One airline is creating an even greater travel nightmare: weighing passengers. In order to figure out calculate the gross weight of an aircraft before it takes off, Uzbekistan Airlines has announced it will be weighing both passengers’ luggage and their bodies before they board flights. Yes, weighing people. On scales. In the airport.
“The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/female/children),” the company explained. “As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.”
The justification is that it’s out of their hands: “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,” read a statement.
But an IATA spokesperson denied that such a rule exists in an interview.
“All airlines have policies in place for load calculations, weight, and balance of their aircraft,” the spokesperson said. “These policies in turn are subject to the rules and regulations of their national aviation regulator.”
As it turns out, Uzbekistan is fairly heavy: 44 percent of the adult population (over 20-years-old) is overweight, while 15 percent is obese, according to data from the World Health Organization. (Although, that number is put into perspective when one compares it with the United States, where around 34 percent is obese.)
If any of you fly Uzbek Airlines in or out of Uzbekistan, let me know how it is. I am never going to that cruel place.