Cost-cutting carriers are considering weighing passengers in an effort to reduce wasted jet fuel.

The practice would help airlines save billions, at the cost of a little embarrassment for passengers.

It's something that airlines already do, in an unscientific way.

Earlier this year The Independent reported on the costly and inaccurate method of predicting air fuel using an "assumed weight" for passengers.

Advertisement

Allowing fuel spend to assume that male passengers weigh 88kg, women 70kg and children 35kg, the airlines try to reduce the cost of lugging excess fuel around the world.

Nick Brasier the chief operating officer for Fuel Matrix – a UK-based tech start up – estimated that most planes are flying with as much as 1 per cent extra fuel.

This might seem like a trivial amount, but the cost of flying full tanks across the skies means that airlines burn through as much as NZ$2.12 billion in wasted jetfuel.

UK airlines are in talks with the startup, having decided it's worth the cost of weighing their passengers before boarding to make operational savings.

Weight is a sensitive issue though passengers are beginning to see that a little embarrassment is worth reducing the carbon cost of travel.

The current proposal involves "discreet" pressure pads on the way to airport departure lounges.

The startup insists that the weight of the passengers will be completely anonymous and no one but the passenger would know their weight. (Although, some passengers would rather not know.)

It is worth saying that overweight passengers will not be asked to pay more, nor will smaller travellers get a discount. The reason for weighing passengers is purely for fuel saving.

Advertisement

Talking to The Sun Brasier said their technologies "are relevant to both airports and airlines in reducing fuel burn, CO2 emissions and carbon footprints."

Some airlines have already brought in 'fat shaming' as a surrogate for 'flight shaming'.

In 2015, Uzbekistan Airways said it would weigh and exclude overweight passengers from busy routes if plane loads were too heavy.

Finnair recently introduced a voluntary system for frequent flyers to fess up to their weight to help them better calculate fuel spend.