This company has plans to 'discreetly' weigh passengers before flights

2019-04-17 13:00 - Marisa Crous
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Several passengers standing in queue while waiting

Several passengers standing in queue while waiting for check-in registration before flight. (PHOTO: iStock)

Weighing passengers before boarding a flight? This sounds like very, very dangerous territory.

Not only could it be seen as blatant body-shaming, but it's also an invasion of privacy. 

However, it could make air travel safer and more green. So says Fuel Matrix, a British tech company hoping to help airlines save on fuel, in turn making the world greener. 

READ: Should airlines charge passengers by their body weight? 

At present, most planes fly with more weight than they should. And being overweight at 40 000 feet in the air, often on fuel, means a) a larger carbon footprint b) more waste and c) higher overall expenses. 

READ: SAA still number one in seat capacity: The hard numbers behind South Africa's air connectivity

Airlines currently use the 'assumed weight' model to measure the weight of passengers - calculating the average individual's mass at around 88kg. Factoring this, plus the weight of equipment and luggage, it reaches the amount of fuel allocated for a flight. 

But this amount of weight is almost, always an overestimation. 

The Independent reports that Fuel Matrix now wants to use technology similar to facial recognition to assess a passenger's weight to find a more accurate average. The data will be collected using tech like pressurised pads at self-service bag drops or during full body scans, says Travel and Leisure.

Nick Brasier, COO of Fuel Matrix even suggested to The Independent that if an airline knows the weight of its customers, it'll be able to evenly distribute the weight of the passengers throughout the flight - making sure everything is balanced, so to speak. 

But how will this factor into separating parties travelling together, for example? 

This new technology will undoubtedly be received with some controversy from the public. Yet, if we think towards a future of sustainable and responsible travel, what's a 'discreet' weight-in every now and again?

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