View Full Version : Why do we HAVE to pull down the blinds?

28th May 2008, 17:38
I was recently on a daytime flight from BKK to LHR. About 90 mins into the flight, after the meal service, the FAs came round and told us to pull our window blinds down.

Is this normal on a day flight? I understand it's the right thing to do on a night flight so that people can watch a movie and/or sleep, but - purely selfishly - it meant I couldn't see places we flew over and debated whether it was helpful in reducing jet-lag or not?

I've only ever flown from south-east Asia once before, and that was overnight, so I was wondering if this is normal practice, or airline practice?



28th May 2008, 18:08
Simple answer is that you don't have to pull them down. It may be courteous, but you don't HAVE to, doesn't matter what any FA says.
Most airlines provide eye shades, if a pax is trying to sleep and the light is affecting them, then they should put the shades on .... simple really.

28th May 2008, 18:08
I believe it is normal. Most of the world has cloud cover in one way or another during the day, but planes are above the clouds so it is 100% sunshine up there in the daylight. Pulling the blinds down allows the c/c to control the temperature and the lighting better.

I haven't ever had f/a tell me that I must pull the blind down and can't look out the window (not that I would these days anyway). But during T/O and landing you are asked to raise the blinds, probably a leftover frm the terrorist eras where hijackings were bountiful and the hijackers liked to keep the ground crews (and assault squads) guessing.


28th May 2008, 18:25
Airlines will ask you to raise blinds to take off and landing to increase visibility in the case of an emergency. For example, in a crash landing you will be able to see if it is safe enough to evacuate from your side of the aircraft. You may see something that the cabin may not. It's about using all resources.

Lowering the blinds during the flight has many advantages for the greater good of the passengers. It is a good idea to get them lowered before people start falling asleep. Otherwise they will wake up as the sun comes up which could interupt their sleep. As passengers start to wake up, they will inturn wake up other passengers. Having the best possible conditions for sleep at the start will help to ensure the maximum amount of sleep for the majority of passengers.

As TOPBUNK mentioned, you probably don't HAVE to lower them but I would like to think that if the request was made politely by the crew then most passengers will comply. If the scenery is particularly interesting, you could always pop into the galley (depending on aircraft type) and have a look from one of the doors. The crew will probably be glad of the company on a long flight - well I would anyway.

Skipness One Echo
28th May 2008, 18:42
I have used - "Oh my God I can't sleep, I'm claustrophobic and a nervous flyer. It's stops me from hyperventialting to see out the window." Complete tosh and we both knew it but not worth an argeument, besides crew often just b****r off for ages and are not seen again until brekkie. I DO keep it down if I see the sun is gonna be in people's eyes though, as you do neeed to sleep. Good luck !

28th May 2008, 19:09
Top Bunk:

I could not agree more. It would take a very dedicated F/A to convince me to change my modus operandi.


28th May 2008, 19:17
VS-LHRCSA, ohhhh... of course. *blonde moment*

Thanks for the explanation.


28th May 2008, 19:37
Actually, you are required by law to comply with ANY reasonable request by the crew onboard your flight. So unless they start asking you to jump up and down on the spot, rub your stomach and pat your head then i'm afraid that window blind does HAVE to go down....

However most crew will not make an issue of it.

Please remember crew don't want narky passengers they don't ask you to do things just to annoy you, but rather to help you. I have operated flights both leaving the blinds up and also requesting all blinds down and the passenger experience on the latter is far superior more rest is available for those that want it, those that don't have a reading light and IFE and with the high probability of cloud cover there is sweet FA to see down there anyway.

28th May 2008, 19:49
you are required by law to comply with ANY reasonable request by the crew onboard your flight.BlueTUI, I disagree.

I think you will find that you must comply with any LAWFUL/LEGAL request, not any REASONABLE request. I would contend that closing the blind is not a LAWFUL/LEGAL request.

I contend that a comparable situation would be when someone reclines their seatback to the detriment of the person behind. It may be reasonable to ask the person to put the seatback more upright, but it not necessary to comply - the seat is fitted with a recline mechanism, it is acceptable to use it. The window is fitted with a blind, likewise it is acceptable to use it - in either direction.

Edited to add this reference:

Every person in an aircraft registered in the UK shall obey all lawful
commands which the commander of that aircraft may give for the purpose of securing the safety of the aircraft and of persons or property carried therein, or the safety, efficiency or regularity of air navigation. (ANO Art.67)

28th May 2008, 20:37
Wow, this is all getting very serious.
As far as I know the only time we ask passengers to shut window blinds is on a night flight when it is going to get light very early/half way through the flight as it will help passengers rest. I have been on other airlines who like passengers to pull them down on a day flight and then turn off the lights in the hope passengers will sleep!! Something I found very annoying as I had slept very well the night before my 9am check-in.

