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An airline in New Zealand is weighing people before they board the plane

An airline in New Zealand is weighing people before they board the plane

Take off your shoes. Take the keys out of your pocket. Get on the scale.

New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority has required its national airline to weigh passengers departing on international flights from Auckland International Airport by July 2, 2023.

The program, which Air New Zealand calls a passenger weight survey, is a way to collect data on the load and weight distribution on planes.

"We weigh everything that's loaded onto the plane - from the on-board food load, to the luggage," Alastair James, the airline's cargo handling improvement specialist, said in a statement.

However, weight is a personal thing that not everyone wants to reveal. To protect the privacy of individuals, the airline says it keeps the data anonymous.

Travelers are required to stand on a digital scale when checking in for their flight. Their weight information is then submitted to the survey, but not seen on the agent's screen.

“We know getting on the scale can be scary. We want to assure our customers that there is no visible screen anywhere. "No one can see your weight, not even us," James said.

This is not the first time Air NZ has asked passengers to step on the scales before boarding their flights. Domestic passengers took part in a survey in 2021, but the one for international travelers was delayed due to the pandemic.

Among the people who may be asked to take part in the survey are those traveling on a direct flight from Auckland to New York's JFK airport.

The 17-hour flagship route was launched last autumn as a cornerstone of Air NZ's post-pandemic strategy. It is also one of the longest flights in the world.