The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA’s new 2Hot2Cold app will make it easier for passengers and crew to report uncomfortable temperatures on planes. The association will use the gathered data to press for a government standard.
With ever-shrinking seats and diminishing legroom, it’s hard to find a good comfort zone on a plane. Add extreme temperatures, whether too hot or too cold, and your flight can turn miserable.
That’s why the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, a major union, has long petitioned the U.S. Department of Transportation to set a reasonable standard for in-flight temperatures. That advocacy is taking a new direction this week, thanks to the launch of a new app.
The app, called 2Hot2Cold, will allow flight attendants and passengers to report extreme temperatures on commercial fights. Beyond creating difficult work environments for flight crews, temperature extremes can create health risks for passengers. AFA hopes to use data gathered from its nearly 50,000 members to bolster its case for standards.
“The fact is that no rules require airlines and airports to take this issue seriously,” AFA President Sara Nelson said in a news release. “We know that the first step to fixing a problem is defining it. That’s why we developed the app and decided to issue thermometers to all AFA members. We will document just how bad this is, and we hope we can encourage action before we experience a tragic event.”
Incidents involving health issues created by flight temperatures are not unheard of. Last summer, an infant overheated on a plane about to leave Denver and had to be taken to the hospital, a story that gained enough attention that the baby’s mother, author Emily France, appeared on Good Morning America.
The new app comes as the union is renewing its efforts on the issue, petitioning Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao [PDF] last month to set rules. AFA recommends standard temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit, with a maximum in-flight and on-ground temperature of 80 degrees. A 5-degree exception would be allowed when in-flight entertainment units are in use.