Travel Tips

Travel Tip: The Truth About Airline Weight Restrictions

Are airlines restricting passengers for more than just their carry-ons?

A traveler’s personal size and weight has become a factor for some airlines.

Thai Airways is the most recent to announce a waistline limit for passengers in Business Class seats. The limit is 56 inches, and the rule only applies to passengers flying in their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner planes. 

In 2013, Samoa Air became the first airline in the world to charge customers by body weight plus luggage. American Samoa has one of the biggest obesity problems in the world.

Samoa Air is no longer in business, but Hawaiian Airlines also introduced a policy in 2016 to require passengers traveling to and from Pago Pago, American Samoa to obtain their seat assignments at the airport in order to manage the distribution of weight in the main cabin. Why? The airline discovered that on average passengers traveling on those flights weighed 25 pounds more. 

There have been no announcements yet regarding personal size and weight restrictions from airlines in the Continental United States but given the airlines’ obsession with generating from every conceivable source, it remains a possibility. Food for thought. 


For more on airlines and weight, check out these stories:

Travel Tip: Pay As You Weigh

Skinny Passenger Gets Fat Refund

Airline Fires Overweight Flight Attendants