Too Cold on the Plane? There’s an App for That

Tired of sweating (or shivering) through your flights?

A new phone app from the Association of Flight Attendants will allow you to report uncomfortably high or low temperatures to the trade group directly from your seat on the plane — no awkward in-flight conversation necessary.

Available free to passengers and crews, the AFA’s 2Hot2Cold mobile phone application is part of a broader effort to introduce operational standards for cabin climate control. By documenting problems, the AFA hopes to gather data in support of a petition it filed earlier this month asking the U.S. Department of Transportation to require that airlines maintain a cabin temperature range of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18 to 24 Celsius).

While excessive heat or cold can certainly make a flight miserable, extreme temperatures can also be dangerous for passengers and crew, causing fatigue and dizziness, among other ailments, the AFA says. These health hazards can delay responses to emergencies on board, disrupt the airline’s operations and ultimately create a “ripple effect” of problems, AFA President Sara Nelson said in an interview.

The AFA first got the idea for an in-flight reporting app a year ago when an infant overheated and became non-responsive inside a hot plane stuck on the runway in Denver. They’ve also handed out key-chain thermometers to all AFA members as part of the effort.

“When we talk to flight attendants and we say, ‘Have you experienced this, an extreme temperature event?’ Every single hand goes up,” Nelson said. “And when you talk to passengers who have flown more than once, they can tell you that they’ve experienced issues with temperature on board.”

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