Window blind etiquette

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Suhail 18 Jul 2019
at 13:01
.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 40 total)

  • superchris
    Participant

    I came back this week on the BA overnight from Dubai to London (0130 – 0600) in Premium Economy and was rather disappointed not only by other passengers behavior, the lack of proactivity and ultimately the response of the crew who took my feedback as a personal affront.

    As a background, Im a really light sleeper and I really don’t like wearing eye shades. With a quiet cabin and a bit of luck, I can typically get 3-4 hours on this flight. I was sat in ‘G’, an aisle of the middle. The flight took off on time and an hour in I noticed that 50 % of the window blinds were still up (pitch black outside), with said passengers pretty much all fast asleep. At no stage did the crew attempt to close, or ask passengers to close the blinds. Fast forward a couple of hours no surprise it was bright in the cabin which massively impacted my ability to sleep.

    Whilst serving breakfast, I gently pointed this out to a very young crew member that I felt it was unusual who proceeded to tell me that she cant stop passengers who want to look out of the window (clearly nonsense as they were all asleep). She was very negative and combative in her reaction.

    I am a regular on this night but have never noticed this before.

    Question – is it reasonable that I would expect the crew to have attempted to get passengers to put down their blinds after take off? I appreciate you need blinds open at take off and most people fall asleep instantly after takeoff. Im looking forward to the A350 on this route when presumably the windows would automatically be set to dimmed?


    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Question – is it reasonable that I would expect the crew to have attempted to get passengers to put down their blinds after take off?

    Yes – in my opinion it is reasonable to expect the crew to attempt to get passengers to put down their blinds after take off.

    The whole topic of blinds on planes can be vexing, and I really prefer those airlines where cabin crew are proactive and go round asking everyone to lower their blind/s on night flights, and or/lowering them for passengers if the passengers are asleep.


    esselle
    Participant

    It seems protocol for most airlines for the crew to get blinds down after the first meal service on a daytime flight, and shortly after take off on flights in hours of darkness.

    For BA not to follow this consistently is not much of a surprise.


    Gold-2K
    Participant

    Im looking forward to the A350 on this route when presumably the windows would automatically be set to dimmed?

    You will be disappointed, the first A350 for BA has the old tried and tested manual blinds!

    See the pictures here (discussed in a separate post):

    https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1961384-flying-ba-s-airbus-a350-deliveries-routes-reviews-more-14.html


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    @superchris – I have no issue with cabin crew closing my blinds when I am asleep, as long as cabin crew have no issue with me raising the blinds when I wake up. Most of my longhaul flights are now overnighters to Asia and back. My strategy for combating jet lag is to change to local time for my destination as soon as possible, i.e. seeing light in day time, seeing darkness at night time. About 90 minutes from landing into Asia (afternoon at destination), blinds go fully up. I generally do not suffer jet lag and frequently go into meetings within an hour of arrival. I am also very fortunate that I sleep very well on most overnight flights (and I still haven’t touched a sleeping pill for over 6 years)

    I feel extremely uncomfortable being forced to remain in darkness on a day flight, but accept blinds do need to be semi closed for the IFE to be enjoyed.

    Also on a day flight, I love to see the world from high up, wherever I am sitting – it makes me appreciate even more, how lucky I am to live the fabulous life I lead.

    Apologies if this makes me unpopular, but this is why, I sit by the window. As you can imagine, I detest the cabin crew electronically controlled blinds…


    AJDC
    Participant

    When I book a window seat, I book it because I want to look outside. Kindly put your eye shades on. That’s why they are given to you. Why should I be inconvenienced by your “I do not like wearing eye shades”.
    I will not be closing my shades.


    AircraftLover
    Participant

    Each passenger has his own travel experience and expectations

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    cwoodward
    Participant

    I agree absolutely with MartynSinclair on this.

    Being forced to close the window blind impinges on my personal choice for which I paid dearly and if this is repeatedly attempted I on principal will not comply and will forcibly complain to the cabin manager.

    I select a window seat because I enjoy looking out of the window even at night. Spotting and attempting to position small villages and towns I find an enjoyable distraction and sun rises and sunsets are a joy.
    Always I open the blind the minimum amount in the early morning after waking but on a daytime flight I will never close the blind, my view being that good quality eye shades are freely provided for those wanting to sleep in the daytime. Overnight flights are usually available to those requiring a darkened cabin.

    It is difficult to understand why passengers who want to sleep at an unusual hour refuse to don the perfectly good eye shades preferring to cause bother an annoyance to many fellow passings and the cabin crew by demanding that fellow passengers surrender their own personal preferences.

