This week, the federal aviation administration revised guidelines used by airlines to calculate how much weight they have on board to take account of the fact that Americans are getting fatter. The FAA has added 8% to a male and 18% to a female traveller in an attempt to ensure that the centre of gravity, takeoff speed and fuel needs for planes can be more accurately estimated.
"Maybe instead of just using those [boxes] at the gates to limit carry-on bags to certain sizes, the airlines need to have a people-sizer with a sign asking, 'Do you fit into this?'" Dave Grotto, of the American Dietetic Association, told the Chicago Tribune.
Given people's propensity to lie about their weight, airlines were told to add 4.5kg (10lb) to the figure they were told. "They usually lie in the single digits," said Peggy Gilligan, the FAA's director of flight standards.
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