South Korean Airlines Will Start To Ask Passengers To Step On The Scale ‘for flight safety’

Airline passengers are used to weighing their luggage, but now travellers on South Korea’s flag carriers could be weighed themselves before boarding their flights.

Korean Air, the country’s largest airline, has become the latest company to declare that it will be measuring the average weight of passengers and their carry-on items ‘for flight safety’.

Similar guidelines came into place in New Zealand in June, when more than 10,000 passengers flying with Air New Zealand were expected to weigh themselves pre-flight.

Now travellers flying from South Korea’s two biggest airports in Seoul will be requested to step on the scales at the airport, in a move which the government says is ‘crucial for safety of flight operations’.

The new rules will come into effect at Gimpo Airport from 28 August to 6 September, while the same is true for passengers departing from Incheon International Airport from 8-19 September.

Korean Air, the country’s largest airline has become the latest company to announce that it will be measuring the average weight of passengers and their carry-on items

Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MOLIT) has put out the advice to all Korean flag carriers in order to update its ‘Aircraft Weight and Balance Management Standards’.

‘This is crucial for safety of flight operations, and Korean Air complies with this mandate and remains committed to safety, its number one priority,’ they said.

Alarms over the move have been triggered by some online, but the company has stressed that participating passengers’ privacy will be respected.

‘Korean Air passengers will be asked to step on scales with their carried-on items at each boarding gate,’ a Korean Air official told Korea JoongAng Daily.

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‘The data collated anonymously will be utilized for survey purposes and doesn’t mean overweight passengers will need to pay more.’

Passengers may also be relieved to hear that if they would prefer not to be weighed they will be able to skip it.

It comes after a five-week survey of passengers by Kiwi carrier Air New Zealand, announced in May, with scales set up in Auckland airport.

Air New Zealand load control specialist Alastair James stressed at the time that the survey was totally voluntary and anonymous. ‘We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere,’ he told Seven Sharp.

‘We need to know the weights of everything that go onboard our aircraft.‘For passengers or customers, crew and their cabin bags, we use an average weight and that average weight comes from this survey.’

 Mr James explained that the survey mandated at least 10,000 people to take part ‘to get a reasonable sample of the travelling public’. While he admitted that the process ‘seems a little unusual’, he said it was important for the airline to determine the average weight on flights.

As well as the weight of passengers, crew and luggage, the survey also weighed cargo and meals onboard. The survey is a requirement of the country’s Civil Aviation Authority and Air New Zealand conducts it every five years.


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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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