28th May 2008, 21:11
TopBunk is absolutely right. Though when issuing an order or command those who are empowered to do so must make clear they are issuing an order or command and not a request, somewhat similar to military law where an officer has to be clear he or she is issuing an order rather than a request. As Top bunk also says an order must be lawful, if it is not then it can be refused, deferred, taken under protest, also similar in military law.

28th May 2008, 21:47
I'm crew, and at a previous airline we often asked passengers to lower their blinds on a day flight so that it was easier for passengers to see the IFE screens. If it's very bright, it can be almost impossible to see the screen.

28th May 2008, 21:50
Just a BTW - On afternoon flights, or flights going towards the Far East, it often makes more sense to simulate some sort of 'night' to help your biological clock along a little to avoid jetlag.

It works to a degree.


29th May 2008, 09:39
Thanks for the replies - I was only curious - having never flown west to the UK from south-east Asia in daylight, I was interested to know if it was common practise.

The fact there was 100% compliance with the FA's request (not an order) seems many pax prefer to spend 10 hours in the dark regardless of the time of day...

Frankly, I couldn't sleep due to my body clock being on Thailand time (it was a 1250 hours departure local, landing LHR 1930 local), so the advantage to me was having a clearer view of the AVOD screen.

Have to complement EVA on their AVOD and in-flight service, as well as Elite class cabin - although the foot/legrest is kinda silly and a bit redundant when you're 6'1" like me!

Again, thanks for engaging - an interesting discussion at any rate.


29th May 2008, 13:54
In the forum FAQ


29th May 2008, 14:18
And having looked at this link
there's been quite a discussion on this before. So at least it wasn't just me...

An explanation I found on that thread was about passengers originating from a different timezone. As BR67 originates in TPE, it is more understandable that there would be pax on board who had an earlier start than me and wanted some kip - so fair does really.


Dan Air 87
4th Jun 2008, 19:40
I have flown on the daytime BKK & KL flights into LHR and whilst lowering the blinds can be a pain it is a courtesy to those pax who want to sleep.

5th Jun 2008, 00:30
....or those who want to sleep could show their consideration and wear eye shades?

I have constant 'debates' on BKK - LHR - BKK re just this. I select the day flight so that I can have natural light to read by. (The view is also quite spectacular)

jetset lady
5th Jun 2008, 11:08
I have to wonder if maybe the blinds down during day flights actually harks back to the days when most aircraft only had central screens down the aisle for the IFE. When flying on these aircraft, we used to ask pax to lower the blinds as it was the only way to see the screen. However, it certainly wasn't an order! More a request. Now, I will only ever lower blinds without a pax knowledge if they fall asleep before the sun comes up. A shaft of sunlight straight in your eye upon waking is not great. As soon as they are awake, they are welcome to raise the blinds if they want to. Surely, its just a matter of common sense!


5th Jun 2008, 11:45
There is absolutely no need to comply with a request to lower the blinds and if you don't want to then don't. As has been remarked , some of the scenery is spectacular and why shouldn't you see it? Those who wish to sleep can use their eye shades and modern IFE screens do not require a darkened cabin. Too often the request on daylight flights is simply to reduce the call for cabin service, especially during the long periods (ie all but the beginning and end of the flight) when manning levels are reduced so as to accomodate agreements on cabin crew bunk rest. You bought the ticket and if you want to watch the scenery you are perfectly entitled to do so.

5th Jun 2008, 21:23
I find it very irritating to have all the blinds down. We travelled in virtually night time conditions last December LGW to Antigua starting at 11am UK time arriving in the dark in Antigua. Nearly 20 hours in the dark until moring the next day. Why do I need to travel in the dark everywhere? I want daylight to read and keep me awake and see the meal and just feel normal. I am a pilot with a large airline. I think we have recently told our cabin crew it is not necessary to keep asking passengers to put the blinds down.

6th Jun 2008, 10:42
the reason I like a window seat is so I can look out at the view - even clouds have a certain beauty, and even at night you sometimes get cloud free areas where you see towns lit up.

I also handle changing time zones better by using the local day / night and being able to look out helps me keep track of the local time outside

Dream Land
6th Jun 2008, 10:56
I try to book isle seats myself, if the person next to the window wants it open, oh well, it's their right, if the movie is hard to see in the sunlight it's probably due to the antiquated video system, time to update!

