Thursday 8 April 2021 2:27 pm

IT weight mix-up leads to 'serious incident' on Tui flight

A flaw in one of its IT systems saw a Tui flight take off with the wrong weight calculations after female passengers using the title “Miss” were registered as children.

The error, which took place on a flight from Birmingham Airport to Majorca on 21 July last year has been labelled a “serious incident” by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

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A systems upgrade while Tui’s planes were grounded during last year’s initial lockdown saw 38 passengers allocated the standard child’s weight of 35kg rather than the adult benchmark of 69kg.

That is because the system was recalibrated in an unspecified country where where the title “Miss” is used for a child and “Ms” for an adult female.

As a result, the flight’s load sheet – which is used to calculate how much power is needed for take off – was more than 1,200kg lighter than it actually was.

A similar error took place on two other flights on the same day.

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Despite the system error, flight crew took steps to recalculate the takeoff requirements when they noticed the variance between the expected and actual weight of the plane.

The AAIB concluded that despite the error, the “safe operation” of the aircraft was not compromised.

Tui has taken steps to address the issue, including instigating multiple extra checks to make sure the passenger loads were recorded correctly.

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In a statement, the Anglo-German firm said: “The health and safety of our customers and crew is always our primary concern. Following this isolated incident, we corrected a fault identified in our IT system. As stated in the report, the safe operation of the flight was not comprised.”