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Changing Attitude On Window Shades?  
User currently offlinetgocean From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 24 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7182 times:

I recently completed a trip LAX-IAH-FRA (with return through IAD) on UA. With one exception, the flights were conducted in daylight. On each flight, the windowshades were down when passengers boarded, and stayed that way for the entire flight. I usually select a window seat (I love to look outside), but on most of these flights I was in either the “fishbowl” seat (the isolated middle seat in UA 767-300ER’s 2-1-2 first-class seating system) or in an aisle. Requests to raise the window shade were denied by anyone I asked. One passenger even said that it was “illegal” to have the windowshade up (rubbish). Nearly the whole airplane was blacked out in all of these flights. Little islands of light could occasionally be seen in coach, but none in First. Two questions: (1) When did flying become such a chore that nobody even wants to look out at the scenery, and (2) Doesn’t the FAA require windowshades to be open at landing and takeoff for safety reasons (i.e., to spot the not-in-flames side of the airplane to evacuate?

43 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 492 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7138 times:

Window shades are typically down when you board during the summer because the cabin can get very hot otherwise, and it helps keep it cool. But I do find it rather odd that no one wanted to open them. As for "illegal"...I would have been laughing in their face.   

Quoting tgocean (Thread starter):
Doesn’t the FAA require windowshades to be open at landing and takeoff for safety reasons (i.e., to spot the not-in-flames side of the airplane to evacuate?

Not that I'm aware of. Never heard a safety announcement that included this.



Huff
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23203 posts, RR: 20
Reply 2, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 7006 times:

Quoting tgocean (Thread starter):
Doesn’t the FAA require windowshades to be open at landing and takeoff for safety reasons (i.e., to spot the not-in-flames side of the airplane to evacuate?

Some carriers' ops specs require exit row window shades to be up for takeoff and landing. There may be a few regionals that require all shades to be up for takeoff and landing (I feel like 9E may be one, but it's been a while since I've flown them), but they are very much the exception and not the rule.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineVCEflyboy From Canada, joined Jun 2014, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6957 times:

Very unusual and unsafe to have windowshades down during take off and landing.
In the event of an accident, passengers would be startled by the outside brightness upon leaving the aircraft and would take away precious seconds during the evacuation procedure.


User currently offlineCoronado From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1202 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6936 times:
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Quoting tgocean (Thread starter):
Requests to raise the window shade were denied by anyone I asked. One passenger even said that it was “illegal” to have the windowshade up (rubbish). Nearly the whole airplane was blacked out in all of these flights.

Sounds like the aircraft makers and airlines are starting to get everyone used to the concept of no windows on pax aircraft--cheaper to make, lighter aircraft weight eventually leading to windowless blended wing concepts. Soon they will have some wing tip fence cameras facing down which pax will be able to display on their monitor to simulate looking out an inexistent window!



The Original Coronado: First CV jet flights RG CV 990 July 1965; DL CV 880 July 1965; Spantax CV990 Feb 1973
User currently offlinetlecam From United States of America, joined Jul 2013, 301 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6936 times:

I've heard this announcement recently on my Chautauqua operated Delta RJ flight - raise window shades for landing. Of course, I also heard the pilot announce that we should turn our cell phones off because he was listening to our conversations. Your mileage may vary.


BOS || A:319,320,321, 332, 333, 346 || B:735, 737, 738, 739, 752, 753, 762, 763, 764, 772, 744: L1011, DC10
User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 492 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 6924 times:

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 3):
In the event of an accident, passengers would be startled by the outside brightness upon leaving the aircraft and would take away precious seconds during the evacuation procedure.

Really? That's your reasoning? As if the passengers have never seen the light of day in their lives? I think they'd be much more startled that they were in an accident, forget the light.



Huff
User currently offlinedtw2hyd From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 2203 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6876 times:

Quoting Coronado (Reply 4):
Sounds like the aircraft makers and airlines are starting to get everyone used to the concept of no windows on pax aircraft--cheaper to make, lighter aircraft weight eventually leading to windowless blended wing concepts. Soon they will have some wing tip fence cameras facing down which pax will be able to display on their monitor to simulate looking out an inexistent window!

