Boarding pass? Check. Photo ID? Check. Weight? What?
Passengers flying with Korean Air in the next few weeks may be asked to take one additional step before boarding – getting on the scale.
However, the policy has nothing to do with body shaming. Korean Air is one of the many airlines around the globe that is required to periodically obtain plane weight data.
According to an announcement by the airline, the program will affect some travelers departing from Gimpo International Airport (GMP) from August 28 until September 3 and from Incheon International Airport (ICA) between September 8-19.
Both passengers and luggage will be weighed anonymously, and the data will then be shared with the country’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
If a passenger would prefer not to have their weight data collected, Korean Air confirms that they can opt out by letting a staff member know.
While some travelers may be surprised to find themselves asked to step on a scale, this decision isn’t made by airlines – it’s often mandated by governmental airline regulators.
Earlier this year, Air New Zealand carried out a similar program with some of the customers flying its international routes, like the ultra-long-haul between Auckland and New York’s JFK.
“We know stepping on the scales can be daunting. We want to reassure our customers there is no visible display anywhere. No one can see your weight, not even us,” a representative from Air NZ, the country’s national carrier, said at the time.
Once data is gathered, it helps airlines make decisions about fuel needs and weight distribution on board.