There are always going to be subjects that raise an eyebrow but weighing passengers before they board an airplane has got to be near the top of the list. Most of us would agree that having the appropriate weight on board the aircraft is important for both efficiency and safety but forcing people to step on a scale is controversial at best.
It has even led to some bad situations, including a businessman who fat-shamed a woman on a flight.
New technology may be available from a British tech startup that claims to have the answer to this issue. It could weigh the passengers discreetly so that fuel costs can be reduced and the safety of the flights can be improved.
The startup is Fuel Matrix and it was founded by CEO Roy Fuscone. Apparently, they are talking to a number of UK airlines to introduce those ‘pressure pads’ that would discreetly weigh the passengers as they passed through the airport. It would allow for the exact amount of fuel necessary for each flight to be calculated.
These hidden pads could be in position at luggage drop-offs, check in or similar areas. In that way, the unpopular course of weighing customers can be achieved without being insensitive. Flight safety is always going to be a priority but the environmental impact of airline travel is also something to consider.
Currently, airlines estimate the amount of fuel necessary based on the average weight of customers, and 194 lbs for men, 154 lbs for women and 75 lbs for children.
Fuel Matrix feels that flights burn more fuel than is necessary because the method is not accurate. If the new method could be that adopted, the exact weight could be calculated and fuel costs could be saved considerably.
The chief operating officer of Fuel Matrix, Nick Brasier had the following to say on the subject: “More airports and airlines are moving towards self-service bag drops, where the passenger uses a screen-based system to weigh their baggage on scales and answer questions about its contents.
“We’re not suggesting people should stand on the scales, but airports could fit ‘pressure pads’ in the bag-drop area in front of each screen.
“After the bag has been checked in, the system can ask, ‘Are you standing on the pressure pad?’.
“if the passenger taps ‘Yes’, then the weight can be recorded and passed confidentially to the airline.”
An extra charge would not be considered for heavier passengers if this system is adopted in airports across the UK.