May 30, 2023

Korean Air to Weigh Passengers Before Flights, Say Govt Is Forcing It

Korean Air, South Korea's flagship airline, plans to weigh passengers before they board flights, saying local laws demand it.

The airline will begin measuring the weight of passengers, including their carry-on baggage, for domestic flights from Gimpo Airport from August 28 to September 6, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

For international flights out of Incheon Airport, passengers will be weighed from September 8 to 19, the newspaper reported.

In a statement to Insider, the airline said other Korean carriers would have to do something similar in order to supply data required by Korea's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

Korea JoongAng Daily reported that the airline told it: "The data collated anonymously will be utilized for survey purposes and doesn't mean overweight passengers will need to pay more."

The move to weigh passengers is in response to a rule set by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport, which mandates that airlines assess standardized passenger weights that include their carry-on items.

The regulation means that airlines must calculate the standard weight of passengers at least every five years in order to work out how best to distribute aircraft weight, curtail fuel consumption, and enhance overall flight safety, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

The last survey, conducted in 2017, found that the average weight for adult men during the summer season was 178.6 pounds and 152.1 pounds for women, per the Korean newspaper.

The weighing will take place in front of the gates and before boarding, The Korea Times reported.

There has been an online backlash to the measure, with some potential passengers raising concerns about their privacy, according to the Korea JoongAng Daily.

However, the airline told the newspaper that passengers who feel uncomfortable with the process can communicate their feelings to boarding staff.

Travel industry experts told Insider in June 2021 that US airlines are unlikely to do the same, with the Federal Aviation Authority currently allowing operators to ask passengers to volunteer their weight and "make a reasonable estimate" if the answer appears too low.

Air New Zealand, however, is asking passengers to step on the scales as part of a "passenger weight survey" to fulfill a requirement by New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority.

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