Think about the bright side, every one can view outside, even those in the middle of a WB. It may even increase structural integrity and reduce maintenance cost. Oh, for aesthetics simulate windows on exterior painting.


User currently onlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25843 posts, RR: 22
Reply 8, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6863 times:

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 6):
Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 3):
In the event of an accident, passengers would be startled by the outside brightness upon leaving the aircraft and would take away precious seconds during the evacuation procedure.

Really? That's your reasoning? As if the passengers have never seen the light of day in their lives? I think they'd be much more startled that they were in an accident, forget the light.

It's similar to the reason why cabin lights are dimmed during takeoff and landing at night, to reduce the contrast between light and dark in the event of an accident and emergency evacuation. It takes a while for your eyes to adjust if the lighting suddenly goes from bright to dark, or vice versa.

Another major reason for leaving the blinds up is so you can see if there's fire on one side of the aircraft so you don't open the emergency exits on that side.


User currently offlineandy33 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2009, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6815 times:

Absolutely standard in Europe for window shades to be raised for takeoff and landing, except on Ryanair, which doesn't have window shades on its planes to begin with.

User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 492 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6803 times:

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 8):
It takes a while for your eyes to adjust if the lighting suddenly goes from bright to dark, or vice versa.

That is true. But I still don't see the need for forcing the shades to be up. Again, never seen/heard it before, either.



Huff
User currently offlineVCEflyboy From Canada, joined Jun 2014, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 6743 times:

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 6):
Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 3):
In the event of an accident, passengers would be startled by the outside brightness upon leaving the aircraft and would take away precious seconds during the evacuation procedure.

Really? That's your reasoning?

No, it is not my reasoning. It is a safety policy implemented by all major airlines based on a scientific fact. Visual focus is adjusted by pupil dilating and contracting according to the light. This adjustment requires a couple of seconds. If you multiply that for 100s passengers that have to be able to evacuate in under 90 seconds as mandates by law, it makes the difference between life and death.


User currently offlinetonystan From Ireland, joined Jan 2006, 1445 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6524 times:

Quoting andy33 (Reply 9):

BA don't require window blinds to be open unless immediately adjacent to an emergency exit row!



My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23203 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 6465 times:

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 11):
It is a safety policy implemented by all major airlines based on a scientific fact. Visual focus is adjusted by pupil dilating and contracting according to the light.

This is true, but on a bright day, some daylight gets through the shades and the fueslage with the windows open is darker than outside, especially toward the middle. Is there some scientific evidence that the "adjustment time" is significantly different with shades open versus shut?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineVCEflyboy From Canada, joined Jun 2014, 500 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6367 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 11):
It is a safety policy implemented by all major airlines based on a scientific fact. Visual focus is adjusted by pupil dilating and contracting according to the light.

This is true, but on a bright day, some daylight gets through the shades and the fueslage with the windows open is darker than outside, especially toward the middle. Is there some scientific evidence that the "adjustment time" is significantly different with shades open versus shut?

And if my grandma had wings, she'd be a 747.
Aviation safety rules are born out of past accident investigations that have identified weaknesses and potential hazards in planes and procedures. Not adapting your vision to the outside environment, wearing high heels, blocking the emergency exits, etc. all have been proven to delay evacuation procedures. We are talking about very rare events, but when they do happen you want to be as ready as you possibly can.


User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3005 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 6367 times:

This is a silly debate. The FAA does not require window shades to be up for takeoff and landing, so most US airlines do not require this. However, I have been on many flights on non-US airlines where this is required, and where it is a standard part of the pre-takeoff/-landing safety announcements along with raising tray tables, putting seats upright, etc. It just depends on the airline and/or aviation authority's policy--end of story.


Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3297 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5914 times:

Best idea is nab a window on the side away from the sun. Works for me as I like to look out.

User currently offlineFoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3005 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5797 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 16):
Best idea is nab a window on the side away from the sun. Works for me as I like to look out.

