Air New Zealand to weigh passengers before boarding the aircraft

Take off your shoes. Take the keys out of your pocket. Get on the scale?

That’s right: New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority requires its national carrier to weigh passengers departing on international flights from Auckland International Airport through July 2, 2023.

The program, which Air New Zealand calls a passenger weight survey, is a way to collect data on weight loading and distribution for aircraft, the airline said.

“We weigh everything that goes on the plane – from the cargo to the meals on board, to the luggage in the hold,” Alastair James, the airline’s cargo control improvement specialist, said in a statement. “For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey.”

Still, weight is a personal thing that not everyone wants to reveal. To protect individuals’ privacy, the airline says it has made the data anonymous.

Travelers will be asked to stand on a digital scale when checking in to the plane. The information about their weight is then sent to the survey, but will not be visible on the agent’s screen.

They will also place your luggage on another identical scale for separate weighing.

“We know stepping on the scale can be intimidating. We want to reassure our customers that there is no visible screen anywhere. No one can see your scale, not even us,” said James.

This is not the first time Air NZ has asked passengers to step on the scales before boarding their planes. Domestic passengers participated in a survey in 2021, but the one for international travelers was delayed due to the pandemic.

Among the people who may be asked to take part in the survey are those traveling by direct flight from Auckland to New York City’s JFK airport.

The 17-hour flagship route was launched last autumn as a lynchpin in Air NZ’s post-pandemic strategy. It is also one of the longest flights in the world.

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