Get ready to weigh in after check in. Uzbekistan Airways (UA) has announced that all passengers will have to be weighed with their personal luggage before they can take their seat.
The company says this is in the interest of safety although the business model of ‘weigh more, pay more’ has already been adopted by one airline in the South Pacific and may be the next logical step for UA.
The Tashkent-based carrier has promised not to reveal the weight of individual passengers. But it will mean some overweight people could be excluded from busy flights on smaller planes if limits are exceeded.
In a statement the airline said: “Please be informed that Uzbekistan Airways airline is carrying out the procedure of pre-flight weighing in order to determine the average weight of passengers with hand luggage.
“According to the laws of the International Air Transport Association, airlines are obliged to carry out regular procedures of pre-flight control such as weighing passengers with hand luggage in order to observe the requirements for ensuring flight safety.
“After passing check-in on a flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will ask you to pass the weighing procedure with a special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone.
“The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/ female/ children). As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.
“We appreciate your assistance and thank you in advance for the help in the solution of our common task of flight safety.”
Samoa Airlines in the South Pacific started the same system in 2013 and charges passengers according to their weight when combined with luggage. The airline also introduced the “Samoa XL” row that is designated for passengers who weigh more than 286 pounds (130 kilograms). In addition to the extra cost, these seats are also two inches wider. Its website says:
“Welcome to the fairest system for payment of carriage of anything by air. The world is now aware that charging by weight is the fairest way of paying for carriage. Whether its people, baggage, freight or anything which we might want tot take or consign by air.
At Samoa Air we will do our best to ensure that every passenger is afforded the same level of comfort and travel throughout their flying experience. We want to bring back Air Travel as an enjoyable experience, where you, and your baggage will always travel together. No more excess fee’s are charged and no more discrimination, because as we know: A kilo is a kilo is a kilo!”
The move towards paying more for your personal weight while travelling on international flights was publicly mooted by TV personality Katie Hopkins last year. The former Apprentice contestant tweeted a link to a story about a flight delay and wrote: “This Easyjet plane was too full with fatties to take off. How many times do I have to say it? Weigh in at check in.”
Seems at least one airline was listening.