Male First Class Airline Passengers Weigh More than Their Economy Counterparts

airline weighs passengers

Who knew! According to findings by the European Aviation Safety Agency, or EASA, male airline passengers traveling first class tend to weigh more than those who travel economy. And the reverse is true for women, apparently – the lighter females are up front. As a result of these findings, Finnair, the majority state-owned Finnish airline, is now weighing some of its passengers before they board their flights.

airline weighs passengers

The program is voluntary, and it is an attempt to zero in on the variables that airline companies need to work with when calculating payload weight, fuel and safety aspects as part of pre-flight and overall safety procedures. The EASA’s averages have been standard for men and women; men weigh, on average, 84.6kg, while women passengers weigh 66.5kg and children under 12 weigh an average of 30.7kg. The EASA also found, however, that there are hidden variables within those data sets, such as first class male travelers weighing more than their less fortunate brethren in the back of the plane.

Interestingly, they found a wide range in carry-on luggage weights as well. The average piece of carry-on baggage is 6.1kg, but that comes down significantly in the summer. Also, men tend to carry more hand luggage than women.

Finnair believes that the variables might be different, specific to their airline and the passengers they service. For example, one of their assumptions is that the combination of “tall Finnish men in winter coats”, long-distance travelers from East Asian countries and frequent business fliers within Finland may show results that are different from EASA averages.

airline passengers to be weighed Finnair

Over the coming winter months the airline will be looking for more volunteers who are willing to be weighed in along with their carry-on baggage. Finnair needs data from 2,000 passengers, and at the current 180 they’re at is less than 10% of what they need as a reasonable sample volume. Once they’ve reached that count they’ll suspend the program until summer, when passengers will typically be wearing lighter clothes and possibly carrying less luggage, which means the averages will be different.

But the data that the EASA currently carries is interesting, to say the least. Well-to-do male passengers tend to be heavier than their economy counterparts, and women who fly first class are less beefy than those who travel cattle class. Hmm, that doesn’t sound way off.

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