Uzbekistan Airways has announced it will now check the weights of passengers along with their carry-on bags at departure gates using a special scale. For passengers who frequently complain about their seatmates taking up more room while still paying the same price, this may be welcome news.
A statement from the airline expressed that the decision has to do with flight safety and determining the total weight of the flight before takeoff:
“Uzbekistan Airways airline is carrying out the procedure of pre-flight weighing in order to determine the average weight of passengers with hand luggage.”
Unlike the United States, Uzbekistan doesn’t suffer from alarming obesity rates, and the decision to weigh passengers and their luggage actually is a safety measure, especially for the airline’s smaller aircraft. All aircraft have a weight limit that can’t be exceeded for safety purposes.
Last year, about 2.6 million passengers flew on Uzbekistan Airways. The airline also specified that weight would not be tied to airfare, and no weight limit has been established for any one passenger as of yet. It is also unclear what kind of action the airline will take if a passenger and their bag is a little on the heavier side.
In 2013, Samoan Air instituted a program that based airfare on passenger weight — Samoa’s obesity rate (41.6% in 2014) is actually higher than the United States’ (35% in 2014).