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Putting all shades down so cabin is dark

Putting all shades down so cabin is dark

Old Jul 3, 11, 6:03 pm
  #1  
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Putting all shades down so cabin is dark

Are there others besides me who object to flight attendants' scripted request that window-side passengers pull down their shades?
I'm happy to comply if I'm on the sunny side.
On the other side, I like the natural light, like the view, like to look for landmarks.
The flight attendants' reasons include "so people can see their screen." That was an issue in the old days when a few small screens appeared above the aisles. Now they are on every seat, and they work just fine in cabin light or natural light. Many passengers watch films on their PC's with no problems whether it's light or dark.
"So people can sleep." In business class everyone gets masks, so not valid for that class (where I usually am).
On intercontinental flights there is a jet-lag issue. Wise travelers will fight off sleep on the plane as best they can in order to get their bodies on the clock of the upcoming time zone. It helps a lot to fight sleep with strong rays from the window.
Many of us make good use of flights to read and work, and the dim cabin lights are a hindrance--if all the shades are drawn.
Ever heard of SAD--seasonal affective disorder? There's still another reason for letting in natural lights--to combat depression.
My last flight was from Amsterdam to Seattle--in business class. I kept my shade up most of the way for a special reason: Seeing the amazing sights as the plane passed over Iceland, then Greenland. Some of passengers used to glory in seeing Greenland--before the shades-down advisories ruined that. Since many of the passengers were from Holland, some of them surely would have liked to have a look, especially since Holland will be one of the first casualties when the Greenland glaciers melt.
I wrote a nice letter to the airline about all this and got a nice letter back. My suggestion was simply that they alter the scripts so that people who want the light and the view and to help stay awake can have shades up without feeling guilty.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 6:26 pm
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1) Welcome to FT!
2) Wrong place to post
3) While I understand your point I think is fair to keep the shades down during the flight for many reasons.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 6:26 pm
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I think in general they do it so they can get everyone to sleep so there will be fewer requests - then they have less work to do.

For the people who want the windows down so they can "sleep" - that's what eyeshades are for. Do some future planning next time.

The only time I wouldn't mind is when people are trying to watch the AVOD and my windows create a glare - then I will close them out of courtesy.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 7:36 pm
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I really hate lowering the shades, which is one reason I started flying WN over UA and VX for daytime transcons. Absolute worst are the UA 757s. Not worth missing the Rockies so someone can watch Shrek3 on the mid-1980s CRT screen 4 rows up.

Seat back IFE has gotten dated, and getting more so with wi-fi access. Bring an iPad that can be moved around based on where the natural light is.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 7:40 pm
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wrong place to post... but as you see from above it is a personal preference, me I will do all I can to get those damn shade down!
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Old Jul 3, 11, 11:13 pm
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As noted above this topic is more suited to the TravelBuzz forum which is where this is headed now.

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Old Jul 3, 11, 11:49 pm
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One airline that does the complete opposite of other airlines is FL. Their cabin crew will specifically ask passengers to lower all shades upon arrival at the terminal in order to reduce heat coming into the cabin by the sun's rays, thereby lowering the cost of air conditioning. Most carriers that I fly have flight crews requesting to raise all window shades during taxi, takeoff and landing for safety reasons, so that passengers or crew can see outside if there is an emergency.

On carriers like VX or others that have advanced LED lighting in cabins, I prefer to keep the window shades up because the mood lighting is supposed to match (at least in shade or gradation) the natural lighting outside. On other carriers with lousy interior lighting, I don't mind having the shades down especially if there is strong daylight glare coming from the outside of plane into the cabin.
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Old Jul 3, 11, 11:53 pm
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A quick sneak peak doesn't do any harm.. but when not looking out, I believe shades down if people are trying to sleep..
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Old Jul 4, 11, 2:47 am
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I like watching the world go by myself but as a frequent aisle occupant it's important to be aware of how the angles can impact the intensity of light. I rarely sleep on planes but often find myself sunglasses on or asking for a shade to be closed because 3 seats down the light is direct where as next to the window it beautifully passes on by.

The window is in many ways a share resource like an overhead bin or armrest as it impacts the entire row. But of course if someone is using it regularly it's much less something I'd bring up or worry about.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 5:00 am
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This shades-down business really annoys me. If you are on an overnight long-haul flight where it is likely to be bright before you've finished sleeping, that's one thing, but on a mid-afternoon, westbound transatlantic flight, it really is not ok. It is daytime at your departure point, it is daytime at your destination point, so sleeping is not the natural default mode. If you do want to sleep, fine, get yourself some eyeshades, but don't force those of us who like sunlight or enjoy the view to close our shades.

