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Qantas, Jetstar, Virgin weigh in after controversial Finnair move

Finnair has started weighing passengers before take-off to better estimate the weight of its planes.

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin have all ruled out weighing passengers before they board, after a major European airline introduced the move this week.

A Qantas spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo Finance they had no intention of introducing a similar practice, either for the main airline or its budget subsidiary Jetstar. Yahoo Finance also understands Virgin Australia will not bring in the controversial move for passengers either.

Finland’s flagship airline, Finnair, announced it would start weighing passengers and their carry-on baggage departing from Helsinki airport as part of a three-month trial.

Qantas, Virgin, Jetstar planes.
Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar have ruled out weighing passengers. (Source: Getty)

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“The weighing is voluntary and anonymous, and the data will only be used to optimise Finnair’s current aircraft-balance calculations,” Finnair said in a statement.

Each aircraft has a set maximum weight to ensure a safe take-off, including the weight of the aircraft itself, fuel, baggage, food and customers.

Finnair currently uses average weights and authorities require these figures to be updated every five years.

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“We use the weighing data for the average calculations required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer's personal data,” Finnair head of ground processes Satu Munnukka said.

Munnukka noted the airline would record the total weight of the passengers and their carry-on baggage and would not ask for the name or booking number.

The airline said they were “surprised” by the number of people wanting to take part. The Guardian reported there had already been 600 volunteers as of Wednesday.

It’s not the first time an airline has weighed passengers. In May last year, Air New Zealand conducted a voluntary five-week passenger weight survey for passengers departing on international flights from Auckland International airport.

Other flagship carriers Korean Air and Uzbekistan Airways have introduced the move in recent years.

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