Airline Weighs Fliers: Uzbekistan Airways Announces Controversial New Policy

One airline is weighing fliers before they can board their plane and head off on their travels. Uzbekistan Airways has announced the new policy and it’s definitely generating a lot of buzz. The airline says that it is a move that is coming as a safety precaution.

Airlines regularly estimate the weight of their passengers and luggage using established formulas, but until now, an airline weighing fliers didn’t happen with most air carriers. The airlines went with basic estimates on passenger weights, but Uzbekistan Airways thinks they need to take things a step further.

According to Yahoo! Travel, the airline will record the passenger weights for its own calculation purposes and the recorded weights will be kept confidential. However, the airline has yet to reveal how it will handle the situation should the flight go over the weight limits.

Interestingly, Uzbekistan Airways has seemingly deleted the announcement it had posted to its website about the new passenger weighing policy. So far, however, it doesn’t appear that the airline has reversed its new policy.

ABC News reports that the airline’s initial statement said the following.

“Please be informed that Uzbekistan Airways airline carries out the procedure of preflight weighing for determination of the average weight of passenger with hand baggage.”

Uzbekistan Airways isn’t the first airline weighing fliers, as Samoa Air started to weigh their passengers before boarding in 2013. In that situation, the airline’s ticket prices varied depending on the passenger’s weight. The passengers get weighed with their baggage and then the price is calculated based on a fixed kilogram rate.

The Uzbekistan carrier says that they are doing this in order to follow the International Air Transport Association rules of calculating weights to ensure flight safety. However, according to CNN, the IATA indicates that they are not aware of any regulation that requires airlines weighing fliers or baggage prior to the flight.

Both CNN and ABC News detail that the airline hasn’t responded to requests for comment or clarification. Will other airlines begin to follow suit with such a process? It seems that airlines would get a significant amount of pushback from customers if they did, though Samoa Air has continued its process of weighing passengers and charging accordingly.

For now, Uzbekistan Airways customers will have to stay tuned and see if this new process really takes hold. They haven’t indicated what may come of the information beyond using the details for safety precautions, but many are curious to see if the idea of the airline weighing fliers starts to affect the passengers in a more specific way.

[Image via Irish Mirror]