Flight attendants association petitions Transportation Dept. to regulate plane temperatures

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A flight attendants’ union has filed a petition with the Department of Transportation asking the agency to regulate the temperature aboard airplanes.

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA filed the petition last month, in which the group argued that without regulation, the temperatures could cause a danger to passengers and crew members.

USA Today first reported on the petition, which was publicized at a news conference on Wednesday at Regan National Airport in Washington, D.C. 


“This is an issue of safety, health and security. If it’s too hot, people can become dizzy, unaware, suffer from heat stroke. If it’s too cold, they can experience cold stress or even hypothermia,” said Sara Nelson, the president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.

The Department of Transportation has said it will consider the proposal. 

The only existing temperature regulation calls for the cabin temperature to be set within 5 degrees of the cockpit, but there are no minimums or maximums, according to USA Today. 

The union petition suggests a target temperature range of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit while the plane is in flight and on the ground, with a maximum allowed temperature of 80 degrees.

The petition cited multiple examples of overheating airplanes causing health emergencies, including a June 2017 flight in which an infant overheated and was taken away in an ambulance upon landing.

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