This Airport Is Weighing Overweight Passengers — & That’s Not Okay

Photographed by Fernanda Silva.
Update: Hawaiian Airlines recently informed Refinery29 that its eliminations of pre-selected seats on flights to and from Pago Pago, American Samoa has nothing to do with individual weights or with the overall weight of its aircraft. According to an airline representative, "Hawaiian Airlines conducted a voluntary weight survey under FAA protocols in the beginning of the year. The survey has ended and no passengers are being asked to step on a scale." For more details about this new seat selection policy, visit the airline's website.

This article was originally published on October 6, 2016.
Traveling can cause a lot of unwanted stress, and dealing with airlines often comes with some frustration. All that is usually to be expected. But one airport is reportedly taking outrageous travel policies to an insane new level.

According to the New York Post
, last Saturday the Pago Pago International Airport in American Samoa implemented a new policy that prohibits customers who are flying on Hawaiian Airlines from pre-selecting their seats. The reasoning behind the new policy is extremely controversial. In order to meet airplane weight and balance requirements, gate agents will now be "eyeballing" passengers' weights. In certain circumstances, the agents may also ask a passenger to be weighed before he or she is seated. If you're thinking this sounds pretty offensive, you would be correct. The New York Post reports that two men, Avamua Dave Haleck and Daniel King, have already filed formal complaints to the U.S. Transportation Department. While speaking about the policy on Radio New Zealand, Haleck addressed Hawaiian Airlines' claim that the new policy is strictly a matter of safety by asking, "So have we been flying unsafe for all these years?" Good point. We'll have to wait and see how long this policy actually remains in effect, but the fact that people are already outraged within days of its announcement should send a definitive message to the airport and the airline.

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