An airline has won permission to weigh passengers before boarding its aircraft.
Hawaiian Airlines will be able to check the weight of larger travellers over a six-month period to work out how to save fuel after discovering the average passenger and carry-on weight was heavier than expected.
It has now stopped pre-booked seating for the 2,600-mile route between Honolulu and Pago Pago in American Samoa, instead assigning seats to passengers when they arrive to ensure weight is evenly spread around aircraft.
The airline told Radio New Zealand earlier this month that the expanding girth of the typical passenger means it is required to redistribute weight in its Boeing 767 cabins to meet the manufacturer’s guidelines.
This means limiting the number of adults per row and reserving seats in certain rows for young children.
Some passengers have complained the move is discriminatory, as it only affects the journey between Honolulu and the American Samoa, and most passengers on that route are of Samoan descent.
Six complaints were filled with the US Department for Transportation, alleging that the practice of weighing passengers was discriminatory, The Guardian reported but these were denied.
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