Posted For: Willie Wonka, HMFWIC
A traveler has shared the mortifying moment that a fellow passenger was forced to step on a baggage scale before takeoff after confusion over her weight.
A clip detailing the humiliating measure was originally posted in March, but has amassed 1.6 million views on TikTok as viewers speculate whether the airline was discriminating against plus-size travelers.
“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 TikTok user @lilwessel wrote in the caption.
She added, “It’s a tiny plane so they needed our weight to take off for safety reasons.”
In the accompanying five-second footage, shot at an undisclosed airport, the passenger in question can be seen standing on the luggage scale in full view of fellow flyers.
Needless to say, the embarrassing ordeal divided the TikTok commentariat with one viewer writing: “Why are people so mean.”
“That’s not ok,” said another.
Meanwhile, a third recalled being subject to a similar precaution, explaining, “Flying home from the Philippines and they weighed me … I have never been so embarrassed in my life.”
However, others sided with the airline.
“Why would she lie and risk all our lives including hers lol,” criticized one commenter.”
“They care about weight limits on small planes because they need to have the center weight in a certain part of the plane,” said another.
“Does she not know she can write it down on a sheet of paper if she doesn’t want to announce it?” observed a third.
“What my mom does lol.”
This comes amid a flurry of body-positive influencers accusing airlines of not accommodating plus-sized people.
Earlier this week, a plus-size TikToker went viral after arguing that airlines should make plane aisles wider to cater to larger passengers, calling the current layout “discrimination.”
She also shared a now-deleted video of herself struggling to traverse a United Airlines plane, having to turn sideways as she walked past the rows of seats.
The body-positivity advocate was subsequently ripped online with critics telling her not to fly.
One even claimed that wider aisles would reduce the number of seats, thereby “cutting into profits to accommodate the supersized.”
In 2021, the Federal Aviation Administration advisory announced that airlines could soon require plus-sized passengers to step on the scale — or provide their weight — before boarding the aircraft.
The goal was to provide new data on average passenger weights as the current numbers reportedly don’t reflect today’s sky-high obesity rates in the US.
In turn, this would help ensure that aircrafts, especially the small ones, don’t exceed their allowable weight limit.
Once they’ve chosen a traveler, an operator may “determine the actual weight of passengers” by having them step “on a scale before boarding the aircraft,” per the guidelines transcribed by AirInsight.
In order to protect passenger privacy, they stipulated “the scale readout should remain hidden from public view.”
However, the regulatory agency backpedaled a month later, claiming that while weighing passengers was an option, most airlines would resort to other measures of calculating passenger mass.
Contingency methods included making “a reasonable estimate about the passenger’s actual weight and add 10 pounds,” per the document.