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Testy FA and Passenger on TA Flight

Testy FA and Passenger on TA Flight

 
Old May 24, 2005, 9:53 pm
  #1  
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Testy FA and Passenger on TA Flight

I had an experience on a flight home last summer that I found curious, and I am wondering if others have had similar....

We were about 3 hours into the FCO-DTW NW flight (about 3pm local time, over the UK approximately, FWIW) when a passenger wanted to sleep and asked to have people close their windows. Many did, and the plane became darker. The passenger complained that the plane was still too light, so the FA's directed that ALL windows on the plane be closed. I love to have mine open, I am a geography nut and like to see what's on the ground, but I complied. That's not a very valid reason, though I question how much light my window, about 10 rows back and across the plane, over 11 seats would give her.

However, near me, there was a nice lady who was mostly blind. She asked if she could keep hers open, even a little, because without some light from the window it was like pitch black for her, which was very uncomfortable. When she (politely, but surely, because she was upset) protested, several flight attendants came over and berated her for being "selfish" and not thinking of her fellow passenger (one passenger's needs outweigh 200?) Why couldn't she just put a blanket over her face.

Maybe I don't see this from the other perspective. This was also my first TA flight. Are they usually that severe about having a dark plane??

I do have to say NW is my usual airline, and I have otherwise have had great experiences with them ....
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Old May 24, 2005, 10:22 pm
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No not usually that severe on a daytime flight, at least IMHO a few dozen times over & back. Chalk it up to one more of the little pleasures of flying, especially in economy, these days.
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Old May 24, 2005, 10:54 pm
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How important is it

Originally Posted by wgrc1971
I had an experience on a flight home last summer that I found curious, and I am wondering if others have had similar....

We were about 3 hours into the FCO-DTW NW flight (about 3pm local time, over the UK approximately, FWIW) when a passenger wanted to sleep and asked to have people close their windows. Many did, and the plane became darker. The passenger complained that the plane was still too light, so the FA's directed that ALL windows on the plane be closed. I love to have mine open, I am a geography nut and like to see what's on the ground, but I complied. That's not a very valid reason, though I question how much light my window, about 10 rows back and across the plane, over 11 seats would give her.

However, near me, there was a nice lady who was mostly blind. She asked if she could keep hers open, even a little, because without some light from the window it was like pitch black for her, which was very uncomfortable. When she (politely, but surely, because she was upset) protested, several flight attendants came over and berated her for being "selfish" and not thinking of her fellow passenger (one passenger's needs outweigh 200?) Why couldn't she just put a blanket over her face.

Maybe I don't see this from the other perspective. This was also my first TA flight. Are they usually that severe about having a dark plane??

I do have to say NW is my usual airline, and I have otherwise have had great experiences with them ....
That doesnt sound very nice. I usually dont get upset over most of the minor stuff. I do remember a FC flight sea-hnl. Even after the FAs asked that the windows were shut: some nitwit left there's (two of them) open anyway. So for 5 hrs all the screens were washed out by the BLARING glare of one inconsiderate dope.
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Old May 24, 2005, 11:12 pm
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Hey, some people pick window seats for a reason. There's no regulation forcing them to close 'em. And no reason for them to knuckle under to some kind of inflight mob mentality, emceed by an abusive FA.

Keep your shades up if you want to!
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Old May 25, 2005, 12:15 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220
Hey, some people pick window seats for a reason. There's no regulation forcing them to close 'em. And no reason for them to knuckle under to some kind of inflight mob mentality, emceed by an abusive FA.

Keep your shades up if you want to!
Exactly!

Suppose I ring my attendant call button and ask that my dinner entree be barbecued shrimp (let's suspend disbelief for a minute and pretend this would be possible). Some people might be allergic to shrimp; some people might not be allergic, but just don't like shrimp; others might like shrimp fine, but they might feel more in the mood for beef or chicken. Just because I feel like shrimp doesn't mean that everyone on the plane should have to eat it for dinner.

Some people might like the blinds closed for some reason; others might like to have it so they have more light for reading; so they can just have more light; or so they can watch the scenery below.

