Check your weight before you fly

If someone wanted to check your weight when you checked in for your flight would you be mad? embarrassed? annoyed? I am sure there would be a whole myriad of emotions at this very personal intrusion.

Now before you get too mad there is a good reason for this – at least according to Fuel Matrix, a company who is looking into making airlines more fuel efficient. They say that at the moment airlines are working on an average weight for men, women and children. The company proposing the weighing system, Fuel Matrix, said airlines burn between 0.3 and 0.5 percent more fuel due to the extra weight of carrying the unnecessary fuel. By reducing the cost, carriers could save as much as $1.35 billion worldwide.

Mmm – so how will this happen? At check in? It is embarrasing enough going through those scanning machines. A lot of people did not like that very much when they first brought them into operation and no wonder – the near naked images they circulated were quite shocking. They are much more discreet now as USA Today reported –

The full-body scanners used in all airports since May 2013 are called “millimeter wave” machines, which bounce electromagnetic waves off the traveler to provide an animated image where a suspicious item might be located. The TSA no longer uses the backscatter scanners that produced near-naked images of travelers.Mar 2, 2016

OK – so we can rest a bit easy about the scanners now that there are not a bunch of TSA agents ogling (or not) over our body parts – but now they want to weigh us???

Hold on to your horses – Fuel Matrix says this will be discreetly done via some sort of pressure pad. Something that you stand on and then the information is “discreetly” passed on to someone working on the logistics of the overall weight of passengers, crew and luggage.

So what do the airlines consider the average weight for us all? Well us women should weigh in at 154 pounds and the guys at 189 pounds. Mmmm – how do y’all feel now? Of course height plays a part – right? The woman’s weight is based on being 5ft 3 tall.

Whichever way you look at it weight is a sensitive issue but before you get too wound up bear in mind that if you do a helicopter flightseeing trip or a hot air balloon or a flight over the Nazca Lines – you are going to have to disclose your weight.

Thank goodness the days of Twiggy are long gone and now it is all about booty!

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.


  1. How about get rid of the “duty free” cart on international flights? Travellers get enough of shopping opportunities in airports. What purpose does this addition weight serve on flights?


  2. We did this once on a very small plane in Samoa. You picked up your carry on and stepped on the scale. It is less embarrassing to do it with your luggage. They then balanced the plane by assigning seats based on weight. When everyone does it, it really doesn’t matter.


    1. Yes, I agree – probably easier when everyone is weighed (together with luggage). It actually makes sense when you think about it and I am sure makes everything safer and more comfortable for all


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