The FAA is reportedly thinking of weighing passengers at the gate to calculate totals instead of using estimates as America’s obesity problem grows.
As the vaccines start hitting arms all over the world, the first thing at the top of many to-do lists is traveling again. After everything that’s happened in the past two years, a nice getaway is understandable. As the world jet sets once again, the supply chains for travel have to re-adjust. If you’ve traveled recently, you understand how much of a headache it can be on certain parts of your trip–Rental cars are hard to come by, direct flights are still a luxury mostly only provided by airlines like Delta at a higher cost, and resorts are packed from those who beat you to the booking button.
While we are all worried about those details, the FAA is worried about the rising obesity problem in the United States, which the pandemic helped escalate. Now, The Daily Mail reports the FAA is considering weighing passengers at the gate to properly calculate weight over the traditional standard estimates.
Monitoring weight and balance for safety reasons on flights is nothing new, but the estimated weight for passengers that has been in use has become outdated as obesity rates in the United States have risen. The CDC reports the obesity rate in the United States at 42.4 percent in 2017-18, the most recent public data available. To get a better sense of passenger weights, random survey sampling may be implemented, which could include passengers being weighed at the gates.
The process would be voluntary for passengers, who would have the ability to opt-out of any weighing.
The entire weighing passengers thing is not going to go over well in this day and age, regardless of whether or not you allow people to opt-out. This can still be used to bully and harass passengers and if you decline, it doesn’t take away from still being asked and having others wonder why you don’t want to. Hopefully, they can figure out a better process for calculating totals.