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.


  • I don’t like the idea of it. I wonder if they did bring it in or not!


  • This article is dated April 2019, its nearly a year later and I haven’t heard anymore about it. I guess it would make sense, the heavier the plane is, the more fuel it uses. If you’re taking extra weight onboard, whether it’s luggage or yourself, you should be charged more. Just another way for budget airlines to make money


  • As long as it is done discreetly, I feel they have a valid point.


  • It must be awkward for the airline and individual. I don’t know if I would do that to customers.


  • Apparently, the weight of the plane and its cargo contributes to the amount of petrol used for a trip. They need to keep an eye on how much weight they’re carrying, so maybe weighing passengers is a safety and cost cutting option


  • I don’t think this is discrimination at all. A pilot of a light plane has to make sure that the weight in his plane does not exceed what he can carry to conduct a safe flight – it is also the same on commercial flights. The light plane pilot checks the weight of his passengers and their luggage and sometimes things have to be left behind before the flight so everyone will be safe. At present commercial flights weigh the luggage and their postal cargo but not the passengers. If you have every second seat taken up with an obese person and the seats were originally expected to be no heavier than say 12 stone per person [and I am looking at the higher area here] and all of a sudden that same seat is being used by an 18 stone person – then the aircraft will have a problem in taking off and landing to the detriment of its passengers. If you wander around an airport these days it will be rare for you to see a slim person.


  • This is a great idea….being squeezed next to someone big is not comfortable and if you have to pay for excess luggage then..


  • I have often thought if this. They weigh your luggage to keep weight limits for flights under control, yet you often see obese people travelling.


  • Wouldn’t happen – too much of a logistical nightmare right before take off


  • This is not right, it’s discrimination. Should not be allowed.


  • This is absolutely wrong, discriminatory, cruel and so much more. Should not be allowed.


  • You pay dear enough prices anyway for a flight, especially now when they charge for babies who don’t even have their own seats. If you are so big that you take up 2 seats, then yes, you need to pay for an extra seat, but otherwise you shouldn’t have to pay more.


  • As long as the weight wasn’t shown to everyone in sight, and everyone paid the same and it really is about more accurate needs for the plane to play a particular flight, I don’t see the problem. Perhaps as an average it might mean ticket costs going down for everyone?


  • I think it is quite disrespectful.


  • Well I’m quite small but I wouldn’t want others to be embarrassed


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