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Airlines Weighing Passengers: Are They Crossing the Line?

Step into the future with me: COVID 19 is over. You may have gained the #quarantine15, but you’re ready to get back in the sunshine. You’ve just booked your first vacation in what seems like a lifetime. Then, you walk into the airport for your 11:30 a.m. flight to Hawaii, and you step on a … scale? Last month, the Federal Aviation Administration announced that U.S. airlines might begin to weigh their passengers before flights. While the FAA stated that people would be weighed randomly, many speculate that plus-size passengers will be targeted.

Weight and balance control

The FAA’s reasoning for this new procedure? Weight and balance control. The process would involve a survey asking passengers for an estimate of their weight. The airline then would add 10 pounds to that number to account for clothing. Based on those surveys, select passengers would be asked to step on a scale. The advisory also notes that if an airline suspects a passenger may be — well — miscalculating their weight, the airline can cite a number they deem more accurate. Expectedly, people have many concerns. But the FAA states that they will never sell passengers’ weight information and that this procedure is merely an option.

It’s been a long time coming.

The idea of weighing passengers is not a new one. In fact, the idea has been floating around the world of travel and aviation for over 15 years now. But with the FAA releasing their advisory in early May, it’s beginning to seem like more of a reality.  

Our host, Julia Sun, sat down with Ryan Adams, co-founder of HZQ Consulting, and Joe Collins, a Republican nominee for Congress, to discuss comfortability, privacy concerns, insurance and more. Should airlines be allowed to weigh their passengers? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

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