United Airlines has started blocking some seats due to the increase in the average weight of American passengers!
United Airlines, the third largest US carrier, cannot sell some seats on its flights due to the increase in the average weight of the American passenger. United began blocking three to six middle seats on each of its Boeing 757s earlier this week, according to the travel blog Live and Let's Fly.
"The temporary change is a result of the increase in average winter customer weights as prescribed by the FAA. To comply with current weight and centering requirements on the Boeing 757, United will block certain seats between November 1 and April 30, 2023,” the airline said.
The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) imposes weight limits and special balance requirements on airlines.
The affected seats are apparently covered in red covers and have a sign that reads " This seat is temporarily out of service - don't sit down ". Seat belts are fastened.
United will have to keep the seats blocked until April 30 because the FAA requires airlines to account for the higher average weight of passengers during the winter months, when people wear heavier clothing. The agency has increased the base weight averages that carriers use for their takeoff weight calculations to reflect Americans' weight gain.
Averages in the summer months, including hand luggage, increased from 65kg to 81kg for female passengers and from 83kg to 90,7kg for men. Airlines add another 2,2kg for clothing during the winter months, an estimate needed to be used in balancing aircraft weight.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult American man weighs 90,1 kg, up from 75,4 kg in 1960. The average woman weighs 77,5 kg, up from 63,6 kg in 1960.
These figures are based on data collected from 2015 to 2018 and therefore do not include the weight that many Americans have gained during the Covid-19 pandemic. A New Mexico State University study found that 48 percent of American adults said their weight increased during the first year of the pandemic. A separate study by the American Psychological Association found that the average weight gain among those who reported gains was 13 kg.
Over 42% of American adults are obese. The obesity epidemic is so bad, in fact, that nearly 71 percent of Americans born after 1997 are ineligible for military service, most often because they are too fat to be eligible, Pentagon data shows.