Flight travellers may face an awkward start to their holiday when faced with the prospect of being weighed before they board a plane. According to claims, passengers may be weighed before embarking, particularly when travelling on long-haul journeys, to help a pilot better judge the amount of fuel needed for an aircraft. Those heading overseas could be asked to use “pressure pads” during the check-in process, according to technology company Fuel Matrix. They say the devices would help with “discreetly weighing” people, in comments to the Independent.
Fuel Matrix’s chief operating officer Nick Brasier told the publication: “We’re not suggesting people should stand on the scales, but airports could fit ‘pressure pads’ in the self-service bag drop area in front of each screen.
“After the bag has been checked in, the system can ask, ‘Are you standing on the pressure pad?’
“If the passenger taps ‘Yes’, then the weight can be recorded and passed confidentially to the airline.”
The device could be placed alongside airport body scan machines or even at the baggage drop.
He added how the majority of flights carry about one per cent more fuel than they need.
They then burn about 0.3 to 0.5 per cent more fuel due to the extra fuel weight.
The idea is data from the pressure pads at such locations could be sent instantly to the pilot, so they know how much fuel to put on board.
The heavier the plane, the more fuel is needed.
By being more accurate in measuring the allocation also means aircraft can attempt to be more environmentally friendly.
At present, airlines use average weighting guidelines to ascertain the amount of fuel needed for an aircraft – which the company says is inaccurate.
It accounts for a woman wishing 11 stone, a man weighing 13.8 stone and a child 5.5 stone.
Meanwhile, in 2017 it was revealed Finnish airline Finnair was weighing passengers before they boarded.
It again cited the desire to better manage operating and fuel costs, by becoming aware of the accurate weight of a plane.
Initially, it was introduced on a voluntary basis.
After it reached the 2,000 people mark, it was hoped they could gain a more accurate representation for the amount of fuel needed.