You know, sometimes I understand the window blind thing. When landing in the United States on regional jet somewhere warm, the flight attendant will ask that blinds be pulled down to keep the plane cool during the turnaround. Logical.
What is not particularly logical is when you are asked to put them down on a day flight. The air conditioning is on, you’re flying at 35,000 feet, so it’s definitely not to keep the cabin cool.
Window Blind Woes
One reason I choose to sit in a window seat is to watch the world go by. Usually you’re treated to some spectacular views, even when it’s just sky and clouds. Flying over the Persian Gulf at midnight or the Rocky Mountains at dawn is really something else.
Therefore it is quite frown inducing when the crew come through and ask you to put your blind down. I want to see the view! I am flying, for goodness sake, doing something that billions of people have never done in their lives. Seeing out is part of the deal.
One possible reason for it is that sun through the windows causes glare on the inflight entertainment screens. That makes sense, after all there’s a reason why movie theatres have no windows. I too like to enjoy my film in a dimly lit area, so I get it.
It’s pretty hard to stomach at night time, though. The reasoning behind that is that people will be asleep when dawn comes, and light streaming through the open window will wake everyone. Got it, but still…
The Nuclear Option
While crews will ask nicely and then get firm with you if you refuse, they do have a nuclear option now. On the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, they have a master switch which can dim all the windows at once, leaving you with no choice in the matter. Very big brother!
Of course, when you have an actual blind you can sneak it open anyway. Or, make all the promises that you’ll make sure to put it back down again before dawn comes. There are ways around it, especially if you smile a lot!
I think it’s safe to say that I like to see outside when I’m flying. On the one occasion when I’ve been asked by another passenger to close the blind, I’ve been happy to do so, so I am not one to sit and make a huge fuss about it.
Some people believe the crew want the cabin dark on day flights so that people will snooze and therefore reduce their workload. I’m not entirely sure that’s true, but I’m happy to be corrected. Considering what you can see when you’re flying, even on clear overnight flights, I’m glad to have windows in the first place. Just permit me to look outside!
Have you ever had the crew Gestapo ask you to keep your window blind closed on a flight? What do you think of being asked to keep it closed? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.