Dimming lights on a day flight

Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:11 am
  #1  
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Dimming lights on a day flight

Hi
I’m just wondering if any AA crew read this and could give their perspective.
I flew AA recently London-Philly on the 787 with the dimmable window shades, rather than pull down ones. I was in Premium Economy.
The flight left London local time 10.15 in the morning and arrived into PHL at 1pm.
About 15 minutes after take off the crew overrode the dimming controls and set the shades to half darkness - I really hate this on a day flight, I want to do this myself and anyone who wants to sleep usually has eye shades. The darkness makes me feel claustrophobic and I like to look out especially if there’s turbulence. Plus daylight is a proven help for jet lag on a west bound flight.
About 30 minutes later they set the controls for full darkness so it was just like a night flight till about 30 minutes before landing. I found the crew on this flight very, very unfriendly and they just didn’t seem in any way approachable so I never mentioned it but this flight seemed looooong as a consequence.
This only happened in premium and coach - not business.
To me it almost seems like a crew’s way of subduing passengers but who wants to sleep on a day flight that’s taking off at 10am?
Anyway I’m just wondering if anyone else feels the same or it’s just me? How would you have approached this with a crew that quite frankly were very unwelcoming? I will definitely vote with my wallet next time and avoid AA if I see it’s a 787.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:26 am
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Originally Posted by Whenderson
To me it almost seems like a crew’s way of subduing passengers but who wants to sleep on a day flight that’s taking off at 10am?
Some do. When flying west, you're basically going 5+ hours in reverse. Having a good nap on the flight makes it easier to stay up to a normal time after landing. Also, I could swear the FAs did this on my one and only 788 flight so far, but I seem to recall just overriding it at my seat at various times -- i.e., I think the cabin got dark but those in window seats could adjust the darkness of their individual window.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:29 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Some do. When flying west, you're basically going 5+ hours in reverse. Having a good nap on the flight makes it easier to stay up to a normal time after landing. Also, I could swear the FAs did this on my one and only 788 flight so far, but I seem to recall just overriding it at my seat at various times -- i.e., I think the cabin got dark but those in window seats could adjust the darkness of their individual window.
Hi - I tried to override it but definitely couldn’t. I’m happy to nap but want that to be my choice not the crew’s.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:30 am
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I understand what you are describing and have experienced this myself. But at that time, I was able to override my individual two windows to allow more light in. Were you unable to do that?
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
[…] but I seem to recall just overriding it at my seat at various times -- i.e., I think the cabin got dark but those in window seats could adjust the darkness of their individual window.
I recall being able to override the dimming as well on AA’s 787s. Perhaps it isn’t 100%?
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:34 am
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Originally Posted by apeortdz
I understand what you are describing and have experienced this myself. But at that time, I was able to override my individual two windows to allow more light in. Were you unable to do that?
I remember doing the same thing on a fight about a year ago, and not even a minute after doing it a grumpy FA came saying "we dimmed them all at the same time for a reason" and demanded (she said I "had to") I dimmed them back, which I did...you never know these days, don't wanna even talk with a grumpy FA for fears of a police escort on arrival.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by CMTinPHL
I recall being able to override the dimming as well on AA’s 787s. Perhaps it isn’t 100%?
They can set them all at once and they can lock them, so they're independent. I usually find crews that just set them all dark but leave them unlocked, as that's what they're supposed to do, but they can lock them. There was a memo sent out about not locking them, but I guess this crew didn't get it.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:37 am
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I think the FAs can lock the shades, but I thought AA sent a memo to FAs a few years ago telling them not to do that anymore.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:44 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
I think the FAs can lock the shades, but I thought AA sent a memo to FAs a few years ago telling them not to do that anymore.
Instead they now have grumpy FAs come by and scold you if you dare to touch the buttons?

Originally Posted by NickRivas
… and not even a minute after doing it a grumpy FA came saying "we dimmed them all at the same time for a reason" and demanded (she said I "had to") I dimmed them back
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 10:48 am
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On my morning flight a month ago LHR-ORD in economy the shades were definitely locked.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff
Instead they now have grumpy FAs come by and scold you if you dare to touch the buttons?
FWIW, I've found foreign carrier FAs to be much more strict about this. I've been scolded by BA, KL and LH FAs for having my shades open on long hauls.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 11:14 am
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If the FAs locked the windows, you should definitely write to customer service and report the crew. They aren't supposed to lock the shades. IMO, there's nothing more depressing than sitting in a dark aluminum tube in the middle of the day.
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 11:40 am
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Flying back from Europe to the US, I often pick a window seat so I can enjoy the views of Greenland’s ice fields and the stunning land scapes of northern Canada. If I was told to close my blinds or if the FA’s prevented me via the 787 lockout feature to use a feature of the window seat, I would file a complaint with the DOT, and if I paid a separate fee for selecting that seat, I would consider initiating a credit card chargeback.

There is a reason airplanes are are tubes with holes - I assume it would be a lot cheaper to build one without windows, but I don’t think they would be very popular with passengers.

(and yes, I am considerate if the sun is shining straight into the eyes of another passenger or onto their IFE screen)
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 12:38 pm
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I think the only thing which annoys me flying US airlines (apart from the inedible food and sometimes grumpy FAs) is the permanent 'blinds down' on intercont flights...
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Old Dec 28, 2023, 12:41 pm
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I didn't realize that they had any control of it at all but not surprised.
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