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Air New Zealand weighs passengers before boarding

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More than 10,000 travelers will begin their summer vacation by stepping on the scale. Until 2 July, Air New Zealand will conduct a survey measuring the average weight of passengers and their baggage on international flights departing from Auckland International Airport.

The airline described the initiative as “fundamental”, noting that the Australian Civil Aviation Authority requires weight surveys to be carried out every five years to reassess the payload and weight distribution for flights.

“We weigh everything on the plane, from the cargo, to the meals on the plane, to the checked baggage,” he explains Alister James, Load Control Optimization Specialist for Air New Zealand. “For customers, crew baggage and cabin baggage, we use the average weights obtained from this survey.”

Upon check-in, travelers are required to stand on a digital scale. Their baggage was put on another scale. Data is sent to the survey anonymously and hidden from enrollment agents.

Rest assured, participation in the survey is voluntary and confidential. “We know getting on the scale can be daunting,” said Alister James. “We want to reassure our customers that there is no visible display. No one can see your weight, not even us.”

According to a statement from the airline, “The scales do not display weight because it is entered directly into a computer and registered anonymously with thousands of other passengers.” This process does not delay flights and takes place before the boarding gate. »

Air New Zealand has conducted these passenger weight surveys for years. In 2021, the company ran a similar survey of domestic travelers, but the international version of the survey was delayed due to the pandemic.

In 2003, a survey of 15,000 people by the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) found that the average weight of passengers and carry-on baggage was 85.4kg. Based on these results, the Civil Aviation Authority was able to determine the “standard weight” and calculate the number of passengers that a large aircraft can carry.

Last year, Air New Zealand resumed direct flights between Auckland, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The airline has also launched new nonstop service between Oakland and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. The launch of this new route was originally announced in 2019, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Translated article from the American magazine Forbes – Author: Susan Rowan Kelleher

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