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UA's window shade policy and safety on take-off / landing

UA's window shade policy and safety on take-off / landing

Old May 9, 2017, 5:42 am
  #1  
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UA's window shade policy and safety on take-off / landing

Recently I took several United flights after flying OZ and SQ. When I boarded on United flights,all window shade were closed and these were shut from the beginning of the flights to the end.It was same all United flights.
When I took OZ and SQ,those cabin attendants made 100% sure to open window shade during take-off and landing even a window behind seat partation. It was kind of strict rules for them.
As far as I remember this is same as other Star Asian carriers like NH and TG.
I believe securing visibility of the outside during take-off and landing is safer than being in a tunnel like cabin.
Does someone know why United does not care opening window shade during take-off and landing?
While United safety video says the safety is global though thier safety is different from other Star Asian carriers.
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Old May 9, 2017, 6:11 am
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Just lax FAs not doing their jobs. The shades are supposed to be open for takeoff and landing. Some airlines fetishize the issue more than others. I flew ATA once or twice before they went bankrupt, some years ago, and you never saw such fierce window-shade policing in your life. The FAs went seat by seat. It was even in their safety demo video.
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Old May 9, 2017, 6:47 am
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They're often closed when I board if the AC has been sitting in the sun. I open them as soon as I sit down.

Once, a SQ FA closed my shades inflight while I went to the lav. When I returned, I opened them (no one in the seat next to me.) She then asked me to close them, and I asked if it was a safety issue. They remained open.

A nice thing about the large 787 windows is they seem to solve this problem for both the flight crews and the pax, as long as the pax has some input.
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Old May 9, 2017, 8:20 am
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If there's a crash on takeoff/landing you need to able see if there's fire outside the aircraft.
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Old May 9, 2017, 8:46 am
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It's an airline-specific policy, not an FAA mandate other than windows at exits. Some airlines require the ALL window shades to be open during take-off and landing. UA does not. Again, not an FAA mandate, but perhaps a requirement for other countries.

Window shades are often closed to reduce the heat while sitting at the gate. However, it is also your personal choice to open it if you wish.
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Old May 9, 2017, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by artvandalay
They're often closed when I board if the AC has been sitting in the sun. I open them as soon as I sit down.

Once, a SQ FA closed my shades inflight while I went to the lav. When I returned, I opened them (no one in the seat next to me.) She then asked me to close them, and I asked if it was a safety issue. They remained open.

A nice thing about the large 787 windows is they seem to solve this problem for both the flight crews and the pax, as long as the pax has some input.
Don't say that to a UA crew or them might call the cops on you
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:02 am
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My local airport is a joint use military-civilian operation. There have been one or two times over the years where we've actually had to put shades down while in the runway area (including take off or landing) because there's something sitting on the apron of the military side of the complex that the US Air Force isn't ready for the world to see.
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:10 am
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Originally Posted by wanko18
While United safety video says the safety is global though thier safety is different from other Star Asian carriers.
Its an airline specific policy, and outside of a 787 if you have an event that involved an impact with the ground of more than about 3G you will find that all of the window shades in the cabin will self close except for the ones on the doors that are push down to open and pull up to close (funny that...)

I unaware of any crash/event where the NTSB or any other safty board cited the blinds being opened or closed as having an impact to any specific event outside of a negative one. E.g there have been a number of ill advised and uncommaned passenger led evacuations of aircraft at gates due to non-harmfull fireballs from the engine starting process.
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:16 am
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Originally Posted by beachmouse
My local airport is a joint use military-civilian operation. There have been one or two times over the years where we've actually had to put shades down while in the runway area (including take off or landing) because there's something sitting on the apron of the military side of the complex that the US Air Force isn't ready for the world to see.
On the Island Hopper at Kwajalein they didn't make us close the shades but they did say no photos/pictures while we were sitting.

I'm sure you could get all the info you needed off Google Earth.
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by beachmouse
My local airport is a joint use military-civilian operation. There have been one or two times over the years where we've actually had to put shades down while in the runway area (including take off or landing) because there's something sitting on the apron of the military side of the complex that the US Air Force isn't ready for the world to see.
Wait... someone actually tried that reasoning? That sounds like hogwash. If the USAF doesn't want the public to see something you WON'T have any chance to see it. Period!

Name the airport please?
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:29 am
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Originally Posted by Collierkr
Wait... someone actually tried that reasoning? That sounds like hogwash. If the USAF doesn't want the public to see something you WON'T have any chance to see it. Period!

Name the airport please?
The island hopper flights I read used to do this on some stops.

As billiken mentioned above, if there's an emergency issue, you and the FA's need to be able to see outside to properly assess the situation.
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:35 am
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Originally Posted by BThumme
The island hopper flights I read used to do this on some stops.

As billiken mentioned above, if there's an emergency issue, you and the FA's need to be able to see outside to properly assess the situation.
Yes I understand the safety need. My comment was in reference to the reason given for putting them down... so as not to see the USAF's secrets. While someone may have said that, I find it a bogus reason.
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Old May 9, 2017, 11:46 am
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On a flight to Maui aboard US Airways, we had to keep the shades closed after we got in the air at Phoenix until we were close to the island.

For this claustrophobia person, I thought I would go nuts! Thank heavens I was in First Class where there was room to breathe and the FA could see I was upset. Across the aisle the window passenger had left a peep hole at the bottom so we could at least get a tiny glimpse outside. However, after so many hours it was on the verge of being too much!! We were never told why the shades had to be shut.
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Old May 9, 2017, 12:11 pm
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I believe that some countries aviation authorities require shades to be open for takeoff and landing for the airlines that are licensed by those countries. The FAA does not have that requirement for US airlines.

I am not aware of any US airlines which have this as a policy, though there could be some who do.

In any case, it is a good idea to have the shade open for takeoff and landing even when it isn't required by regulation or policy. It's also a good idea to close them all, and open the air vents, after landing at a station where the cabin is likely to become uncomfortably warm before the next departure.
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Old May 9, 2017, 12:30 pm
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Usually the window shades are kept closed at boarding to help keep the aircraft cool - there is no rule that you need to keep them closed, and to the contrary, you should raise it during takeoff and landing for safety reasons.

As to that military use airport - telling us to keep window shades closed because there is something interesting outside? Good luck with that - I'll have photos on Instagram in mere seconds ^
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