because it can affect things like takeoff.

    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

    Does the plane only have ten passengers? If it's a normal sized plane I would expect it to have several people over the average weight, like you just described, and several more who are under the average. That's how averages work, and why you need to look at the entire picture. 🙂
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 6,493 Member Member Posts: 6,493 Member
    Many years ago I took a helicopter tour while visiting Kauai. I had done research, and I knew which company I wanted to fly with. I called to book a reservation. They told me they did reservations for couples, not singles. Bummer.

    They called back later and said there was space for me if I could come that day at a certain time. One of the booked passengers was overweight, so he had to buy two tickets. That left a spot for a solo customer. I took it.

    The companies tell you that all the seats have the same view. I'll tell you it's not true. You can even ask for the "ono" seat, but they put passengers in the aircraft so that it's balanced. I was chuffed when they put me in that front side seat. Spectacular.

    I don't remember seeing a scale, but they did ask your weight when you made the reservation. Planning purposes.

    I don't know how much mass it would take to affect the balance of a modern jumbo jet. Certainly it matters for smaller planes. I seem to recall being on a short hop, and they even announced that they might have to move passengers if the plane wasn't balanced.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 20,773 Member Member, Premium Posts: 20,773 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Many years ago I took a helicopter tour while visiting Kauai. I had done research, and I knew which company I wanted to fly with. I called to book a reservation. They told me they did reservations for couples, not singles. Bummer.

    They called back later and said there was space for me if I could come that day at a certain time. One of the booked passengers was overweight, so he had to buy two tickets. That left a spot for a solo customer. I took it.

    The companies tell you that all the seats have the same view. I'll tell you it's not true. You can even ask for the "ono" seat, but they put passengers in the aircraft so that it's balanced. I was chuffed when they put me in that front side seat. Spectacular.

    I don't remember seeing a scale, but they did ask your weight when you made the reservation. Planning purposes.

    I don't know how much mass it would take to affect the balance of a modern jumbo jet. Certainly it matters for smaller planes. I seem to recall being on a short hop, and they even announced that they might have to move passengers if the plane wasn't balanced.

    Not the topic of this thread (maybe topically closer to the bike/car & environment one? 😉), but it seems quite likely that fuel consumption becomes higher with larger fractions of the population being overweight and obese. If so, seems like that would have environmental implications (flying being one of our more high-polluting activities for an individual, as I inexpertly understand it), and would require a higher weight of fuel on the flight (or use of shorter-hop flights) to compensate.
    edited May 23
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter Posts: 45,383 Member Member, Greeter Posts: 45,383 Member
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Many years ago I took a helicopter tour while visiting Kauai. I had done research, and I knew which company I wanted to fly with. I called to book a reservation. They told me they did reservations for couples, not singles. Bummer.

    They called back later and said there was space for me if I could come that day at a certain time. One of the booked passengers was overweight, so he had to buy two tickets. That left a spot for a solo customer. I took it.

    The companies tell you that all the seats have the same view. I'll tell you it's not true. You can even ask for the "ono" seat, but they put passengers in the aircraft so that it's balanced. I was chuffed when they put me in that front side seat. Spectacular.

    I don't remember seeing a scale, but they did ask your weight when you made the reservation. Planning purposes.

    I don't know how much mass it would take to affect the balance of a modern jumbo jet. Certainly it matters for smaller planes. I seem to recall being on a short hop, and they even announced that they might have to move passengers if the plane wasn't balanced.
    Weights are much higher per average than 20 years ago for Americans overall.


    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
  • mtaratootmtaratoot Member Posts: 6,493 Member Member Posts: 6,493 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Many years ago I took a helicopter tour while visiting Kauai. I had done research, and I knew which company I wanted to fly with. I called to book a reservation. They told me they did reservations for couples, not singles. Bummer.

    They called back later and said there was space for me if I could come that day at a certain time. One of the booked passengers was overweight, so he had to buy two tickets. That left a spot for a solo customer. I took it.

    The companies tell you that all the seats have the same view. I'll tell you it's not true. You can even ask for the "ono" seat, but they put passengers in the aircraft so that it's balanced. I was chuffed when they put me in that front side seat. Spectacular.

    I don't remember seeing a scale, but they did ask your weight when you made the reservation. Planning purposes.

    I don't know how much mass it would take to affect the balance of a modern jumbo jet. Certainly it matters for smaller planes. I seem to recall being on a short hop, and they even announced that they might have to move passengers if the plane wasn't balanced.
    Weights are much higher per average than 20 years ago for Americans overall.


    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

    My personal observations are in agreement with that fact. There's SO many people I see every time I'm away from home that I think, "I'm so fortunate to not have had THAT MUCH to lose."
  • chocolate_owlchocolate_owl Member Posts: 1,695 Member Member Posts: 1,695 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    mtaratoot wrote: »
    Many years ago I took a helicopter tour while visiting Kauai. I had done research, and I knew which company I wanted to fly with. I called to book a reservation. They told me they did reservations for couples, not singles. Bummer.

    They called back later and said there was space for me if I could come that day at a certain time. One of the booked passengers was overweight, so he had to buy two tickets. That left a spot for a solo customer. I took it.

    The companies tell you that all the seats have the same view. I'll tell you it's not true. You can even ask for the "ono" seat, but they put passengers in the aircraft so that it's balanced. I was chuffed when they put me in that front side seat. Spectacular.

    I don't remember seeing a scale, but they did ask your weight when you made the reservation. Planning purposes.

    I don't know how much mass it would take to affect the balance of a modern jumbo jet. Certainly it matters for smaller planes. I seem to recall being on a short hop, and they even announced that they might have to move passengers if the plane wasn't balanced.

    Not the topic of this thread (maybe topically closer to the bike/car & environment one? 😉), but it seems quite likely that fuel consumption becomes higher with larger fractions of the population being overweight and obese. If so, seems like that would have environmental implications (flying being one of our more high-polluting activities for an individual, as I inexpertly understand it), and would require a higher weight of fuel on the flight (or use of shorter-hop flights) to compensate.

    There's certainly an optimal weight for the plane to be as far as fuel goes. They want to carry enough to get the plane from point A to point B, with a certain percentage as reserve for having to circle, getting diverted, and general safety. They don't want to carry more fuel to move more weight which then means they might have to carry even more fuel to deal with the fuel weight - the weight of fuel becomes an interesting calculation for those ultra-long haul flights, and some don't fly at full passenger capacity because of it. That said, on your standard 737 flight going from Chicago to Miami, it's doubtful that a few hundred lbs of passenger weight are going to have a big effect on your fuel load.

    Here's a fun table with the max weights for various planes. "Cargo" is crew, passengers, bags, in-flight food and beverage service, freight - anything that's not tied down, basically.
    https://pilotteacher.com/how-much-do-airplanes-weigh-with-20-examples/#:~:text=The Boeing 737 can weigh,2,400lb/1,11kg.
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