Question: 787 window dimming

Old Apr 29, 2024, 1:54 am
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787 window dimming

I have a longhaul (FRA-YYZ) daytime flight booked on AC's 787 and I'm wondering whether Air Canada does "coffin flights" like some other carriers, i.e. keeping the shades closed, or in case of 787 forcing the windows to be dimmed? This will be a very long day for me as I'll have another 8 hours of journey left upon arrival to Toronto so getting some daylight is quite essential to soften the jetlag. If there's a very high chance that the cabin will be forced dark, I'll look into rebooking on some other metal.

Thank you
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 2:24 am
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I'm fairly certain the shades will be dimmed.
At least on the 787, you can see through the shades to get some semblance of the light outside.
If you change equipment, this thread will turn into a debate about wether the shades should be open.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 2:39 am
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Originally Posted by tracon
I'm fairly certain the shades will be dimmed.
At least on the 787, you can see through the shades to get some semblance of the light outside.
If you change equipment, this thread will turn into a debate about wether the shades should be open.
Thanks. That's very unfortunate. I don't care much about seeing outside, but spending the day in darkness sounds quite brutal, especially since it's gonna be a 30 hours long day.

I'll see if I can get on another airline.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 4:26 am
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In my experience, the crew probably *will* dim the entire cabin ... but they will probably *not* lock the controls.

I've seen all combinations, so I know it's possible for the crew to force the windows to stay dark - but in general, they simply pre-set it to a level. If you have the window seat, you will probably still be able to undim your own window. That was exactly the state when I flew AMS-YYZ on a 787 yesterday.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 5:09 am
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There have been at least some windows un-dimmed on virtually every 787 flight I've ever done with AC. Un-dimming the window won't make you especially popular with people around you who are trying to watch a movie and are getting glare on their screen, but you do see varying degrees of light up and down the aisle. It's not a coffin flight.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 6:00 am
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Thanks, that sounds better. I'm okay dimming one of the windows to avoid the glare on other seats and I'm used to do that, as long as I can keep at least one "open" to get some light for myself.

Flying west in winter I assume the right (northern) side is better to avoid the direct sunlight?
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by the810
Flying west in winter I assume the right (northern) side is better to avoid the direct sunlight?
Yes, that's what I book.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by the810
I have a longhaul (FRA-YYZ) daytime flight booked on AC's 787 and I'm wondering whether Air Canada does "coffin flights" like some other carriers, i.e. keeping the shades closed, or in case of 787 forcing the windows to be dimmed? This will be a very long day for me as I'll have another 8 hours of journey left upon arrival to Toronto so getting some daylight is quite essential to soften the jetlag. If there's a very high chance that the cabin will be forced dark, I'll look into rebooking on some other metal.

Thank you
Yup, you will experience this. I would change to 777 if possible. I had a Transpac flight to HND where the windows were locked until 30 minutes before landing. I requested to unlock at least pre-landing meal ( 1 hr & 1/2 before landing) and was denied. Most flights they will lock it to the third level and below.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 6:48 am
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Originally Posted by Eagle2000
Yup, you will experience this. I would change to 777 if possible. I had a Transpac flight to HND where the windows were locked until 30 minutes before landing. I requested to unlock at least pre-landing meal ( 1 hr & 1/2 before landing) and was denied. Most flights they will lock it to the third level and below.
As I noted above, I have seen this too ... for me it was flying YYZ-BOM, controls were locked. Both my experience and yours were on ultra long-hauls, where there are 12+ hours of flying and a large number of time zone changes to adjust to - and you can make a case that the crew are try to respect the number of people who will be sleeping.

My hunch (backed up by a healthy number of flights) is that the window controls are unlikely to be locked on a shorter, daytime flight (the OP was asking about FRA-YYZ). There's absolutely no guarantees, the crew do have the ability to lock the controls - but on that flight in particular, I would not expect that they will lock things down.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by Eagle2000
Most flights they will lock it to the third level and below.
No, it's not most flights. It's very rare for AC FAs to lock the controls. It can happen, but it's not at all common, especially on westbound TATLs.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 7:38 am
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Originally Posted by the810
Flying west in winter I assume the right (northern) side is better to avoid the direct sunlight?
This is my preferred side to sit on too for the same reason.
I've flown trans-Atlantic many times on a 787, only once on the overnight flights eastbound have I found the controls to be locked to the point I could not adjust the dim level to "fully open".
Going westbound I've typically experienced the crew will dim the settings to level 4 or 5, particularly on the port side of the plane. However, I've always been able to adjust my individual setting.
Personally I like it around level 2 or 3 depending on whether I am wanting to look out the window or watch a movie.
I find having the window at level 1 can be too bright, and disrupting for other passengers. Level 2 lets in enough light to make you feel you're awake during the day, without being too bright for both yourself and everyone else.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 8:24 am
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Originally Posted by the810
I have a longhaul (FRA-YYZ) daytime flight booked on AC's 787 and I'm wondering whether Air Canada does "coffin flights" like some other carriers, i.e. keeping the shades closed, or in case of 787 forcing the windows to be dimmed? This will be a very long day for me as I'll have another 8 hours of journey left upon arrival to Toronto so getting some daylight is quite essential to soften the jetlag. If there's a very high chance that the cabin will be forced dark, I'll look into rebooking on some other metal.

Thank you
The windows will be dimmed, but you can open them if you want, but you must have a window seat. Came home from Athens yesterday, and my window was open for the whole flight to YYZ.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 10:12 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
No, it's not most flights. It's very rare for AC FAs to lock the controls. It can happen, but it's not at all common, especially on westbound TATLs.
What about TPAC eastbound flights, and is the J cabin treated any different? Flying ICN-YYZ in early July. Takeoff is 7pm, less than an hour before local sunset, and the sun will rise before we reach Alaska, 6 hours (maybe 5 -- it's fascinating and confusing reading about altitude effect on the timing) in.
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 10:35 am
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Data point. Flew fco-yyz last July on a 787 and the shades were NOT locked
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Old Apr 29, 2024, 10:36 am
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Originally Posted by the810
I have a longhaul (FRA-YYZ) daytime flight booked on AC's 787 and I'm wondering whether Air Canada does "coffin flights" like some other carriers, i.e. keeping the shades closed, or in case of 787 forcing the windows to be dimmed? This will be a very long day for me as I'll have another 8 hours of journey left upon arrival to Toronto so getting some daylight is quite essential to soften the jetlag. If there's a very high chance that the cabin will be forced dark, I'll look into rebooking on some other metal.

Thank you
On AC20 SIN-YVR earlier this month, which was a 9.10am departure out of Singapore, the business class cabin window shades were centrally dimmed after the first meal service, i.e from about 2-3 hours into the flight, and remained dimmed thoughout most of the flight.
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