The information will be collected from passengers who volunteer to be weighed with their bags, but will not be linked to their personal data, the airline tells PEOPLE
Travelers are voluntarily weighing in ahead of their flights in an effort to help one airline's "current aircraft balance calculations."
Starting Monday, Finnish airline Finnair began collecting data by weighing volunteers and their carry-on bags at their gates at Helsinki Airport throughout the week.
As of Thursday, 800 volunteers have already taken part in the data collection, according to Päivyt Tallqvist, Finnair’s senior vice president of communications. Average weights will then be sent to the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency, and will also be used for "aircraft balance and loading calculations," she noted.
"While airlines know the weight of all other aspects, the weight of customers and their carry-on baggage is calculated using average weights confirmed by the Civil Aviation Authority," Tallqvist said.
Finnair's Head of Ground Processes Satu Munnukka added in the release that the calculations are "required for the safe operation of flights, and the collected data is not linked in any way to the customer's personal data."
“We record the total weight and background information of the customer and their carry-on baggage, but we do not ask for the name or booking number, for example," Munnukka shared. "Only the customer service agent working at the measuring point can see the total weight, so you can participate in the study with peace of mind.”
Munnukka also noted that while weighing customers with their carry-on baggage, passengers' "age, gender and travel class" are also recorded in a database. The data collection is anonymous, per the release.
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The voluntary measurements come months after Air New Zealand passengers were also asked to volunteer to weigh themselves and their luggage in May.
The month-long survey at Auckland International Airport also aimed to calculate the weight carried on planes for the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). At the time, Alastair James, the airline’s load control improvement specialist, told Today that when customers weighed in, there was "no weight shown on the screen, it’s just captured and goes straight into the computer."
NBC News aviation expert John Cox said at the time that the data could offer "wide-ranging benefits" for airlines globally, and that "you may see some other airlines utilize this at some point in the future."
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