Last week, Finnair announced it would begin weighing passengers before flights at Helsinki airport.
The motive wasn’t as cruel as it might sound—the Finnish airline was hoping to find 2,000 passengers to submit willingly to the exercise, in order to check the accuracy of the figures it uses to estimate a plane’s total weight. Earlier studies suggested that both male and female passengers tend to carry 10 pounds or more in extra carry-on baggage during winter months.
It appears that it wasn’t too difficult to find the first batch of volunteers, as the airline was able to complete the initial study by the end of the weekend. Of course, the task itself was time-consuming—The Helsinki Times reports that it took a “few hours” to get the results of the first 150 passengers.
But the study doesn’t end there—the airline plans to conduct measurements two more times, late this year and next spring. Based on the results from these first 150 passengers weighed, the airline will determine how many more must be included in their sample size to ensure statistical accuracy of the data. The studies will allow Finnair to observe the fluctuating total weight based on seasonal changes in the clothing of its passengers.