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Battle Royale: Two Men, One Window Shade, Who Should Win?

Battle Royale: Two Men, One Window Shade, Who Should Win?
Meg Butler

In a moment that is sure to be named among history’s greatest air battles, two men strive to find out who cares more about whether the window shade is up or down. And, while there are a lot of things that we could say about this epic confrontation, none of those words would compare to the video which you can check out here:

WINDOW SHADE WARS

WINDOW SHADE WARSAll windows were to be open for descent per crew and airline request, hence why dude in back had his open; not fake. 😳These. Are. Grown. Men. ✈️😂🙏🏼💁🏼‍♀️https://www.instagram.com/passengershaming/

Posted by Passenger Shaming on Monday, November 18, 2019

 

Brilliantly annotated by whoever shared this video with the world, the now-viral clip depicts a primal struggle for dominance over the light in their part of the plane. Up and down goes the window shade until the man sitting in front rings the call bell. Will the flight attendant put an end to the feud?

Nope. It’s not clear what she says when she approaches the gentlemen but the shade wars continue and the flight attendant does nothing about it. The video ends with the gentleman closest to the window holding it open in defiance.

Some Facts and Some Wild Speculation

While we don’t know a lot about this incident, it seems that the incident occurred on descent. But, if cabin crew did announce that the shade should remain open,  the flight attendant certainly does nothing about it. We certainly don’t know enough about the incident to speculate.

But we also can’t help but wonder if this forum post didn’t precede it.

On our flight from [Schiphol to Minneapolis-Saint Paul] Saturday we were sitting in main cabin by the window in two seats. 10 H and J. About midway thru the flight we were asked by the flight attendant to lower our shades. At this point we were enjoying the scenery of Greenland which is beautiful to witness.

No big deal as this happens at times. I told the flight attendant no because we were enjoying the scenery, but we would as soon as we were done with Greenland. He said I would have to tell that to the passenger who complained.

I said no, I wouldn’t do that – mostly because I am so confrontation avoidant. He persisted saying it was not his job to explain to the passenger why I would not lower my shade. I said, probably rudely when I look back on it, that it was not my job to talk to another passenger.

He then left and because I was now feeling bad and definitely did not want to get involved in any air rage, lowered the shades. But I feel bad about this whole incident.

I understand the flight attendant is always in a tough situation, but I don’t think it should be my job to talk to other passengers. Plus I love the window being open, but totally understand that it can bother other people. Just an annoyance on an otherwise nice flight.

Whether or not this mild disagreement over scenery on Saturday devolved into the Window Shade Wars video on Monday has to be left to wild speculation. But, it’s certainly proof that disagreements over the window shade happen. Maybe even quite a lot. So, we’re asking you. When it comes to the Window Shade Wars captured on video, who was right and who was wrong?

View Comments (31)

31 Comments

  1. envol

    November 22, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Who gets the window seat controls the window shade; plain and simple.

  2. fytgyrl

    November 22, 2019 at 4:30 am

    If someone wants to watch the scenery or enjoy daylight, they should be able to leave their window shade open. Especially since the passenger who wants darkness can easily achieve that with an eye mask.

  3. ceebee100

    November 22, 2019 at 4:40 am

    Strange that he wanted the window furthest away from him lowered but the one right next to him was open.

  4. tynmar

    November 22, 2019 at 4:57 am

    Yawn fest. Totally staged. The fool trying to close has his own window open??? And then the flight is about to land.
    2 minutes of my life I won’t get back.

  5. ND Sol

    November 22, 2019 at 5:10 am

    The window shade next to the passenger trying to lower the shade was up. Do as I say and not as I do?

  6. mhrb

    November 22, 2019 at 5:18 am

    Guy closing the seat in front’s window has to be taking the piss. His own window is up!

  7. danola

    November 22, 2019 at 5:19 am

    From what I could see, the man in front had only one window and the man in the back had a window right next to him that was open. If his complaint about it being too bright were to be valid, then he should have closed his shade first. If he had been trying to watch a movie, it would be valid; however, there was no screen in the back of the seat. If they were about to land, the shades should be open but if they just took off and it bothers someone it could be down. Ultimately they are both wrong with the guy in the front being rather infantile in his behavior.

  8. motty

    November 22, 2019 at 5:49 am

    It’s quite obvious from the video that the window in question lies withing the seat space of the passenger that wanted it open. As such – he should be the final arbiter on the window’s disposition.
    Having been in similar situations – I politely asked the passenger if he could lower the shades and yielded to his decision.
    Part of the trade off of flying commercial.

  9. RSSrsvp

    November 22, 2019 at 6:07 am

    It is not any passenger’s obligation to speak to another passenger and the FA was clearly passing the buck!

  10. azmojo

    November 22, 2019 at 6:20 am

    I don’t get it. The guy who’s filming’s window is open. Why does the other guy need to have his closed? The guy filming is the prick.

  11. mc4bbs

    mc4bbs

    November 22, 2019 at 7:47 am

    The window is clearly the remit of the person in the forward seat. The person in the rear seat was reaching IN TO the personal space of the front seat and is in the wrong.

  12. ksandness

    November 22, 2019 at 8:24 am

    I find that having the shade up during a transoceanic flight reduces jet lag, and I strongly suspect that the relatively recent custom of darkening the cabin after the first meal service is meant to make the pax sleepy so that they won’t bother the FAs.

