Uzbekistan Airways is now reported to have announced that it will adopt a routine to weigh passengers prior to them getting onboard. News is that representatives from Uzbekistan Airways would suggest passengers to use a special weighing machine that would potentially help the cause of a secure flight. Here we thought that travelling on an airplane could not get any worse.
The announcement made by Uzbekistan Airways last Friday suggests that the new rule is in place due to a ruling passed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Interestingly, the IATA has refused to believe that any such ruling has been passed. Chris Goater from IATA corporate communications mentioned in a statement mailed to The Huffington Post that he was not aware of any such ruling by IATA with regards to the weighing of travelers or their luggage before they got onboard.
The manager of corporate communications of IATA also added that each of these airlines have their own internal policies established in order to determine balance, load and weight. Essentially, they are all governed by the regulations set by the national aviation regulator. Uzbekistan Airways believes that the results obtained by the new procedure will be kept confidential. However, that does not change the fact that this new procedure is plain silly.
On the bright side, it is not as horrendous a decision as that taken by Samoa Airlines in 2013 when it started to price passenger tickets based on the weight of travelers. Here is the complete statement issued by the Uzbekistan Airways, containing their logic behind the ridiculous, new policy:
Please be informed that Uzbekistan Airways airline carries out the procedure of preflight weighing for determination of the average weight of passenger with hand baggage.
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.
After passing check-in on flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will suggest you to pass the procedure of weighing with the special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone. The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/ female/ children). As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.
We will appreciate your assistance and thank you in advance for the help in the solution of our common task of flight safety!