I will share some anecdotes:

- On an AC flight from LHR to YYZ some years ago in J class, I was seated by the window on the 'A' side. About thirty minutes into the flight the FA comes around to ask me to close my shade as "we will shortly begin the in-flight movie presentation." I told her I had reports to read and preferred to do this by daylight. My three shades stayed open.

- On a UA flight from BKK to NRT about 10 years ago my wife and I were in the upper deck of a 747, first row, left side. Not 10 minutes after take-off, the woman behind me stuck her arm through the gap between the seat and the side of the plane and closed two of my shades! I (rather loudly) told her to keep her hands to herself and opened the shades again. She went red.

- On a SQ flight from HKG to SIN the FA came over to ask me to close my shade. I asked her why. She said that it would protect her and the other passengers from radiation poisoning (yes, this is true!) I told her that this was nonsense and that I would not be closing my shade.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 5:55 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
- On a UA flight from BKK to NRT about 10 years ago my wife and I were in the upper deck of a 747, first row, left side. Not 10 minutes after take-off, the woman behind me stuck her arm through the gap between the seat and the side of the plane and closed two of my shades! I (rather loudly) told her to keep her hands to herself and opened the shades again. She went red.
This is just unacceptable. How can these people even BEGIN to think they can interfere in other people's business. It's not just the act of putting someone else's shade down (in itself, that's a small act), it's the feeling of entitlement they obviously have that tells them they are better or more important than you are and they can just do whatever they need to have their way.

It makes me really, really angry actually. And I don't even get angry easily.

Anyway, as for me; I tend to have them down when I'm not actively looking out the window and others are trying to sleep. But I do enjoy looking out the window so I will put it up every now and then to do just that. I figure: I can be courteous to those wanting to sleep while I'm not looking out the window, thus those wanting to sleep can be courteous to me when I do want to look out the window. After all: that is what it's there for.

Plus: if you need absolute darkness to sleep and you want to sleep; maybe you shouldn't be putting that in the hands of two hundred strangers and simply bring a mask.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 9:40 am
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Originally Posted by CyBeR View Post
It makes me really, really angry actually. And I don't even get angry easily.
Ah yes, the ongoing debate.

The biggest problem with public transport is that one finds oneself in close contact with the public.

If you want to control the window shade, get a window seat.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 9:49 am
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I completely agree that a darkened cabin aggravates jet lag.

For years, I deliberately stayed awake during trans-Pacific flights. It just felt like a long afternoon. I read, wrote, maybe caught a quick half-hour nap. Upon arrival at my destination, I stayed up till 10PM local time, went to bed, and woke up at 6AM local time. I never had problems with westbound jet lag in those days.

The first time I experienced the "compulsory darkness" rule, which the FAs were pretty snippy about, I arrived groggy and disoriented and suffered all the usual jet lag woes of waking up in the middle of the night.

Let's be realistic about transPac flights. They usually leave North America in the late morning or early afternoon. How many people take extended naps between 10:00AM and 3:00PM?

Now trans-Atlantic flights are a different story, especially if they leave in the evening. Darkening the cabin actually helps passengers adjust to European time.

But I suspect that the purpose of pulling down the shades on a daytime flight is to make the passengers groggy so that the FAs have time to catch up on their magazine reading.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 9:54 am
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Originally Posted by ksandness View Post
I completely agree that a darkened cabin aggravates jet lag.

For years, I deliberately stayed awake during trans-Pacific flights. It just felt like a long afternoon. I read, wrote, maybe caught a quick half-hour nap. Upon arrival at my destination, I stayed up till 10PM local time, went to bed, and woke up at 6AM local time. I never had problems with westbound jet lag in those days.

The first time I experienced the "compulsory darkness" rule, which the FAs were pretty snippy about, I arrived groggy and disoriented and suffered all the usual jet lag woes of waking up in the middle of the night.

Let's be realistic about transPac flights. They usually leave North America in the late morning or early afternoon. How many people take extended naps between 10:00AM and 3:00PM?

Now trans-Atlantic flights are a different story, especially if they leave in the evening. Darkening the cabin actually helps passengers adjust to European time.

But I suspect that the purpose of pulling down the shades on a daytime flight is to make the passengers groggy so that the FAs have time to catch up on their magazine reading.
+1^

Westbound daytime flights - no way!
Eastbound overnight flight - sure, you don't want to be woken up at 5am, do you.
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Old Jul 4, 11, 10:06 am
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I find that if I politely say, "I find that a darkened cabin worsens my jet lag and i am enjoying the view," the FAs usually leave me alone.
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