An airline software anomaly: Female adult passengers counted as children and therefore take off with a heavier load

MorningsideMaryland News : In what could have been a serious anomaly, but luckily everything was perfectly fine where a flight from UK to Spain was a metric ton heavier while it took off. 


Well, the software wrongly projected woman as children. It is still not clear, whether the woman chose the title of ‘Miss’ or given one, was considered as child. Hence, the software which designates specific weight for children counted them on a set scale of 35 kg and not 69 kg (meant for women).

The airline realized the mistake as there has been a statement about how a female passenger boarded the plane but at the time of check-in she was wrongly considered as a child. Unfortunately, the same story was considered for all the women present in the flight at that point in time, as all of 38 females on board in the specific flight were wrongly projected as children. 

The best thing is that the anomaly didn’t come its way in creating a security scare as the safety of the flight was well intact. However, it is also true, that such an incident is considered very serious as the Air Accidents investigation branch termed it that way. The mass from the load sheet was 1,244 kg below the real mass which the aircraft was carrying. There was a report that during takeoff, pilot didn’t use much of a thrust which went on to show that the airline’s safety was well intact, as at no point in time, that it was compromised. The thrust was marginally less than that of the expected one. 

The Aircraft operator namely “Tui” spoke about the immense importance of health and safety of passengers, as no compromise can be done on that front. Now, that the incident has very much occurred, it has directly showcased the fault in the IT system. However, having said that the flight’s safe operation was no where compromised. 

The incident is certainly one of its kinds and it happened due to faulty software and there have reports about two other Tui aircraft which started from UK with mismatched load sheets as well. 

Due to the associated issue the concerns of safety has again re-surfaced as everything highlights about the same aspect. There is now a change in the way adult female passenger will be referred. Now, instead of ‘Miss”, she will be called as “Ms” while going through various documentation process. The concerned authorities have rightly taken the detailed aspect very seriously as the airline will go through a secondary check by operations staff with regards to the extent of passenger load which the plane is carrying. 

Now, that the airline is rightly very cautious about the incident, one hopes that concrete steps are to be taken so that such a thing doesn’t repeat in future. 

It is true that the incident has thrown open one important aspect that no compromise can be done when it comes to the safety and security of the passengers.

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