Subscribe to Point Me Awake, a morning jolt of the top stories in travel every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — straight to your inbox. Our curated list includes deals, reviews, and the best ways to use points and miles.
Before you step onboard that flight, let’s have you step onto that scale. In the past several years, airlines have piloted weighing passengers as a cost-savings and safety measure. Now, one British company wants to take your weight to the next level — discreetly taking your body mass and passing that along to the airline prior to boarding.
Fuel Matrix is a company that is in discussions with airlines to set up a “pressure pad” to weigh passengers as they pass through airports. These pads could be at check-in counters, in front of check-in kiosks, or even on security lines.
More airports and airlines are moving towards self-service bag drops, where the passenger uses a screen-based system to weigh their baggage on scales and answer questions about its contents. 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
Currently, airlines take an “assumed mass” for the total weight of passengers based on the gender of customers. Aircraft dispatchers and the caption can then calculate exactly the amount of fuel to load as well as the overall weight and balance of the aircraft. Fuel Matrix’s idea is to make that calculation more exact so airlines can cut down on fuels costs — by loading less of it. As a result, this move could also reduce carbon emissions since heavier planes burn more fuel.
As The Independent reports, Fuel Matrix says there is a potential savings for airlines of $1 billion worldwide on fuel consumption. The company is in talks with a number of long-haul international airlines to implement the system, including one major British carrier.