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How Midwest Airlines Protect Workers from Extreme Cold

Photo: Scott Olson (Getty)

If you are one of the unfortunate souls who are obliged to travel at the extreme temperatures of this polar vortex, you are probably quite worried about just coming to the airport to discover it Your flight was delayed or canceled. But there are still people working at sub-zero temperatures every day to make sure that air traffic is running as smoothly as possible ̵

1; and they are not always embedded in the comfort of four walls and heat.

Cancellations are just one of them The actions that airlines have taken to protect workers from the extreme cold that prevails in the United States. Chicago airports, such as Midway and O & # 39; Hare, are struggling with sub-zero temperatures. The inability to provide a safe working environment means that flights are canceled so workers can stay healthy. United Airlines alone canceled 500 flights outside of O & Hare on Wednesday and Thursday – according to the Chicago Tribune, as many as 80 percent of its scheduled flights were scheduled.

But twenty percent of flights still start from the frozen desert landscape in the Midwest, and airlines are working hard to ensure that people who still weather the weather are provided with the tools they need to keep warm stay. USA Today reports that they provide industrial-quality coats, gloves, and face masks for the workers. It's a smart move – not all people are privileged enough to wear comfortable winter clothes, and even some of the basic requirements that could get you through the normal winter will not be good enough when the temperature starts to rise.

At O & Hare, American Airlines is setting up a "mobile command center," a van that has driven around to provide hand warmers, extra gloves, and hot drinks to baggage handlers. People are even invited to get in the van for a few minutes to warm up.

In addition, American Hot Chili offers in its airport lounge and encourages its employees to join as needed. And instead of the traditional shuttle buses, American Airlines picks up staff in smaller and better heated vans from the parking lot.

United Airlines strives above all for physical comfort. They actually call workers from other cities so they can turn off local workers to make sure they all spend little time outdoors. Heated shelters are also great for the airline, so anyone who is not needed outdoors can warm up inside.

Even the planes are encouraged to stay comfortable – they are housed in hangars unless they are absolutely necessary to use. Aircraft and their necessary equipment do not work well when exposed to extreme temperatures. Batteries are a major concern. When they get cold, they supply significantly less power, which means that battery-powered devices need to be connected to a different power source or are constantly in operation. Even water sources in aircraft can freeze. It's just a bad situation for everyone involved.

It seems like there is only a day or two more misery before the polar vortex gives way, like a USA Today tracker. Until then, check your flights for cancellations – and send the workers, who are still kicking their asses, some good spirits to keep the air traffic moving.

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