Flying Air New Zealand? Step on the Scale

International travelers will have to weigh themselves until July 2
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2023 3:08 PM CDT
Air New Zealand Wants to Know Your Weight
Air New Zealand passenger planes parked on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport in Auckland, New Zealand, Wednesday, March 23, 2022.   (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

For anyone who has ever lied about their weight, flying on Air New Zealand is going to remove the ability to fudge those 10 or however many pounds. As CNN reports, the airline—last year's safest in the world—will be collecting passengers' weights until July 2. As the national airline, the practice is being mandated by New Zealand’s Civil Aviation Authority, and it's not so much about fat-shaming as it is about safety. "We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft—from the cargo to the meals onboard, to the luggage in the hold," says Alastair James, Air New Zealand's load control improvement specialist. "For customers, crew, and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey."

It's a pretty specific experiment, affecting only international flights out of Auckland on the national airline. Some of those flights are among the longest in the world, like Auckland to JFK International Airport, which takes an eye-watering 17 hours. And it's not quite as invasive as one might imagine: Passengers step on a scale but there's no display even to the agent, and the data goes anonymously to Air New Zealand. "We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. No one can see your weight, not even us," James says. Luggage will have to be placed on a separate scale. The Independent reports that domestic travelers underwent the same experiment in 2021, and now it's international travelers' turn after a pandemic delay. (More Air New Zealand stories.)

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