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Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 4:51 am

Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:42 am

How has the increase in obesity rates, especially in the western world, impacted airlines' operational performance?

Passengers are getting larger. Has this impacted take-off weight? What is the impact on fuel consumption? Does cargo take a hit to reduce weight? Are there other impacts? Or are there no material impacts?

(Note: this thread is not about passenger comfort, making "passengers of size" pay for two seats, etc)
 
FlyDeltaJets
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:24 pm

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 8:31 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
How has the increase in obesity rates, especially in the western world, impacted airlines' operational performance?

As far as I know for UA and DL the standard passenger weight which is used to calculate weight and balance has not changed. Not to be funny but bigger passengers means bigger clothes, this can be why bags seem so much heavier now.
The only valid opinions are those based in facts
 
shufflemoomin
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:04 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:29 am

I guess that's a good point. What is the weight that airlines currently use as an "average weight" for passengers?
 
doug_or
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Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2000 9:55 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:35 am

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 2):
What is the weight that airlines currently use as an "average weight" for passengers?

Varies by airline, but they have changed over the years. This is why 80s era turbo props (EMB-120, SAAB 340, and DASH-8-100) are generally weight restricted to less passengers than they have seats.
When in doubt, one B pump off
 
RubberJungle
Posts: 302
Joined: Thu Jan 28, 2010 10:16 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:56 am

Standard weights have been adjusted in the past.

EASA commissioned a survey on passenger weights in 2008, to check whether the standards used in safety regulations should be updated. The report concluded that the standard mass should be 88kg.

If you want to read the document, the link is below. Summary on pages 13-14:

http://www.easa.europa.eu/rulemaking...t%20Survey%20R20090095%20Final.pdf
 
traindoc
Posts: 271
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 11:35 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:51 pm

Gives new meaning to ATC calls, "Delta 123 heavy"' etc.   
 
masseybrown
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Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 4:07 pm

I'd guess obesity increases boarding times and probably debarking times as well. The tubs just aren't as light on their feet as the rest of the crowd.
 
Caspian27
Posts: 190
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:48 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:43 pm

Quoting shufflemoomin (Reply 2):
What is the weight that airlines currently use as an "average weight" for passengers?

195 lbs for adults in winter, 190 lbs for summer. 87 lbs for children in winter, 82 lbs in summer.
Meanwhile, somewhere 35,000 ft above your head...
 
roseflyer
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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:26 pm

The FAA published revised guidelines for average passenger weights in 2004. They increased average passenger weights.

http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5212/docs/faa-ac120-27e.pdf

This was in response to the Air Midwest US Airways Express Crash in Charlotte in 2003 when the airplane was overloaded and a maintenance problem reduced elevator authority. When the average weight went up, it hurt airline operations since they had to reduce the payload available for fuel and cargo. Transcon routes became more difficult. This especially hurt airlines operating 737NGs and A320s on US transcon routes. Smaller airplanes were also affected since the new numbers made it almost impossible to dispatch an EMB 120 or Saab 340 with all their seats occupied.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Viscount724
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Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: Increase In Obesity And Airline Performance

Fri Jan 04, 2013 1:49 am

Quoting questions (Thread starter):
Are there other impacts?

Probably means more wear and tear on seats. I'm surprised the armrests don't break off when some passengers much wider than 17 inches squeeze themselves into the seat and sometimes have to go sideways to fit down the aisle.

Another poential impact may involve safety, as very large passengers can't move as fast during an evacuation and may block other passengers where even a few seconds can make a difference (e.g. fire).

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