There was mixed reaction on TikTok after a user on the social media platform shared a video of a fellow passenger being forced to step on a baggage scale to check her weight before she could be allowed to board a plane. According to the New York Post, the unidentified female passenger was made to step on the scale because there was confusion over her actual weight.
The video, which was posted in March, has been viewed more than a million times – with viewers sharing opinions if the airline’s action was discriminatory. “The whole airport trying to mind their own business as a woman is asked to step on the baggage scale because she claimed she was 130lbs,” the user, who goes by the username @lilwessel, captioned.
“It’s a tiny plane so they needed our weight to take off for safety reasons” she added. In the video, the passenger is seen standing on the baggage scale in the presence of other travelers. Though some TikTok users condemned the airline’s actions, others begged to differ.
“Why are people so mean,” one user asked, while another also commented, “That’s not ok.” Another user also recalled a similar experience: “Flying home from the Philippines and they weighed me … I have never been so embarrassed in my life.”
A user who justified the airline’s action wrote, “Why would she lie and risk all our lives including hers lol.” “They care about weight limits on small planes because they need to have the center weight in a certain part of the plane,” another user also explained.
This recent incident comes in the wake of some body-positive influencers complaining about airlines not making their planes accommodation-friendly. A plus-size TikTok user recently went viral after she shared a video of her struggling to pass through plane aisles because of her size, and referred to the current setup as discriminatory.
In an effort to ensure airplanes, particularly small ones, do not overload, the Federal Aviation Administration advisory announced in 2021 that plus-sized passengers could be asked by airlines to either stand on a scale or provide their weight before they can board a plane, the New York Post reported
The aim of the aforementioned initiative was to get new data on how the average passenger weighs as the old numbers don’t corroborate with the increasing obesity figures in the United States.
The data will also particularly ensure that small airplanes don’t load beyond the weight that has been prescribed. However, a month after the announcement, the agency walked back on the prescribed method, explaining that though making passengers stand on a scale was an alternative, most airlines would settle on using other methods to determine passenger mass.
The agency also stated that the methods include coming up with “a reasonable estimate about the passenger’s actual weight and adding 10 pounds.”