Window shades up?

Old Feb 10, 19, 3:15 am
  #1  
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Window shades up?

Was on a EWR to HKG in Polaris a couple weeks ago and a couple seated together had the window shades up nearly the entire flight.

I like to sleep on these flights and was certainly bothered by the brightness in the cabin for much of the flight.

Quietly asked a FA about this and was told several people complained and the passengers doing this when asked by the FA to lower the shades said that Ďif people want to sleep they can use eye shadesí and refused to lower them.

I thought this was incredibly selfish.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Is it acceptable etiquette?
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Old Feb 10, 19, 4:02 am
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This has been debated on FT endlessly and there won't be any agreement.

Bottom line, if you want total darkness, use the eyeshades. Some of us like to keep the shades open on certain routes to look out the window and enjoy the view. It's not selfish, when you have the window seat, you should be able to open or close it as you please. It's much easier to put on the eyeshades vs developing x-ray vision to look through the window shades.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:07 am
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Bottom line, it's incredibly selfish. I guarantee that the ocean will still be there in good order, whether the shades are up or down - no need to constantly check throughout the flight.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:11 am
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Here we go again...
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Old Feb 10, 19, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by Steve M View Post
Bottom line, it's incredibly selfish. I guarantee that the ocean will still be there in good order, whether the shades are up or down - no need to constantly check throughout the flight.
I guarantee you'll find very comfortable, upgraded eye shades in the new Polaris amenity kits.

Not every long distance flights is over the ocean the entire time - I still enjoy my photos of Greenland, the South Arctic, Russia and the hinterlands of China, all places I otherwise would never have seen but for my United flight from Newark to Hong Kong. If it's a choice between viewing fascinating scenery on a unique flight routing, or putting my window shade down because someone doesn't want to use their eye shades - guess which one I'll be doing.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 7:04 am
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The eyeshades are provided for a reason.

Some of us enjoy looking out the window - US customers (particularly notice it on UA) and flyers seem to have this huge complex about whining to FAs about natural light. And then the FAs almost always demand it be closed in the US because of oversensitive customers. In fact, on foreign carriers, they insist it remain open during takeoff and landing.

In fact, natural light helps a lot of people with jet lag. On a flight like EWR-HKG, I would personally close the window perhaps after the meal service. But its really up to the passenger and the standard response from FAs *should* be that its the passenger's choice, rather than try to use their power as an FA to get pax to close it
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Old Feb 10, 19, 7:41 am
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787-style windows are the obvious solution. Centrally controlled, and can still be seen out of even when darkened.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by sincx View Post
787-style windows are the obvious solution. Centrally controlled, and can still be seen out of even when darkened.
This is one of the reasons I dislike the 787 on UA. The FAs keep the cabin dark, like an oversized coffin, even during day flights. Itís so depressing, it makes it difficult to read without eye strain, itís bad for jetlag and incredibly selfish of the cave-dwellers who have a hissy fit about natural light.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 8:49 am
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In the last two weeks, I had to deal with this on SYD & SIN flights. The eye mask worked beautifully.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 8:59 am
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“Sorry, but my definition of "enhanced value" would be a trip in which no one harangues me about the outdated joy I take in looking out the window and actually appreciating the beauty of flight.”

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/a...ion/index.html
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:10 am
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Always wonderful to see the dark night lightening and eventually the sunrise flying TATL to Europe.....and fascinating to fly over Wyoming and see the missile silos, the snow on the rockies, and the strange landscapes of Nevada and Utah. And if I'm not looking out, there's natural light to read with.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by demkr View Post
The eyeshades are provided for a reason.

Some of us enjoy looking out the window - US customers (particularly notice it on UA) and flyers seem to have this huge complex about whining to FAs about natural light. And then the FAs almost always demand it be closed in the US because of oversensitive customers. In fact, on foreign carriers, they insist it remain open during takeoff and landing.

In fact, natural light helps a lot of people with jet lag. On a flight like EWR-HKG, I would personally close the window perhaps after the meal service. But its really up to the passenger and the standard response from FAs *should* be that its the passenger's choice, rather than try to use their power as an FA to get pax to close it
There is a UA FA who gives a speech about high altitude radiations and ask people to close the shades on TPAC flights. I think most people do it out of consideration for others so I think the expectation is you close it. Most people comply but sometimes there is just that one person who has to keep the shades open...

My experience is that in-flight, especially eastbound TPACs, many Asian carriers actually go through the ritual of making everyone close the shades before they darken the cabin.

Things are better now with the 787

All that said, "light pollution" is a problem in-flight - whether from people's huge screens (computer, tablet, AVOD - especially when watching action movies with lots of flashes), individual overhead lights (instead of reading lights), window, galley/lav, FA walking by with flashlights... If one is really sensitive to it, eyeshades are probably a good idea.

As far as take-off and landing, until we have an incident in the US where closed shades slowed down evacuation or someone opened an exit without checking what is outside first due to closed shades, nothing will be done. The foreigner carriers I have been on all require it. It seems some UA regionals require shades to be opened during takeoff and landing but this is not the case on the mainline. Again, these things (open window, clear path, tidy cabin) are common sense that people are just too stubborn, selfish, "cool", distracted, stupid to do. Why not when it can save a lot of lives if there is an evacuation?
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:14 am
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All this thread shows is that people are different. The only way to assure that your own preferences are always met is to charter (or purchase) your own aircraft.

Some people are night owls, prefer to look out a window, may be on a different schedule (the flight in question has inbound connections at EWR and outbound at HKG.

It is perfectly fine to ask (or ask an FA to ask) another passenger. But, the proper etiquette is to use the eye shades if you do not like the answer.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:18 am
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I know it is controversial but I find it rude, especially when often more than 95% of the plane puts the shades down. If keeping the shades up only affected the person in the window seat then fine but it often affects a lot more. And not everyone brings an eye mask. After all, not all are flying Polaris and not all are experienced flyers.

I like views as much as the next person but would much rather allow my fellow passengers to sleep comfortably.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 9:27 am
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Several thoughts:

(1) As well as helping with jet lag, light can also benefit people like me who have a melatonin issue and have to sleep with the light on. (Sleeping with the light on, incidentally, means that, for me, jet lag virtually doesn't exist. I am never in the dark, and therefore the "natural" secretions of melatonin triggered by light and dark phases do not take place.)

(2) Anyone who thinks wanting to have light is incredibly selfish is in fact incredibly selfish themselves in insisting that only darkness is permitted. Those who need the light have no choice about how to reguate that, but eye masks are provided for those who want to be in the dark. The latest generation of eye-masks are, I am told, a great improvement on their predecessors.

(3) I have never had any problem over-riding the FAs' central control of the windows on a 787. You simply alter the refraction the way you nornally would. Have I just been lucky?
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