Finnair is looking for 2,000 passengers willing to submit to a pre-flight weigh-in.
However, the Finnish airline insists the move isn’t meant to single out passengers for their size: Instead, it’s a way to verify the accuracy of figures the company uses to estimate a plane’s total weight, which ties into fuel usage and safety tactics.
“Finnair is conducting a study to determine whether we have accurate data on passenger standard weights,” a company spokesperson said in a statement. “We have a strong safety culture at Finnair, and we are also a very data-driven organization, so we want to ensure we have the best possible data in use in aircraft performance and loading calculations.”
So far, 180 Finnair (FNNNF) passengers in Helsinki have stepped onto the scale with their carry-on luggage, but the brand plans to keep searching for volunteers of all shapes and sizes throughout the winter and spring. According to the company’s statement, all weigh-ins are voluntary and anonymous, and used only for research purposes. “The initial reaction by our customers has been positive,” the statement reads. “People understand the importance of this.”
Other airlines have adopted more controversial weight policies in the past, however. In 2013, Samoa Air—which operates in a country with a high percentage of obese residents—began adjusting ticket fees based on weight.