You head to Atlantic City Airport to hop on your Spirit Airlines flight. You're winging it down to Florida for a getaway weekend.

You've crammed all your clothing in a tiny "personal size" bag to avoid paying luggage fees. You've decline to pay for a seat - you're playing "seat roulette" - you could end up being seated anywhere. All this in an effort to fly cheap and save some money.

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You get to the airport, go through security, and at the gate, you must STEP ON THE SCALE to be weighed before boarding the plane.

Say what?

"This passenger weights one hundred and seventy-four pounds" yells out the official Spirit Airlines Weight Checker - who in season is also a carnival emcee.

Far fetched?

Maybe not.

Apparently US airlines - not just Spirit - may be moving towards weighing passengers before they board their flight. This according to View From the Wing, a website that bills itself as "The Thought Leader in Travel."

The website says airlines may soon be weighing passengers at the gate in order to comply with FCC regulations:

"For safety reasons, carriers need to calculate an aircraft’s weight and balance, and it has to be within allowable limits for the plane. However the assumptions they’ve been using for passengers are outdated. Americans are getting fatter, and the federal government wants airlines to find out how much fatter their passengers have gotten, at least for smaller aircraft."

The article continues to say there are ways the airlines use now to guess the weight of cargo and passengers, but that may no longer be good enough, especially on smaller planes.

Apparently my idea of shouting out the weights doesn't ring true. "When airlines stick scales at boarding gates for this, the FAA notes, the scale’s “readout should remain hidden from public view” to protect passenger privacy."

Where's the fun in that?

The article points out that many countries already do this.

Will a "larger average flier" prompt airlines to go back to bigger seats and more leg room? Probably not, but good try!

SOURCE: View From the Wing.

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