The bottom line is that when you're on a plane, it's not your house. In your house, you eat what you want; you open or shut the blinds at your whim; you basicalley do whatever you want. A plane isn't your house...you share it with 50+ other people who may or may not want the same things that you do. I usually like the blinds open on planes, but I realize I'm in a shared environment, and if someone shuts theirs, I don't hold it against them/berate them/etc.
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Old May 25, 2005, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by rwill11
That doesnt sound very nice. I usually dont get upset over most of the minor stuff. I do remember a FC flight sea-hnl. Even after the FAs asked that the windows were shut: some nitwit left there's (two of them) open anyway. So for 5 hrs all the screens were washed out by the BLARING glare of one inconsiderate dope.
As bear and others have stated that passenger which you call an inconsiderate dope, has just as much "right" to have their shade up as the FA has to ask to put it down.

This may be part of the reason why NWA stopped IFE, since adults can't get along in the sandbox.

I might not wish to watch the movie. I might want to look out the window. Might be the reason I chose the window seat. I personally do not feel that the FA nor any one else has the right to demand the shades be closed, I see nothing wrong in them asking though. However, when it is a federal offense to disobey an "order" from a crew member, than the crew member needs to use discretion in what they are "ordering" and how they are phrasing things.

If the passenger in the OP needed it pitch black they could have brought blinders with them, or maybe someone in WBC would let them use the ones issued on the flight.
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Old May 25, 2005, 1:32 am
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What do you call someone who refuses to close their window shades?

Shade-holes!

I hate it when you can't see the screen or blinding sunlight hits me in the face because someone has their shades up. It happens all the time so I always bring my eye shade thingy.
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Old May 25, 2005, 2:06 am
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It is very unprofessional of the FAs to treat the lady that way. It is in our FA manual book that we can only "Suggest" but not enforce passengers from closing their window shades.

The only time we can enforce the window shades to be opened is during emergency landings (all shades will need to be opened), or during take offs and landings for those seated by the emergency exits.
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Old May 25, 2005, 2:16 am
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It's their shade. They can have it up or down as they please. If you want to control every window shade, go charter a plane.


Originally Posted by Kibison
What do you call someone who refuses to close their window shades?

Shade-holes!

I hate it when you can't see the screen or blinding sunlight hits me in the face because someone has their shades up. It happens all the time so I always bring my eye shade thingy.
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Old May 25, 2005, 3:12 am
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Red face Agreed; How about PC/DVD Watchers on Red Eyes?

Originally Posted by plat
It's their shade. They can have it up or down as they please. If you want to control every window shade, go charter a plane.
I agree; if I am in the aisle and you have the window seat, my view is that your sphere of influence is the window shade, mine is the ability to stretch out and have my elbow and legs partially in the aisle. It's all fair. I rarely have a window seat, but I always lower the shade if I see the PAX in the same row starting to snooze off or use their PC's (reduce glare), but that is me just trying to be accomodating. If it were a clear day and I had my Nikon D-70 in my lap and we were passing Mr. Ranier, I would open my shade long enough to get my scenery pictures in.

How about this scenario -- it's a red-eye flight and you want to watch a DVD on your laptop or just work on your laptop. Is that bothersome if someone else in the seat next door wants to sleep? I dunno.

Oh, another related topic -- window shade jurisdiction. I've often wondered if two PAX have ever gotten into a squabble of jurisdiction of a window shade that is partly in one row and yet partly in the row ahead or behind (I hope this makes sense)? I have often seen window PAX close not only their shade, but the shade just ahead or behind them that also impacts the PAX in the row ahead or behind.

-Alan
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Old May 25, 2005, 3:35 am
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oops!

Originally Posted by wldtrvlr
As bear and others have stated that passenger which you call an inconsiderate dope, has just as much "right" to have their shade up as the FA has to ask to put it down.

This may be part of the reason why NWA stopped IFE, since adults can't get along in the sandbox.

I might not wish to watch the movie. I might want to look out the window. Might be the reason I chose the window seat. I personally do not feel that the FA nor any one else has the right to demand the shades be closed, I see nothing wrong in them asking though. However, when it is a federal offense to disobey an "order" from a crew member, than the crew member needs to use discretion in what they are "ordering" and how they are phrasing things.

