A British company is pushing for airline’s to begin weighing passengers prior as a way of reducing costs…
British technology start-up Fuel Matrix has called for airline’s to start weighing passengers as a way of reducing costs and carbon emissions Nine Honey reports. The company believes that the current system means that airlines are unable to accurately determine the amount of fuel required and that knowing the precise weight of a particular flight would reduce the environmental impact.
An Awkward Situation
The company says that it understands that pre-flight weigh-ins could be particularly awkward for some passengers and has suggested a more subtle alternative. “We’re not suggesting people should stand on the scales, but airports could fit ‘pressure pads’ in the bag drop area in front of each screen,” Nick Brasier, COO of Fuel Matrix told The Independent. “After the bag has been checked in, the system can ask ‘are you standing on the pressure pad? If the passenger taps YES, then the weight can be recorded and passed confidentially to the airline.” Fuel Matrix was quick to confirm that they did not believe that heavier passengers should pay more for their flight, but said the data could prove invaluable.
All Too Easy
Experts say that the start-up’s suggestion fails to consider the practical challenges of implementing such a scheme. “When you start to average everything out, what you might save in the air, or what you might save by taking on 100kg less fuel, you’re actually going to end up spending by having to wait for the plane to be fuelled because all of those weights wouldn’t be calculated until the passengers checked in,” aviation expert Brian Wilson told 3AW Drive. “In all good startups, the first rule you’ve got to have is to oversimplify the problem so you can justify your own solution. I think that’s what we’ve got here.”
With it taking longer and longer to check in and clear security, being weighed is just one more thing to add to the process. While we’re not entirely against the idea, particularly if the environmental benefits could be proven, we doubt that it will be implemented without some serious debate.
Do you think heavier passengers should have to pay more for their flight? Share your thoughts in the comments.