If you’re hopping on an Air New Zealand flight between May 29 and July 2, don’t be surprised if they ask you to hop on the scales first.
Air New Zealand described the practice as a ‘weighty issue’ in a press release shared today.
But don’t worry, unlike the scale at home, the gym or the doctor’s office, no one can see numbers that pop up, even the airline staff. Instead, the data will be collected anonymously, to determine the average weight of their passengers and carry-on luggage.
When attempting to get a gigantic object, full of people and baggage, into the air, knowing roughly how much everything weighs is not just helpful, but a regulatory requirement.
Passenger and baggage weight isn’t the only thing the airline needs to know, according to Air New Zealand load control improvement specialist Alastair James.
“We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold. For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”
Regulations require this survey to be done every five years, so this is not a first for the airline.
The same procedure took place in April 2021 across the domestic network and notably included famous broadcaster Hilary Barry, who described the experience as “not ideal” on Twitter.
For those who feel hesitant, James stressed the survey was totally voluntary and completely anonymous.
“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere,” he said.
The survey for international networks was last done in 2015 but this was the first year since Covid-19 that there had been enough travellers to get an accurate number.
Collecting the data was “essential to the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft and is a Civil Aviation Authority requirement”, according to the airline.
For customers who are hesitant about jumping on those scales, there is nothing to fear.
The survey will be done for certain Air New Zealand flights departing Auckland International Airport. Scales will be set up at the entrance to the gate lounges.