Agreed--I always try to do the same. This is a useful site to help figure out which side the sun will be on: http://sunflight.net/



Common sense is not so common. -Voltaire
User currently offlineKGRB From United States of America, joined Sep 2010, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5682 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 2):
Some carriers' ops specs require exit row window shades to be up for takeoff and landing. There may be a few regionals that require all shades to be up for takeoff and landing (I feel like 9E may be one, but it's been a while since I've flown them), but they are very much the exception and not the rule.

9E requires the shades in the exit row(s) and 1A to be open for takeoff and landing.

Quoting Coronado (Reply 4):
Sounds like the aircraft makers and airlines are starting to get everyone used to the concept of no windows on pax aircraft--cheaper to make, lighter aircraft weight eventually leading to windowless blended wing concepts. Soon they will have some wing tip fence cameras facing down which pax will be able to display on their monitor to simulate looking out an inexistent window!

I call B.S. on this one. hufftheweevil had it right in reply one when he said that the shades were lowered during boarding to keep the aircraft cool, which is very common in Summer ops. They remained lowered during flight because passengers probably didn't feel like opening them.



Δ D E L T A: Keep Climbing
User currently offlineLX2IAH From United States of America, joined Jul 2014, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5624 times:

I guess the airlines will do anything to save a "dime." Maybe it saves $$ on electric plug in or fuel while waiting for the next flight. To me, it's depressing to walk down a dark aircraft while boarding.

I had heard from a friend that worked flights at HOU / IAH for TW he mentioned something like all TW a/c had to keep window shades open during takeoff & landing...had something to do with a/c being hijacked some time long ago and all the shades were down (when flt was in trouble) as demanded by the "bad guys". If I recall correctly...he said this way the ground crew etc. knew all was ok with the a/c as flight arrived & departed.

LX2IAH


User currently offlineiloveboeing From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 798 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5519 times:

I get highly irritated when the flight attendants ruthlessly and snottingly ask me to lower the window shades. I paid good money for that seat and I have the right to look out the window and enjoy the scenery. I don't know why the flight attendants have to be snots about it anyway. We pay their salaries so they should lose their attitudes and leave us aviation enthusiasts alone!

User currently offlinehufftheweevil From United States of America, joined Oct 2013, 492 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5440 times:

Quoting LX2IAH (Reply 19):
I guess the airlines will do anything to save a "dime." Maybe it saves $$ on electric plug in or fuel while waiting for the next flight. To me, it's depressing to walk down a dark aircraft while boarding.

Sure it saves money, but its done for the passengers too: in the summer, would you rather walk on to a bright, but hot and steamy aircraft or a cool, dimly lit aircraft? Most would prefer the later.

Quoting LX2IAH (Reply 19):
had something to do with a/c being hijacked some time long ago and all the shades were down (when flt was in trouble) as demanded by the "bad guys". If I recall correctly...he said this way the ground crew etc. knew all was ok with the a/c as flight arrived & departed.

I'll call B.S. on that one. Not saying this guy didn't tell you this...but it sounds to me that he wasn't the brightest one in the bunch.



Huff
User currently offlineN867DA From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1012 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5407 times:

I usually leave my window shades open unless it is the side with the sun and it is 100% unbearable. If others are sleeping I will close it 50-60% but no more--I enjoy looking outside, even if it is just ocean. The only airline where I've been asked to lower the shades is on SQ, and even then when I explained I like to keep the shade raised the F/As let it go.


A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
User currently offlinecopter808 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 1122 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5378 times:

Quoting tgocean (Thread starter):
Doesn%u2019t the FAA require windowshades to be open at landing and takeoff for safety reasons (i.e., to spot the not-in-flames side of the airplane to evacuate?

Apparently not a requirement--but it should be!!!

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 6):
Really? That's your reasoning? As if the passengers have never seen the light of day in their lives? I think they'd be much more startled that they were in an accident, forget the light.

See below

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 11):
No, it is not my reasoning. It is a safety policy implemented by all major airlines based on a scientific fact. Visual focus is adjusted by pupil dilating and contracting according to the light. This adjustment requires a couple of seconds. If you multiply that for 100s passengers that have to be able to evacuate in under 90 seconds as mandates by law, it makes the difference between life and death.

I was going to explain why they should be open, but I couldn't do a better job than you did.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 13):
This is true, but on a bright day, some daylight gets through the shades and the fueslage with the windows open is darker than outside, especially toward the middle. Is there some scientific evidence that the "adjustment time" is significantly different with shades open versus shut?

