Hawaiian Air to begin its annual weight survey for passengers and baggage
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Starting next week Monday, Hawaiian Airlines will be conducting a “passenger weight survey” for the carrier’s flights between Honolulu and Pago Pago, says airline spokesman, Alex Da Silva.
Samoa News should point out that for local travelers, the last time weigh-in happened many wondered if it was just one more way for Hawaiian Air to charge more money for its fares, i.e. using Samoan weight and sizes as the basis for such a move. According to HA at the time, it was — as it is now — a procedural requirement.
The survey is in accordance with U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) “procedures requiring airlines to regularly update this data,” Da Silva said via email from Honolulu yesterday.
“We are also doing similar surveys in Japan and South Korea,” he said.
Responding to Samoa News follow-up queries, Da Silva said, “We expect the survey will take a couple of months in order for us to collect sufficient data.”
The survey applies to all classes of service — first-class, economy, etc. — “but the weighing is optional,” he said, adding that the last weight survey for the Pago Pago-Honolulu route was last year.
The Honolulu-based carrier is now operating three-weekly flights for the summer months.
One of the biggest questions that was asked in the past is why Hawaiian is weighing passengers.
“It is important to calculate accurate weight and balance, and therefore the center of gravity of an aircraft for safe, efficient flight,” according to the information sheet provided by Hawaiian to Samoa News in 2019 during that survey.
The information sheet also states that the weight survey establishes average weights for passengers, checked baggage, and carry on baggage for airlines to use when determining the weight and balance on an aircraft.
Additionally, the FAA uses data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), to determine the estimated weights of passengers. And that average weight is updated periodically, and changes seasonally.
Samoa News requested and Da Silva yesterday provided an FAA summary link to the requirement: (https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_120-27F.pdf)