    I suffer slightly from claustrophobia which is why I always choose a window seat and refuse to be bullied

    7 users thanked author for this post.

    stevescoots
    Participant

    I always book window, and no matter the time of the flight close the blind once cruising is achieved, really just so that either i sleep or because of the light glare on the IFE screen. if i open the blinds at all during the flight i tend to just have a quick scan around the cabin and if other blinds are open then i will open mine, if not i wont.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    openfly
    Participant

    It’s very noticeable that the BA legacy crews, from the old school of service, fully appreciate that many passengers want to sleep at night. When dawn starts the bright light can be very intrusive. These crews will manage the blinds. If you are in a window seat and wish to have your blind open all well and good.

    But, the mid-fleet inexperienced youngsters are frightened to take any action for fear of the possibility of mild confrontation. They just do not have maturity of experience.

    BA needs to establish a company policy on this subject.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    superchris
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for their input – some really great comments. I always value getting a sense check from this group.

    I agree that its perfectly acceptable for someone to have booked (and these days probably paid) for a window seat and therefore control the blind as they wish. I just got the impression though that this wasnt the case. I believe that ..

    1) The mixed crew either werent aware this was a thing, or could not see forward 2 hours to when the sun would come up and cause an issue
    2) they didnt want to invite confrontation
    3) Passengers were asleep as the plane was taking off therefore couldnt put the blinds down anyway

    I agree though I need to get better at wearing an eye max, although interestingly I find it claustrophobic to do so.

    Interestingly I peaked through to business and every blind was closed which intrigued me. Actually, this might be more the issue actually because unline in premium, sleeping in business (ie making your bed) requires significantly more effort.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    When I book a window seat, I book it because I want to look outside. Kindly put your eye shades on. That’s why they are given to you. Why should I be inconvenienced by your “I do not like wearing eye shades”.

    I will not be closing my shades.

    Like most things in life this is solved by a bit of common sense and self-awareness. A bit like the seat reclining issue that surfaces occasionally.

    Of course travellers expect people sitting by the window to want to look out, no problems,I do it myself. However the OP was highlighting a situation where the blind was open but the person in the window seat fast asleep – clearly they weren’t enjoying the view at that point so could surely have left it closed to assist others.

    I do find the I, I, I type approach (I counted 6 in a few lines) can be a bit tedious.

    By the way, for the OP, if you were expecting BA crew to intervene then you had unrealistic expectations. Hiding in the galley is the SOP these days.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    I’m with those who choose a window seat because I enjoy, for various reasons, looking outside whether it be day or night. I don’t feel I have to justify that either. I intensely dislike the aisle seat as it means being disturbed when anyone goes past, whereas in my window seat I can lean towards the bulkhead, even if it’s in economy, and distance myself from others.

    I don’t like to be the person whose partially open blind is flooding the cabin with light, but if I want to look out, I’ll open it a discrete crack.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    I’m with those who choose a window seat because I enjoy, for various reasons, looking outside whether it be day or night. I don’t feel I have to justify that either. I intensely dislike the aisle seat as it means being disturbed when anyone goes past, whereas in my window seat I can lean towards the bulkhead, even if it’s in economy, and distance myself from others.

    I don’t like to be the person whose partially open blind is flooding the cabin with light, but if I want to look out, I’ll open it a discrete crack.

    You don’t have to justify it, however would you say it was right/courteous to other travellers to have it open with light streaming in whilst you yourself were fast asleep in the window seat (and obviously not looking out? That is what the OP was describing.


    canucklad
    Participant

    It is difficult to understand why passengers who want to sleep at an unusual hour refuse to don the perfectly good eye shades preferring to cause bother an annoyance to many fellow passings and the cabin crew by demanding that fellow passengers surrender their own personal preferences.

    I feel extremely uncomfortable being forced to remain in darkness on a day flight, but accept blinds do need to be semi closed for the IFE to be enjoyed.

    Exactly, I do not understand why you leave Europe in darkness and arrive in Hong Kong approaching twilight , just in time for another period of darkness.
    Even more bizarre, on my last flight with Lufthansa they opened the blinds an hour before arrival and served breakfast.

    It’s simply not good brain training when dealing with jet lag .
    I am self aware of opening a blind , when all around me people are behaving as if its 3.00 in the morning rather than 3 in the afternoon, so I tend to head to the back galley , have a glass of wine and stare out the door window , although i’s simply not up to the task .

    As an aside Its making it much more difficult for me to complete my photo collage of views from above !! : (

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