chimborazo
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

### Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

Hi folks, I know that various crashes over the years caused the industry re-appraise the average weight they were using per passenger. Additionally, they can calculate the actual weight of hold baggage as it's weighed at check in.

Couple of things:

Do airlines used actual checked baggage weight recorded at check-in for weigth and balance calculations?

Do airlines record anywhere if a passenger "looks heavy" and factor that into weight and balance? (I don't just mean if someone is rather over-weight as it doesn't necessarily mean they're way above the average used)

What tolerance is built into the loads allowed on aircraft in case there is a situation of "a lot" of heavier than average folk on board? Appreciate this is potentially more of an issue on smaller aircraft than larger wide-bodies.

I'm 6'4" and 270lbs and all in favour of weighing passengers for a flight. I can envisage a discreet scale positioned where you have your boarding pass scanned (as you're likely to be holding all your carry-on at that moment too) that gives despatchers the data as the flight closes so it also knows where the weight is distributed in the cabin (subject to some folk perhaps selecting a different seat if the flight is not full). Is this being looked at? Could it even go as far as helping the airlines save a few quid in terms of balancing the aeroplane?

BasilFawlty
Posts: 831
Joined: Fri Jun 05, 2009 11:23 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):Do airlines used actual checked baggage weight recorded at check-in for weigth and balance calculations?

Yes, the majority of all airlines use actual weights but there are exceptions. Until late 2008 easyJet used average weights for example.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):Do airlines record anywhere if a passenger "looks heavy" and factor that into weight and balance? (I don't just mean if someone is rather over-weight as it doesn't necessarily mean they're way above the average used)

No, airlines use an average weight for males, an average for females and an average for childs.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):What tolerance is built into the loads allowed on aircraft in case there is a situation of "a lot" of heavier than average folk on board? Appreciate this is potentially more of an issue on smaller aircraft than larger wide-bodies.

From my experience single aisle aircraft like the A32S or the B737 have a tolerance of about 500-600kg. If the difference is bigger a new loadsheet is required.
'Every year donkeys and mules kill more people than plane crashes'

dlramp4life
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:23 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):Do airlines used actual checked baggage weight recorded at check-in for weigth and balance calculations?

But on bag loading we assume each bag weighs 50 pounds and we can calculate the total weight of what is in the selected bin. With heavy bags (51lbs. +) they are accounted for separately than the "average" weight bags. On most Cargo Load Reports or Loading sheets there is a chart that will tell the weight of x amount of bags in a pit. Usually inputing these numbers will give the aircraft the take off weight, landing weight, and center of gravity but these are calculated with pax totals...If an airplane is over weight first you ditch non rev pax and than come bags and cargo....If it is under weight you have to ballast it with sand bags or a spare tire..Hope that answers your question somewhat
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FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

It's actually 30lbs for standard bags and 60 for heavy..
What gets measured gets done.

dlramp4life
Posts: 996
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 6:23 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):It's actually 30lbs for standard bags and 60 for heavy..

I stand corrected, thank you for that. That was from my G4/third party vendor training, They stated that average bags were 50lbs and heavy were 51lbs +.
SEA Ramp, wettest place on earth

FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting dlramp4life (Reply 4):I stand corrected, thank you for that. That was from my G4/third party vendor training, They stated that average bags were 50lbs and heavy were 51lbs +.

Idk if it's different with other airlines but I figured you were speaking of DL, which 30 is standard and a heavy bag is basically counted twice at 60lbs. The scanners are truly a great tool. I boggles my mind that DL is relatively new to the game, only implementing them around 2007 I believe whereas NW had them for years. It's even more convenient now that you can close-out the flight from the scan gun and keep tabs on your w&b right from the screen.

A little OT but those heavy bags...boy oh boy. On a flight like BSB where there are usually 250+ bags and over half are heavy it becomes an issue. One of our longest 757 routes so there are always payload issues.
What gets measured gets done.

SMFAviatrix
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:10 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):Do airlines used actual checked baggage weight recorded at check-in for weigth and balance calculations?

