Many airline passengers have suffered from uncomfortable temperatures on airplanes, often sweltering on the ground and then shivering in the air. Now they can help build the case for establishing rules to keep airplane temperatures within reasonable limits. A new mobile app from AFA-CWA – called 2Hot2Cold – allows passengers and flight crews to document and report extreme temperatures in aircraft cabins.
The problem is especially acute for flight crews who regularly experience temperature extremes that would not be tolerated in other workplaces. Excessive heat can cause everything from fatigue and dizziness to heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and it can impair Flight Attendants' ability to perform critical safety and security duties.
This month, AFA-CWA formally petitioned the Department of Transportation to issue rules to limit temperature extremes on flights. As the petition states, "there are currently no operational temperature standards that apply to the actual airplane environment for passengers and crews." AFA-CWA is recommending the adoption of a standard that would set a target temperature range inflight and on the ground of 65-75°F, with a maximum allowed temperature of 80°F inflight and on the ground.
Several well-publicized incidents dramatically underscore the severity of the problem. In June 2017, an infant overheated and became non-responsive when a plane sat on a Denver tarmac. The baby was rushed by ambulance to a hospital for treatment. In 2013, several passengers forced to sit in the heat of Las Vegas fell ill, and 150 passengers suffered without air conditioning for two and a half hours on a plane in Phoenix.
"The 2Hot2Cold app gives a voice to passengers," said AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson. "It's a constructive way for them and Flight Attendants to express their discomfort and provide concrete evidence to bolster our efforts to secure reasonable temperatures on planes."
The app can be downloaded at: App Store (iPhone/iPad) or Play Store (Android).
At a press event at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, AFA-CWA President Sara Nelson (fifth from left) announced the roll-out of a new mobile app called 2Hot2Cold allowing passengers and flight crews to document and report extreme temperatures in aircraft cabins.