If the passenger in the OP needed it pitch black they could have brought blinders with them, or maybe someone in WBC would let them use the ones issued on the flight.
maybe I should clarify myself. Obviously someone has the right to look out the window for 5 hrs at a big cloudy Pacific Ocean. I think that what bothered me was this: the inconsiderate nit-wit wasnt looking out the window. she was involved with a big talk with her seat mate and then went to sleep. Sorry I didnt state this in my orig post. Like I said I dont really sweat the details. Obviously some of you do.
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Old May 25, 2005, 3:48 am
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Originally Posted by plat
It's their shade. They can have it up or down as they please. If you want to control every window shade, go charter a plane.

Duh! That is why I said that I bring my eye shade thingy. But, some people are just rude. You could apply the same logic to someone who keeps banging on their tray. It is their tray.....
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Old May 25, 2005, 4:02 am
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Exclamation Window Shade Master Thread?

Originally Posted by Kibison
Duh! That is why I said that I bring my eye shade thingy. But, some people are just rude. You could apply the same logic to someone who keeps banging on their tray. It is their tray.....
Good stuff. Maybe we need a Window Shade Master Thread to track this stuff... lots of good material here. ^

-Alan
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Old May 25, 2005, 4:09 am
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The point is that having your shade open is not rude.

Banging on a tray is different. There's no legitimate or purposeful reason to do so on a plane. On the other hand, there are plenty of legitimate reasons to keeping a shade open - wanting to see the scenery below, extra light to read, etc.


Originally Posted by Kibison
Duh! That is why I said that I bring my eye shade thingy. But, some people are just rude. You could apply the same logic to someone who keeps banging on their tray. It is their tray.....
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Old May 25, 2005, 6:26 am
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Window-shade etiquette (or lack therof) likely travels in tandem with general civility (or lack thereof). There are people who respect and watch out for others, and there are people who watch others only to be certain that they are centered for direct hit when they run right over them.

The OP reminds me of a similarly-appalling (and non-flight-related) incident. I was entering a building, and looked back to hold door for man (who proved to be anything but a gentleman) who was following behind me. I held door until he took it, then continued into building. While holding door for him, I could see that there was a woman with three children -- two walking and one in stroller -- coming behind this man. As doorway etiquette dictates, when one turns to hold door for you, reflex is to then turn and hold door for person behind you if there is someone there.

NOt in this case. I looked back -- now too far from door to reach back to hold it (had I stayed, I would have blocked the guy) -- to watch him blow selfishly through without turning back. He let the door slam into the woman behind him -- the door actually *hit* the stroller tray and she had to pull her preschooler out of the way lest he get slammed in the closing door. As my jaw hit the floor and this guy continued on his oblivious way, I went back to re-open and hold door for her, as we both smiled at one another and scratched our stunned heads at the rudeness of this guy.

Back to the window-shade thing:
I am seldom seated by window, so I seldom have window-shade jurisdiction, actual or implied. When I do (as on ERJ when window IS aisle), I am careful to lower shade if sun angle begins to blind fellow PAX seated nearby. I have seen others do this as well, and appreciate the mutual courtesy.

There are times, though, when having shades up -- even on a very cloudy day (or yes, over water) is a rare treat. Like the OP, I live in the Northeast, where winters are long and gray. For about seven months of the year, sunlight above cloud deck is -- as often as not-- the only sunlight I see for weeks.

It also helps minimize jet lag, on long-haul daytime flights, to see some daylight en route. If it is daytime, I want to stay awake. If it is daytime, my body both expects and needs to register some daylight.

I will also note, to fellow geography-lovers, that some of the most spectacular views I've ever had have been over glaciers on daytime transatlantic flights; one when even the FA's had noses pressed to windows, commenting on how it was the best view they'd ever had in many years of flying. It is equally spectacular to fly into sunrise (on red-eye to Europe); into sunset over the intermountain west; and -- as rare as the glacier-views -- to fly smack over the Grand Canyon on a perfectly clear day.

You can't order that stuff, and if ticket price reflected it, none of us could afford to buy it. The random, unexpected joys of knowing what one *might* see, taking the time to look for it; and grabbing the opportunity to enjoy it is something that those seated near windows certainly should NOT be denied.

Artificially imposing darkness on an entire cabin-load of PAX seems extreme, and prioritizing one woman's wish for complete darkness over another woman's need to see seems inappropriate. If one wants darkness, bring eyeshades. Silence? Earplugs.
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