Updated February 9th, 2024 at 18:31 IST

Fat Shaming? Finnair Receives Backlash After it Announces to Start Weighing Passengers

Finland's flagship airline carrier Finnair received major backlash after it announced that it will be weighing passengers as well as their luggage.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Finnair announces that it will be weighing passengers | Image:X - @Finnair
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Helsinki – Finland's flagship airline carrier Finnair received major backlash after they announced that it will be weighing passengers as well as their luggage. The airline company reasoned that the move was designed to improve balance calculations and will be done on a voluntary basis. According to The New York Post, the airline authorities stated weighing passengers as well as their luggage would enhance flight safety. The company also pledged to ensure that customers' personal data is not being exploited. The proclamation from the airline company drew major backlash from Netziens who accused the Finnish company of participating in fat shaming. 

“Finnair will collect data by weighing volunteering customers and their carry-on baggage at the departure gate,” the company said in a statement on February 5. “The weighing is voluntary and anonymous, and the data will only be used to optimise Finnair’s current aircraft balance calculations,” the statement further reads. Meanwhile, the head of Finnair’s ground processes, Satu Munnukka said that the data of the passengers will be protected. “We use the weighing data for the average calculations required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer’s personal data,” Munnukka averred.  However, the statement instantly received backlash online. 

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The Backlash 

Netizens accused the aircraft company of indulging in fat-shaming and many noted that they will not travel via Finair. “I will not be travelling via @Finair as I won’t be #fatshamed by a bloody airline. Am I alone? (ie I never weigh myself: my choice)," a user wrote on X, formally known as Twitter.  “#Finair are to start weighing their passengers? Have I read that correctly? I am utterly shocked! And disgusted,” another user added. Some user even went on to call the move “embarrassing”. “#Finnair are to start weighing their passengers? Have I read that correctly? I am utterly shocked! And disgusted. When in the last plane been able to take off because of an overweight passenger. When is a plane only ever full of people their exact weight? #Embarrassing #cruel,” one user wrote on X. 

It is important to note that the Finish company is not the first aircraft carrier to ask its passengers to weigh themselves. In May last year, Air New Zealand said that they would be weighing passengers who are travelling internationally. At that time, Alastair James, Air New Zealand load control improvement specialist, assured passengers it was voluntary and their weight would not be displayed at the airport. “We weigh everything that goes on the aircraft – from the cargo to the meals on-board, to the luggage in the hold,” James exclaimed. “For customers, crew and cabin bags, we use average weights, which we get from doing this survey," he added. 

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Published February 9th, 2024 at 18:29 IST