Of the three airlines I've worked for, none put in actual bag weights, bags were estimated around 35 lbs, and I want to say 60 or 65 for those tagged heavy.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):Do airlines record anywhere if a passenger "looks heavy" and factor that into weight and balance? (I don't just mean if someone is rather over-weight as it doesn't necessarily mean they're way above the average used)

No, we had different weights for summer and winter (as you'd generally be wearing more clothes in the winter), but those were for adults, and I think it included their carry-on, children were a different amount.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):What tolerance is built into the loads allowed on aircraft in case there is a situation of "a lot" of heavier than average folk on board? Appreciate this is potentially more of an issue on smaller aircraft than larger wide-bodies.

Lots. The 737s I worked with had much more wiggle room, while the EMB145s were less, but they could still take one a bit, only when we had a lot of international flyers (and thus a lot more heavy bags) did we run into baggage weight issues. And if we really needed, all three airlines had crew members who would do another head count and see if there were anything like younger teenagers who were still small but weren't marked as a child, or whatever we could.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):I'm 6'4" and 270lbs and all in favour of weighing passengers for a flight. I can envisage a discreet scale positioned where you have your boarding pass scanned (as you're likely to be holding all your carry-on at that moment too) that gives dispatchers the data as the flight closes so it also knows where the weight is distributed in the cabin (subject to some folk perhaps selecting a different seat if the flight is not full). Is this being looked at? Could it even go as far as helping the airlines save a few quid in terms of balancing the aeroplane?

I don't believe so, other than the occasional walk-through I mentioned before to see if we could mark anyone down, but no, and I don't see this becoming a thing in the future, while you may be understanding and cooperative, it's just not something people are willing to do, even for a cheaper ticket.

FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):that gives despatchers the data as the flight closes so it also knows where the weight is distributed in the cabin

This is already done. With EV on CR2s (i'd imagine it is about the same with all CRJ operators) The passenger cabin si broken down into either 3 or 4 zones (nothing to d with zonal boarding; I mean physical break-up of the cabin for w&b purposes). The CR2 is naturally nose heavy so if they flight isn't terribly full and there aren't much bags in the back, they will move people seated in "zone 1" to zone 3/4 or whatever the back is. When everyone's boarded, the F/A does a head count and marks how many pax are seated in each zone and gives the slip to the flight deck crew and along with that and the load slip, they do the w&b; now automated through the FMC (use to have to call the dispatcher to have him do it). If they are showing nose heavy, they will first try to move a couple people to the back and if that isn't going to work (aft zone already fully) they will call for junk in the trunk.

This is done on mainline as well. I've been bumped out of F to Y on one occasion on a 75. It was an ATL-LGA run and the back was booked pretty light too and they cleared all non-revs up front but there were still quite a few empty seats. About 4 of us had to move to coach for w&b. On another occasion, JFK-LAS, the plane had about 30 revenue pax on board with maybe 2 or 3 up front. I was cleared in F along with maybe 5 o 6 non-revs and they had to move like 3 people from coach to F for weight.
What gets measured gets done.

m11stephen
Posts: 372
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2008 12:16 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter): Do airlines used actual checked baggage weight recorded at check-in for weigth and balance calculations?

No. I don't think any airline in the US does this. The regional I worked at definitely didn't. Where I worked, when checking a heavy bag the computer would ask how much the bag weighed however I don't think anything was ever done with this information. The weight and balance information the pilots used came from the Cargo Load Report which is basically just a sheet where ground crews write in the number of regular and heavy bags.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter): Do airlines record anywhere if a passenger "looks heavy" and factor that into weight and balance? (I don't just mean if someone is rather over-weight as it doesn't necessarily mean they're way above the average used)

No, and if we did that we would probably get disciplined for discrimination.

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter): What tolerance is built into the loads allowed on aircraft in case there is a situation of "a lot" of heavier than average folk on board? Appreciate this is potentially more of an issue on smaller aircraft than larger wide-bodies.

