Finnair is weighing passengers before they fly

Roshina Jowaheer

Finland's national airline Finnair has been weighing some of its passengers before they board planes - but not for the reason you may think.

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The carrier doesn't want to start charging passengers based on their weight but simply asked 2,000 passengers to step on a scale prior to boarding in an attempt to verify the accuracy of its planes total weight.

The weigh-ins, which took place this week, were totally voluntary and carried out at Helsinki Airport.

Finnair did this to check its unique passenger population against weight estimates provided by the European Aviation Safety Agency, according to the airline's communications director Päivyt Tallqvist.

Passengers who volunteered boarded a scale with their outerwear and carry-on luggage. Their weight was only visible to the airline clerk, Tallqvist told HuffPost.

Finnair, like many airlines, relies on estimates but passenger weights can vary by nationality, ticket class and time of year.

Finnish passengers usually contribute more weight in winter due to their bulky coats, Tallqvist said.

"We want to see if the data we're using for calculations is accurate," Tallqvist said.

"We use them for every flight, and they're important for the aircraft's performance. When you explain this to [passengers], they understand."