    People who want to sleep more than an hour or two (but really, who on the ground starts sleeping for six hours at 1PM?) are free to use eyeshades.

  13. exit2dos

    November 22, 2019 at 8:40 am

    Window shades should be closed, once airborne. Fllght attendants should be in charge of window shades. One pig can make the whole cabin bright. People are very discourteous or they don’t know any better. FA should take charge. Like CEA does, for example.

  14. tobegold

    November 22, 2019 at 8:57 am

    The guy who wants the shade closed has his own shade open.

  15. DFW_Airwolf

    DFW_Airwolf

    November 22, 2019 at 9:14 am

    The person NEXT to the window gets to control it. That is just a small perk of having a Window seat. Obvousily the JERK was the guy from behind who had his window closed, but now wanted to control the one in front of him as well. If the brightness bothers you so much, or you are wanting to take a nap. Bring a pair of those light cancelling sleep masks that people wear on old TV shows. Flight Attendant as usual wants to play the “Not my Job” card because they dont want to do anything more than they have top it seems. And they definetly avoid conflictys like this until they Blow Up. Then they want everyone arrested, they need Paid Time Off for Mental Anguish and everything else.

    Maybe when they build those airplanes with no windows and the scenery is projected on the walls & ceiling. Then the FA’s will probably be in charge of that. But probably all it will take is one Jerk to ruin that for everyone as well.

  16. skidooman

    November 22, 2019 at 9:30 am

    I checked from time to time the scenery. After 1 minute I close the shade.

    I think it is reasonable to take a peek from time to time. Always on on transoceanic flights? Well… it is not reasonable if you want to be hated.

    But hey, if all that matters is me, me, me, I guess this is fine.

  17. Shareholder

    November 22, 2019 at 10:23 am

    Recently I’ve noticed on my AA flights the shades have remained down during takeoff and landing, most window seat passengers not bothering to raise them from the closed position they’ve been left in to keep the plane cool. I always thought it was a safety rule that they must be in the up position during those two critical times. I definitely recall on recent flights on non-US carriers that this is clearly announced as part of the pre-take off. and landing safety instructions.

  18. kkua

    November 22, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Another reason why I prefer the electronically controlled window tinting.

  19. supergraeme

    November 22, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    IF this is real, then it is entirely the choice of the chap in front.

    Maybe it’s because I’m English, but I really don’t understand why it’s even in question.

  20. DCAFly

    November 22, 2019 at 2:51 pm

    Someone wanted to have a video go viral. People are idiots.

  21. peterk814

    November 22, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Wow lot of posters here must not fly a lot. Some windows are in between seats. So who owns it then?

  22. Allan38103

    November 22, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    The adult wins; the child loses.

    This is a schoolyard argument!

  23. jburns513

    November 22, 2019 at 7:02 pm

    I didn’t listen to the sound, but it looks like these two guys staged this to video it.

  24. joecool1885

    November 22, 2019 at 9:42 pm

    I have made my decision. We shall SPLIT the window shade in half, and give half to each passenger.

  25. hfly

    November 23, 2019 at 11:39 am

    No, obviously not from the therad, as this was a TK flight, recognizable by teh cabin and language spoken.

  26. D2travel

    November 23, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Non confrontational, but refused to lower the shade when asked by the FA??? That bright light from your open shade interferes with entertainment and laptop screens as well as aggravate another person’s headache. Please act more like an adult than a rebellious adolescent!

  27. ayrshiredude

    November 24, 2019 at 6:26 am

    Thats clearly stages, who does that?

  28. chipmaster

    November 25, 2019 at 10:28 am

    click bait for hits, duh

  29. mvoight

    November 25, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    “Wow lot of posters here must not fly a lot. Some windows are in between seats. So who owns it then?”
    The passenger with the majority of the window next to him.

    “Non confrontational, but refused to lower the shade when asked by the FA???”
    This article refers to the FA asking the shade be up because they were landing.
    However, it seems the FA would not get involved in this disagreement, AFTER telling passengers to put them up

  30. cmd320

    November 25, 2019 at 12:55 pm

    Person videoing is an idiot. This looks like an E-Jet based on the windows which are large and spaced farther apart. The window in question was clearly closer to and should have been controlled by the passenger in front.

  31. Occupationalhazard

    November 27, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    A. This was staged.

    B. If the person with the window seat 100% gets to control the shade, then the person with aisle access 100% gets to control window seat’s access to the aisle during the flight. What? That’s rude? So is flooding the cabin with light when others are trying to watch IFE (in those cases where IFEs are present) or use laptops.

    C. The above also explains why “just put on an eye mask” doesn’t work. Those are useful for cutting off light while sleeping. While watching a movie or using a laptop? Not so much.

    D. If everyone else’s shades are down, and yours isn’t, maybe it’s you who are the problem.

    E. “But I haz claustrophobia or some other special-specialness! I haz to have shade up or God will kill a pupply!” Shut it. The rest of us shouldn’t be forced to participate in your neuroses. Take a Xanax like everyone else.

    F. There’s a thing called “Not being a tool.” Ex. I was on a flight last week where the guy next to me was watching the scenery and such during takeoff. Completely fair play. At some point, we got up above the clouds and there was no scenery except: clouds, and he for some reason still had only put the shade down half-way, I asked, “Is it ok to close that?” and, he apologized, looked a bit sheepish and then closed it. I thanked him for his courtesy. Problem solved. Because that’s how adults handle things.

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