I'm not a pilot and I don't play one on TV but from what I've been told the calculated weight vs. the actual weight would have to be off quite a bit for the safety of the flight to be adversely effected. Weight and balance is something that ground and flight crews, of course, take very seriously. There are thousands of small commuter flights a day and the only incident I can think of that was related to weight and balance was that Air Midwest crash.
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.

CrimsonNL
Posts: 1945
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2007 6:34 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

At a certain German airline I work with, we use the average bag weight. The total check in weight is divided by the number of bags. Even heavy bags (allowed up to 35kgs here) will be counted with an average bag weight. This weight is usually between 13-19kg depending on the type of passenger (e.g. business pax take less then holiday makers). The standard "last minute change" weight for loadsheets, when the average bag weight is unknown, is 15kgs.

For passenger weights we only use the adult/child/infant weights and use the same weight for males and females. IIRC the standard weight is 88kg but I could be wrong here. The maximum last minute change weight for 32S loadsheets is 1000KG, which is a lot. The largest LMC that I have seen was 8 pax, but some captains prefer a new loadsheet for as little as 3 bags, it all depends on who's behind the controls.

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine

harmonium
Posts: 89
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:07 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

My experience is that it really differs from airline to airline. I work with a bunch of companies that use 11kg for domestic bags and 13/15 for transfer/international bags.
Another airline required us to put in the actual weight for each bag in the check-in system, and then divided the bags into local, europe and international, and loaded them in different compartments, thereby being able to calculate the exact weight in each hold - whilst making offloading and sorting at next point easier. Sadly they've changed their ways now. I really liked this one.

roseflyer
Posts: 9605
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting Chimborazo (Thread starter):I'm 6'4" and 270lbs and all in favour of weighing passengers for a flight. I can envisage a discreet scale positioned where you have your boarding pass scanned (as you're likely to be holding all your carry-on at that moment too) that gives despatchers the data as the flight closes so it also knows where the weight is distributed in the cabin (subject to some folk perhaps selecting a different seat if the flight is not full). Is this being looked at? Could it even go as far as helping the airlines save a few quid in terms of balancing the aeroplane?

The FAA states that a passenger including carry on luggage is 195lbs Winter and 190lbs Summer. It was increased in 2003 from 180 and 185lbs respectively.

The weight includes a factor for women and men. Women are 170lbs and Men are 210lbs, so it does account for a higher proportion of men flying than women.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!

aviationfreak
Posts: 1071
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2003 9:01 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

I know a certain Scandinavian airline requires us to complete the LIR using 13kg for each bag. Even a stroller or a really small bag was 13kg. But than again, it's an average. We even had to break down the whole calculation.

Have been flying twin otters and similar planes in Fiji. They did weigh me and than assigned a seat in the plane for weight and balance.

A.freak
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chimborazo
Topic Author
Posts: 97
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 7:51 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

Interesting stuff. Thanks to all for your replies.

CRJ900
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Joined: Wed Jun 02, 2004 2:48 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

I see Bombardier now use 225lbs as standard weight per one pax+bag when showing range/payload parameters. Is that a more realistic weight today? Most men in the Western hemisphere probably weigh 225lbs nowadays, no baggage included...
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roseflyer
Posts: 9605
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

 Quoting CRJ900 (Reply 14):I see Bombardier now use 225lbs as standard weight per one pax+bag when showing range/payload parameters. Is that a more realistic weight today? Most men in the Western hemisphere probably weigh 225lbs nowadays, no baggage included...

Those are the FAA numbers.

In reality, that also includes women as well. The average weight of an American man when the FAA came up with that number was 191lbs and average for a woman was 164lbs. 15lbs were assumed for carry on bags. 30lbs for checked bags and you get that weight.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!

FredT
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2002 9:51 pm

### RE: Passenger/baggage Weight Tolerance

More than you want to know

Be warned though that this is straight from the FAA, so you will miss out on all the wonderful speculation you get from asking on internet forums.
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