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Having recently started travelling again post pandemic break I am quite concerned about the different airlines approach to window blinds being up for take off and landing.
I always believed that is was a requirement (post Airtours Manchester)
In the past 6 weeks I have travelled on KLM, Delta, United and AA and none of them appeared to enforce this.
Am I incorrect that it is a requirement for the blinds to be up for take off and landing?5 Sep 2022
I believe blinds are supposed to be up – that said I’ve always found US based carriers to be fairly ‘relaxed’ on this front. I also find the trend to be once airborne at least 50% of pax on US planes will close their blinds.5 Sep 2022
I think its down to the respective carriers in many areas. For example in the UK it was never mandatory, BA never asked you to open a blind for take off or landing until about 7 or 8 years ago following the merger with BMI for some reason.5 Sep 2022
It is I understand an IATA regulation that blinds MUST be open for takeoff and landing.
The below explains why.
If this is not policed than it seems that the cabin crew are poorly trained and led.6 Sep 2022
Sorry but I think you are wrong on this.
“…..seat backs in the upright position, arm rests down, tray tables stowed away and window blinds open” is part of the pre take-off briefing that I remember hearing over decades on BA flights.6 Sep 2022
My pilot mates tell me that this has nothing to do with normal SOP’s.
It appears that it is both a IATA regulation with (in the case of UK-HK and many other countries) the local CAA Civil Aviation Authority being the law maker and legal compliance body and regulator.6 Sep 2022
First of all, IATA is not a regulator body but an industry group, thus, International Air Transport Association. ICAO, International Civil Aviation Organization is the worldwide regulatory body. There is NO regulatory mandate to have the shades open or shut. That is left up to the local regulatory body, in the UK, the CAA and in the US the FAA. If there is no regulatory guidance, which there is none, then it is up to the respective carrier to implement what procedures they wish.
The cockpit has nothing to do with the window shade issue, thus it will not be in the SOPs. There are justifications for both sides of this contentious issue and the simple fact is the airline can do what it wished. The cabin crew will justify their position by taking the ultimate position and say the shade position is mandated by the regulator. It isn’t! But, that response ends the issue immediately.
Is it a safety issue? I doubt it, in my 35+ years of military and commercial flying, I can’t see the problem with either position.6 Sep 2022
As far as I remember, take offs & landings always had these strict guidelines. Cabin lights dimmed, seat belts fastened, window shades up, seat upright & tray table stowed. Until a few years ago, even the entertainment systems were turned off.
It is the cabin crew that is responsible for enforcement of these controls, common sense & practicality dictate that window blinds need to be up during take offs & landings in the case of emergencies. This is why cabin crew make a final sweep down the aisles just before getting into their jump seats.
There should not be any compromise on this issue.6 Sep 2022
I thought the whole point was for orientation, so that in case of an emergency on take off or landing, you didn’t for example try to open a right hand overwing door if the right hand engines are on fire. etc..
You would be able to see out and determine any dangers.6 Sep 2022
The global regulator ICAO does offer guidance on window shades in their ‘Manual on Information and Instructions for Passenger Safety’ (for those that want to google it – it’s accessible). The guidance requires reference to window shades in Pre-Landing Briefings given by crew and Safety Cards although the extent to which it’s then enforced is likely driven by the airlines and local regulators as others have already said.
In Europe, ME and Asia where I travel it’s almost universally enforced by crew in my experience.
That said, in the 5-10 minutes between the final check and landing itself there will always be renegade passengers who close the blind again especially where there is a lot of sun. Sometimes the same renegades who stand up seconds after landing while the plane is still taxiing.6 Sep 2022
Thats not true. Window blinds only became a thing at BA (Mainline anyway) around 2012 or a bit later I believe. BMI had a different policy but BA certainly allowed it until more recently.
I know as I was crew for BA for many many years. The BA procedure was that only windows on or adjacent to exits must be open for take off and landing. [postquote quote=1231815]
1 user thanked author for this post.6 Sep 2022