Flying Uzbekistan Airways? You’ll Have To Get Weighed At The Airport

While Uzbekistan Airways won’t sell travelers different fares based on their weight, the airline has announced that passengers will need to step on the scale with their carry-on bags before flying, citing safety reasons.

The airline announced the change in a recent notice on its website about pre-flight procedures, saying passengers will be weighed on scales in airport departure zones. Uzbekistan Airways says the results will be confidential, and will only correspond to a passenger category like male, female or child.

“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,” says the airline’s statement.

That’s news to an IATA spokesman, however.

“We are not aware of an IATA rule concerning the weighing of passengers and their hand luggage prior to flight,” the manager of IATA corporate communications told CNN. “All airlines have policies in place for load calculations, weight and balance of their aircraft. These policies in turn are subject to the rules and regulations of their national aviation regulator.”

The Federal Aviation Administration has guidelines for airlines trying to calculate the average weight passengers add to a plane, which involves applying an average passenger-mass value. The latest weight averages set by the FAA define adults as between 190-195 pounds and kids at 82 pounds, with variations depending on the season (heavier clothes = heavier passengers). The guidelines include a 16-pound allowance for carry-on items.

It’s unclear whether heavier passengers will be penalized, or if the airline will charge different fares based on weight. Samoa Air instituted weight-based fares back in 2013, and still uses that system today.

“Airlines don’t run on seats, they run on weight, and particularly the smaller the aircraft you are in the less variance you can accept in terms of the difference in weight between passengers,” Chris Langton, head of Samoa Air said at the time. “Anyone who travels at times has felt they have been paying for half of the passenger next to them.”

Related: Survey: 40% Of Travelers Would Get Weighed At Airport, Other 60% Just Laugh In Response

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