Its known that pilots and technicians calculate the weight of the plane once everything is loaded, then they can decide on how much fuelling etc. needs to be done.

Would it help airlines, if they knew the weight of all the passengers before hand, say at the time of ticket booking. Having that information, would it help them in optimizing the amount of cargo/fuel etc for the flight?

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    $\begingroup$ While knowing exact weights wouldn't hurt, CAAs have defined average weights that are known at booking time (based on gender, age & time of year of the flight) that they use to calculate CG. See this question and this one. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 14:28
  • $\begingroup$ An airline that routinely asked for passengers weight would quickly lose lots of business to other airlines. Then they'd soon have nothing left to "optimize". $\endgroup$
    – abelenky
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ @abelenky airlines using small aircraft (like remote parts of alaska or something) do routinely weigh their passangers. It just makes so much more of a difference in small aircraft where the weights don't even out as easily as in a bigger jet. $\endgroup$
    – falstro
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ @abelenky People already have to go through body scanners, metal detectors and sometimes take their shoes off. Seems like stepping on a friggin' scale ought to be the least of their worries. It's not like they're going to announce the weight to everyone. But I'm sure you're right. People would freak. Maybe they could just hire the guys from the carnival that guess your weight $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Commented Jun 15, 2016 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


Despite of the "delay" during the check in procedures, it would be safer than the average companies usually use. For instance, the latest FAA guidelines on aircraft weight and balance control set individual passenger weight averages at 190-195 pounds for adults and 82 pounds for kids, depending on whether it's summer or winter. (Based on the assumption people wear heavier clothing in winter.) I have read an article, and there are more pieces of information.

Airline begins weighing passengers for 'safety'

  • $\begingroup$ "it would be safer": It would be better if you could explain why, and for which type of aircraft, as the ratio between pax and fuel mass varies a lot between aircraft types. Also weighting passengers may be a smooth step towards a weight-proportional ticket price supported by a non significant safety improvement. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Commented Jun 16, 2016 at 7:15

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