Finnair, Finland's national airline, has started a three-month study at Helsinki airport where passengers can choose to be weighed before their flight. This test, which began on Monday, aims to help the airline save on fuel costs and improve flight safety. Over 600 passengers have already volunteered but some criticize the airline's experiment.

Finnair's Weigh-In Experiment Sparks Passenger Privacy Debate
(Photo : René A. Da Rin from Pixabay)

Finnair Launches Voluntary Weigh-In Study for Passengers

Finnair has launched a unique study at the Helsinki airport, inviting passengers to voluntarily weigh themselves and their carry-on luggage. The study, which began this week, is part of Finnair's effort to better understand the weight on their flights and improve fuel efficiency.

As reported by Euronews, the weigh-in is anonymous, and Finnair assures that the data will only be used for improving aircraft balance and calculation. This move has been welcomed by investors, as shown by a 2.3% rise in Finnair's shares after the announcement. Many passengers also support this initiative, praising it for promoting safety and efficiency.

Finnair's study comes at a time when airlines are focusing more on reducing fuel consumption and costs. With fuel prices increasing due to recent global events, airlines are exploring different ways to be more economical. For example, United Airlines has started using sustainable jet fuel made from trash to lessen its carbon footprint.

However, the study has sparked concerns about privacy and discrimination. Some passengers fear that weight data could be used unfairly or leaked. Others worry about the impact on individuals with eating disorders or medical conditions. These concerns highlight the delicate balance between efficiency and passenger rights.

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In light of these concerns, travel influencer Jae'lynn Chaney has petitioned for airlines to adopt more inclusive policies. Finnair's initiative, while innovative, also comes at a time when the airline is dealing with union strikes and flight cancellations. The success of this study and its impact on Finnair's future policies and profitability remains to be seen.

Experts Say It's Necessary for Flight Safety

After announcing the new policy, experts claim this is crucial for flight safety and has been long overdue. According to Greg Marciniak, a former United States Air Force aircraft electronics expert, the policy is essential. He explained that airlines rely on outdated average weights, but people are generally heavier now than they were decades ago. Without current weight data, planes are 'flying blind,' which is dangerous.

According to the Daily Mail, Finnair started this practice in 2017, shifting from European standard weights to its own data. This is to get better averages for safe flying. The airline measures volunteers to calculate accurate weights for different seasons and routes. For instance, in winter, passengers in Finland often carry heavier coats.

Meanwhile, Other airlines, like easyJet and Norwegian, stated they have no plans for similar policies, focusing on smooth and quick boarding instead. Wizz Air also expressed concerns about dignity and customer experience.

As of now, 800 people have volunteered for Finnair's survey. The airline emphasizes that participation is optional and data collected is anonymous, assuring customers of their commitment to inclusivity and safety.

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