Yes, there is. Similar to being in a fairly dark room, but after having been there and adjusting to the low light level, you can see somewhat. NOw, shine a bright light in your eyes for 2 or 3 seconds, then see if you can still see anything.

Another significant reason why it should be a regulation to have the shades open is to aid the first responders in event of an accident. It wastes valuable time to spend several minutes cutting into the fuselage only to find nothing but empty seats, at the expense of NOT being able to see where the victims actually are.


User currently onlinedeltaflyertoo From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1662 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 months 2 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5275 times:

I too have noticed a greater occurrence of lowering them in flight during day. Have taken a few trips from Europe to LAX and always sit on window because the views are spectacular and last 2 times an hour into the flight everyone has their window shades down. On the last flight woman behind me asked me to close mine (I was enjoying the view!). Then it appears as though people are trying to sleep. Why? We left London at 330pm and now you are going to sleep as much as you can for the next 11 hours? You wouldn't do that had you were on the ground in London. Isn't the point on the westbound to stay awake and then go to bed when you arrive to minimize the jet lag? So strange, and, so frustrating for someone like me who gets the window seat to look out!

BTW on same flights 14 years ago this never happened. So indeed I wonder what original poster asks if this is some new trend esp. on these longer flights.


25 skiaplg : The bright sun can make it difficult to see your PTV (mostly) but on occasion a book. In a recent flight in J, in order to read comfortably I closed t
26 LX2IAH : Correcting my reply 19 - (and replying to 21) This (TWA and the window shades issue) all stemmed from TW843 JFK-SFO, a flight that crashed (July 30, 1
27 Post contains images Caryjack : Thanks guys....I try to fly POSH from SEA east bound but it hasn't yet been an issue west bound, maybe SOPH?? . Not sure how to scramble it for the d
28 Post contains images a36001 : On all the hundreds of domestic flights I have taken throughout Australia, I can say at least 95% of the time the crew have said in their safety brief
29 Post contains images KPDX : Exactly the reason why I'm happy with the new 787 window system.
30 Elevated : The annual Airliners.net window-shade debate of Summer 2014. It's that time of the year! Thank you. Finally someone posts real information in this thr
31 Max Q : That passenger was an idiot. Speaking as an old f*rt my perspective is a little different. I think that most of today's younger generation don't care
32 FoxBravo : It's generally pretty easy on east/westbound US domestic flights--the sun will almost always be to the south of the aircraft. However, there are exce
33 DarkSnowyNight : I'm not going to argue with your post line by line, but as someone who did your job once upon a time, I'll tell you this... Get out... You're done. A
34 jfklganyc : I believe it was a TWA policy to have shades up for takeoff and landing. I have never worked for an airline that required it. As for shades down for
35 N776AU : People who have a window seat and immediately put the shade down should be put on the no fly list.
36 slcdeltarumd11 : The 787 is an amazing plane to fly at night but i hate it when the sun is hitting your side of the plane directly. Its like sitting next to a heat lam
37 kgaiflyer : When I fly 3M (FLL, JAX, and TPA to both EYW and the Bahamas) we're specifically told to keep the window shades up. The only time I remember being or
38 Archer : I believe Republic requires them to be open on T/O and landing. It makes me laugh when people say there is nothing to see. I flew PHL to LAX yesterday
39 WA707atMSP : Some people have said flight attendants prefer the window shades stay closed because it encourages passengers to sleep....and passengers who are aslee
40 FoxBravo : As a passenger I agree, although there are times when it makes sense. I've mainly seen it at very hot places (e.g., DFW, PHX and PSP in summer) on ai
41 CaptCosslett : The last I flew with Jet2.com, I noticed that the shades were missing!! maybe they think they can save money on the weight savings having the window s
42 einsteinboricua : I know DL asks to keep the exit row window shades open during ground movement and on final approach.. My most recent flight was on an MD-90 which had
43 L1011 : I remember that on HNL to mainland flights on Hawaiian, right after takeoff, on the welcome video, they told passengers to pull down their window shad
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