Airlines are forcing passengers to get weighed before they can fly

Aug 13, 2015 at 3:50 p.m. ET
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As if weighing yourself in the privacy of your bathroom isn't bad enough, one airline is now requiring passengers to step on the scale before boarding their airplane. The airline says passenger safety is their main concern; however, many feel that this is crossing the line.

You expect to have your luggage weighed, but why would an airline require their passengers to be weighed as well? Uzbekistan Airways says they want to ensure their airplanes are not carrying too much weight for safety reasons. Therefore, they are not only taking into account the weight of your luggage, but the weight of you as well.

In a statement on their website, the airline informs passengers of this policy. "Please be informed that Uzbekistan Airways airline carries out the procedure of preflight weighing for determination of the average weight of passengers with hand baggage," the statement reads. "According to the rules of International Air Transport Association, airlines are obliged to carry out the regular procedures of preflight control passengers weighing with hand baggage to observe requirements for ensuring flight safety."

This new policy has many passengers concerned. Would your weight be on display for everyone to see? The airline somewhat explains their weighing procedure, saying they keep your weight confidential.

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"After passing check-in on flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will suggest you to pass the procedure of weighing with the special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone," the statement continues. "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."

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Even if the results are kept confidential, many passengers wonder if their weight could affect them staying on an oversold flight. For example, if the plane is too heavy, would the airline boot those heavier passengers? Or would the airline start charging more for heavier passengers? The feedback to this has been mixed, however some are calling it "fat shaming."

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Others agree with the policy, saying the weight of passengers is a safety factor.

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One airline, Samoa Air , has already started a "pay-as-you-weigh" fare, with Samoa Air chief executive Chris Langton telling CNN: "What makes airplanes work is weight. We are not selling seats, we are selling weight."

What are the chances that U.S. airlines, like American Airlines or United, will start this policy of weighing passengers? Hopefully low. Currently, these airlines use averages to calculate the weight of the plane, figuring 190 to 195 pounds for adults and 82 pounds for kids and 16 pounds for carry-on luggage. Obviously, not all adults weigh just 195 pounds; however, we have yet to hear about a plane crash because a commercial flight was too heavy. So, perhaps their calculations aren’t far off base.

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Tell us: Do you think airlines should start weighing passengers for safety?

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