Flight into DCA Required to Trim Weight to Reduce Noise

March 14th, 2016

Tonight, I am flying from MIA to DCA on an American 737-800. The flight was completely full. After a 30 minute delay, the Captain announced that we had to reduce the weight of the flight in order to reduce noise. Huh, I thought? She made some offhand comment that people in D.C. were concerned about the noise near Reagan National. We had to reduce the number of people, so less power could be used, and thus create less noise.

How many people you asked? It felt like the Hunger Games. First the standby passenger were ordered to deplane (about 3 or 4 people). Then two jump-seaters. Then, they offered a $500 travel voucher and hotel accommodations for 18 people! After about 5 minutes, they got more than enough volunteers. By my count, about 25 people were taken off the plane. Assuming an average weight of 150 pounds, that is nearly 4,000 total pounds removed from the plane.

I can’t help but think this is due to a recent report that one person filed 6,500 noise complaints near DCA. Providing travel vouchers to 18 passengers who paid full-fare, and having to book them tomorrow on another flight, is pretty extreme.

As if it wasn’t already unpleasant enough travelling to D.C., area man has made it even worse.