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No cabin lights on during daylight - why?

No cabin lights on during daylight - why?

Old Jun 26, 19, 10:58 pm
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No cabin lights on during daylight - why?

I flew economy on United 2109 from ATL to DEN, an RJ. It was broad daylight, mid-afternoon. I had a book (not ebook) to finish. As luck would have it, I was surrounded by passengers content w/ their shades down, either napping or using devices or watching seatback entertainment. The cabin in my area was VERY dim. I turned on my reading light, but it had a dim, yellowish light that was not adequate for my 67-yr-old eyes, even using my reading glasses. I asked a FA if some of the cabin lights could be turned on, since it was not night-time. After a long wait, the other FA stopped by & reached over to turn on my reading light. Of course, she found it already "ON." I asked her politely if some cabin lights could be turned on. She refused, something like "those lights are used only for boarding and then again to prepare for landing." Is this really a policy? Do the FAs really mean it when they say, " If there is anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable, please let us know?"
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Teton Cowgirl View Post
.... I was surrounded by passengers content w/ their shades down, either napping or using devices or watching seatback entertainment. ....I asked her politely if some cabin lights could be turned on. She refused, something like "those lights are used only for boarding and then again to prepare for landing." Is this really a policy? ...
It is certainity a common policy and I think you provided the reason for this

Originally Posted by Teton Cowgirl View Post
....Do the FAs really mean it when they say, " If there is anything we can do to make your flight more comfortable, please let us know?"
They have to balance what one might want and what many other may want.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:25 pm
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I appreciate your insight. Thanks.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:48 pm
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A United passenger culture about keeping the cabin dark even in the middle of the day has definitely evolved. I've had FAs ask in the middle of the day (literally 12 noon), to close my window shades. The conspiracy theorist in me says that the FAs think that somnolent passengers will have fewer requests and leave them with more free time in the galley.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 12:36 am
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I think with more people on their phones / laptops / other devices, and fewer people reading books or papers, the trend has definitely shifted towards keeping the cabins darker.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 12:44 am
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
The conspiracy theorist in me says that the FAs think that somnolent passengers will have fewer requests and leave them with more free time in the galley.
It's not every FA, but you're not wrong...
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Old Jun 27, 19, 3:50 am
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
A United passenger culture about keeping the cabin dark even in the middle of the day has definitely evolved.
Yes. For me, this is the worst aspect of UA. It's like flying in a coffin and is very bad for jet lag.
I'm currently trying to decide for next year whether I switch my principal flying to BA, foregoing E+ but gaining daylight so I can read, and avoiding 10 across in 777s.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by porciuscato View Post
A United passenger culture about keeping the cabin dark even in the middle of the day has definitely evolved. I've had FAs ask in the middle of the day (literally 12 noon), to close my window shades. The conspiracy theorist in me says that the FAs think that somnolent passengers will have fewer requests and leave them with more free time in the galley.
I think they are right in asking to close the shades. A lot of times I have got the sun in my eye or the reflection on something in my eye and I think it should be closed certainly at high altitude. The reading lights are there for a reason. I have never seen reading lights that are not bright enough to read and I wear glasses.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 5:53 am
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It's just not UA. AA is the same and I'm equally miffed about this. Every day flight the shades are always down and I don't why. I feel bad initially but keep mine all the way up. It's 2 PM folks!
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
It's just not UA. AA is the same and I'm equally miffed about this. Every day flight the shades are always down and I don't why. I feel bad initially but keep mine all the way up. It's 2 PM folks!
Absolutely agree! Airplanes are claustrophobic enough already and effectively eliminating windows only makes them worse. The direct sun argument is a non-starter, too. It can never affect both sides of the aircraft and no one minds if they're partially lowered to keep the sun from getting in someone's eyes.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
The reading lights are there for a reason. I have never seen reading lights that are not bright enough to read and I wear glasses.
Au contraire - I am a book and/or newspaper reader; and very few aircraft have reading lights adequate to the the task.
The exceptions are those F/J seats that have two lights beaming down from different angles.
Otherwise, most reading lights do not offer enough, or properly aimed, light to read by.
( And lets not get started on not being able to aim the lights properly...)
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
It's just not UA. AA is the same and I'm equally miffed about this. Every day flight the shades are always down and I don't why. I feel bad initially but keep mine all the way up. It's 2 PM folks!
Originally Posted by JimInOhio View Post
Absolutely agree! Airplanes are claustrophobic enough already and effectively eliminating windows only makes them worse. The direct sun argument is a non-starter, too. It can never affect both sides of the aircraft and no one minds if they're partially lowered to keep the sun from getting in someone's eyes.
This feels like it will always be a divided argument but could not agree more on both comments. The trend towards dark cabins is now why I prefer windows whenever possible (change from my old aisle habits) so I can control the light. I have a hard enough time waking up and being forced to sit in the dark at 2pm is certainly not going to keep me energized. I keep the shade up the entire flight and the natural light helps keep me focused while I work but am also conscious of the sunrise/sunset and will close partially or all the way if it's beaming into someones face in my row - otherwise it stays open.

My personal favorite is when I've had the aisle person reach over to close it while I went to the bathroom (or even worse, when I close my eyes for 30 seconds but I'm not sleeping) - needless to say it went back up just as quick as it came down, and I didn't even get a look from the aisle person the rest of the flight.

Not to stereotype (since I am one) but I find the worst offenders are business travelers who insist on sitting in the aisle 99% of the time but then get mad when the window is open and try to ask you to close it or ask the FA. I'm sorry but no.. if you want control of the window, sit in the window seat.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:23 am
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I don't know why, but it always feels like when someone near me as the shade open the sun lines up directly in my eyes. Even worse was a flight I had returning from ORD where I was getting sun reflection from a tablet from the other side of the plane.

Its almost feels like the person at the shade has a good balance, as their eyes are typically shaded from the direct light but it provides good ambient light.... but for those directly in the suns "firing line" it can be quite uncomfortable.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
It's just not UA. AA is the same and I'm equally miffed about this. Every day flight the shades are always down and I don't why. I feel bad initially but keep mine all the way up. It's 2 PM folks!
NH is pretty aggressive about the shades being down during the day, and those FAs are definitely not slackers, so there must actually be some airline policy in effect.

I also find the the reading lights to be effective but, then again, I spent years underground as a miner, so maybe I prefer dimmer light.

Last edited by zombietooth; Jun 27, 19 at 8:34 am
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Old Jun 27, 19, 8:36 am
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No easy answer. It's like asking someone to swap seats. You can ask, but if the answer's "no" that's the end discussion. Sitting next to a window seat and can't see your laptop screen because the shade's up? Same answer. Also, one person's "daytime at arrival" may not be the same as yours.

On an Island Hopper trip last year, I booked a window seat and was actually taking pictures out the window when my seatmate asked me to close the shade. I politely pointed out that would make it difficult to take pictures. When there was nothing to shoot, I did lower the shade a little bit to cut down on light but still be able to see outside.
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