Have you ever wondered why airlines impose strict luggage weight limits? It may appear to be an odd figure, but there are some very good reasons why airlines do not allow bags weighing more than 32kg.
First and foremost, let us discuss flight physics. When an airplane is flying, it is constantly fighting gravity. The heavier the plane, the more force is required to keep it aloft. This is why planes have weight limits: if they are too heavy, they cannot fly.
But why 32 kilograms? As it turns out, there is a good reason for the amount of luggage that airlines can safely transport.
The average maximum take-off weight of a plane is between 320 and 447.7 tons (320,000kg and 406,146.608kg) or 700,000 and 987,000 pounds.
Personal airplanes weigh between 335.658kg to 1247.379kg while helicopters weigh between 275 to 56,000 kilograms depending on the size and model.
The weight and balance of every flight is calculated. More weight equals less fuel, that’s why sometimes passengers or cargo are offloaded so that the airplane can take-off successfully.
So why not simply raise the weight limit? The answer is straightforward: safety.
The bigger the plane the heavier it will be. Airlines must take into account not only the weight of the luggage, but also the weight of the plane, the passengers and the amount of fuel required for the flight.
The plane’s weight fluctuates as it flies, what it weighed as you took off isn’t what it’ll weigh as you land. Fuel weighs a lot, so the plane will weigh less since the fuel would be burned during the flight.
The weight limit is also there to prevent on-flight injuries on the cabin crew in charge of handling baggage.
However, there is another reason why airlines do not allow bags weighing more than 32kg: convenience. Can you imagine yourself trying to lift a bag weighing over 70 pounds? It’s not only difficult, but also dangerous. Lifting heavy bags can result in back and shoulder injuries, which can lead to expensive lawsuits for the airline.
So, the next time you’re packing for a flight and grumbling about the weight limit, remember that it’s for your own safety as well as the safety of everyone else on the plane. Furthermore, it’s a good reason to pack light and avoid those annoying baggage fees!