Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Planes bring out strange behaviors.
On a long flight, I’m often fascinated by how many people work, how many watch movies, how many stare into the blight on modern civilization known as the Kindle and how many are draped in blankets.
We all tend to feel temperature in slightly different ways.
Yet so many passengers seem to agree that the temperature on flights isn’t merely wrong, but contributes to ill health.
So the Local 556 of the Transport Workers Union, which represents the Flight Attendants of Southwest and the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents Flight Attendants from fine airlines such as United and, um, Air Wisconsin are getting together to do something about climate change.
In airplanes, that is.
The two Flight Attendant groups are launching an app called 2Hot2Cold.
The purpose of this highly modern piece of software is to allow Flight Attendants and passengers to register their disapproval when a flight isn’t operating at a comfortable temperature.
Before takeoff, during flight and after landing.
The idea is to gather all this information and present it to the Department of Transportation to create a hot lather around the issue.
Currently, you see, there are no regulations as to the temperature of an aircraft.
When in an especially grim mood, some Flight Attendants will admit to trying to manipulate the temperature in certain zones of an plane in order to, say, lull passengers to sleep with heat.
So that they shut up, you understand.
The cabin crews, though, are often themselves concerned at the temperature conditions in which they have to work.
Moreover, many planes are a touch too warm before takeoff — as air conditioning units are turned off to save fuel — and then much colder as cruising altitude is reached.
The actual temperature in planes is usually said to be somewhere around the 70-72 degree mark.
Which doesn’t mean it feels like it, as many of the people inside aren’t moving at all.
The 2Hot2Cold app can be downloaded by passengers, as well as cabin crew, although oddly the terms of the app insist that it should be downloaded “by authorized personnel only — please do not download this app unless you have been asked to do so.”
The Flight Attendants say they’re fighting against extremism of temperature which can lead to extremism in behavior.
“Extreme temperatures also impact cabin operations, by degrading the crew’s awareness of possible security threats, increasing stress that can lead to air rage, medical emergencies, a return to the gate, and other operational disruptions,” they say.
It’s a tantalizing thought.
I worry, though, that humans are capricious. What happens if half the people who report on a flight say it was too hot and the other half say it was too cold?
Democracy is hard, isn’t it?