Air New Zealand is asking passengers to step on a scale before they board some flights out of Auckland International Airport, according to the airline.
The carrier is implementing the new boarding procedure in order to better balance weight across an aircraft on international flights, it said in a statement. Knowing an aircraft's weight is also key to calculating fuel consumption, while having more precise information about a traveler's weight can make for a safer flight, the airline said.
"They have nothing to worry about," Air New Zealand load control improvement specialist Alastair James assured passengers in a video announcing the measure, which is part of a periodic survey.
"For safety reasons, we need to know the weight of all items onboard the aircraft. For passengers, crew and carry on bags, we use average weights that we get every five years through this survey," Air New Zealand said in a statement.
The move complies with the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand's rules governing aircraft operations, which state that operators must establish "the total weight of passengers and their carry-on baggage."
"It's a regulatory requirement for us to know the weight of everything that goes on the aircraft. From the cargo to the meals on board to the luggage in the hold," James said in the video. "By weighing in, you'll be helping us fly safely and efficiently every time."
Notably, neither passengers themselves nor airline personnel can see a traveler's weight; rather, the number is fed directly into a computer and recorded anonymously. The data also isn't assigned to a passenger's name or profile in a database. Participation is entirely voluntary, according to Air New Zealand.
The weighing process, which takes place at a plane's departure gate, will not delay any flights, the carrier said. In total, the airline in June will ask more than 10,000 customers traveling internationally to participate in the weight survey.
The first passengers were weighed on Monday as part of the survey, which will run through July 2. It's not the first time Air New Zealand has asked customers to step on the scale in the name of safety.
Customers flying domestically were also weighed in 2021, the airline said. "Now that international travel is back up and running, it's time for international flyers to weigh in."
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