Passengers travelling on South Korea’s largest airline in the coming weeks could find themselves getting weighed at the airport.
Korean Air confirmed on its website that it would be “measuring the average weight of passengers along with their carry-on items for flight safety”.
It follows a similar move announced by Air New Zealand in June.
Travellers flying from two of South Korea’s busiest airports, both in the capital Seoul, will be asked to step on the scales. Passengers on domestic routes from Gimpo Airport may be weighed from 28 August to 6 September, while the same is true for passengers departing from Incheon International Airport from 8-19 September.
The airline has confirmed that if passengers would prefer not to share their weight they can opt out by letting airport staff know.
“Korea’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation (MOLIT) has advised all Korean flag carriers to weigh passengers with their carry-on baggage to update its ‘Aircraft Weight and Balance Management Standards’,” a spokesperson told The Independent.
“This is crucial for safety of flight operations, and Korean Air complies with this mandate and remains committed to safety, its number one priority.”
The process is used to help determine the weight distribution on aircraft, and calculations need to take place every five years.
Throughout June, more than 10,000 passengers flying with Air New Zealand were expected to be weighed before they boarded their flight.
It was part of an “essential” initiative to ensure “the safe and efficient operation of the aircraft”, according to Air New Zealand, and was also a requirement from the country’s Civil Aviation Authority.
As The Independent has reported previously, weighing every passenger before a flight can increase safety and cut the environmental harm caused by each flight; currently, airlines use “assumed mass”, estimating the total weight of the passengers by using set figures.