7th Jun 2008, 08:17
Section 78 of the ANO. (Air Navigation Order)

Acting in a disruptive manner
78. No person shall while in an aircraft—

(a) use any threatening, abusive or insulting words towards a member of the crew of the aircraft;

(b) behave in a threatening, abusive, insulting or disorderly manner towards a member of the crew of the aircraft; or

(c) intentionally interfere with the performance by a member of the crew of the aircraft of his duties.

7th Jun 2008, 09:20
.....and your point is?

I hope you are not inferring that cc can tell you to lower the blinds?

7th Jun 2008, 11:29
As somebody who... shall we say, does not feel very comfortable when flying, and on top of that suffers from dizziness when in enclosed spaces with no windows, I always sit next to a window so that I can get a sense of how the aircraft is moving. If I had to endure a flight without a window view as a point of reference, I would freak out.

7th Jun 2008, 14:35
Hi Ares, welcome aboard. Your situation is interesting and doubtless there are as many reasons for sitting at the window as on the aisle.

I have just seen a printed magazine advert for Qantas that PROVES you can have the window blinds UP. The picture shows a pax in a C-seat (of course) and he (of course) is wearing headphones and watching the screen with a contented smile (of course). The caption says:
New release movies you can stop and start as you wish. So you can pause for a snack, or a tissue. Every seat in Qantas International B747 and A330 is equipped etcetera.

AND THE TWO WINDOW BLINDS BY THE SEAT ARE BOTH OPEN A QUARTER! to complete the happy picture, the sun is shining brightly through one of them. If you look at this page from their website, you will see the PE cabin.
The 'sun' shining through the window is identical to the one shown in the print advert (albeit this is the K seat and the print ad is an A) and the blinds are also shown open by a quarter/third. Print the advert and take it with you. :E

OK, I know I talk too much but I needed a break from helping my mother to clear out 20 years of junk so that she can sell her house!

7th Jun 2008, 16:58
It's all a bit sad.Seeing the icecap on Greenland for the first time or descending into Milan,skimming the Alps,was simply wonderful.

8th Jun 2008, 04:12
New release movies you can stop and start as you wish. So you can pause for a tissue.I didn't know they showed that sort of movie on Qantas - I'll have to try them again soon! :}

8th Jun 2008, 07:11
ZFT, the ANO is crystal clear. If and how you choose to breach it is up to you. ;)

8th Jun 2008, 07:15
If cabin crew tell you stand on one leg you are not committing an offence if you fail to do it. You don't have to do every daft thing that the crew decide. No court would, I am sure, convict somebody of failing to comply with some irrelevant,daft 'order' from a crew member getting carried away with their authority.

13 please
8th Jun 2008, 13:00
Hi all, well I'm cabin crew,and I don't think you should be asked to lower the blinds on day flights...I remember as a kid looking out the window, at whatever was there, even if it was just sea...you do get a feeling of space...

However, during night flights when the sun is going to be rising during the flight, then I do think it a good idea to make an announcement to close the blind before you fall asleep.. it may not have occurred to some people.. one open blind makes a massive difference. if you're not planning on sleeping then by all means keep it open if you wish, you may still choose to close it when the sun comes up..

sometimes if your blind is open, you may not be aware how the sun can be shining straight across to someone on the other side of the cabin..we can see this as we walk through, people actually putting their hands up to shield their eyes, but the person whose blind this is has no idea...

just my thoughts and expeience....safe and happy flying to all...!!!

8th Jun 2008, 15:07
Why do we give out eyeshades to people?

13 please
8th Jun 2008, 19:59
ugh, I can't bear the eyeshades, make your eyelids all sweaty... the cheap ones are like plastic on the inside.. no good for the mascara...!!!
And I find them very claustrophobic...Although I would try and use them on a day flight, when I would EXPECT it to be light....
Depending on which way you are flying and in which season, the 'night' may only be 2-4 hours long... Quite unfair on 200 people who may be on a long flight but a very short night...just because of one or 2 people....

8th Jun 2008, 21:12
If someone can recomend a sleeping potion for long haul flights I promise not to put mine up! I do have a problem sleeping on planes though!

8th Jun 2008, 21:54
If you are so deeply aggrieved about something as trivial as the blinds then you seem likely to be the sort of person who might need reminding about S78 of the ANO.

13 please
8th Jun 2008, 21:57
eltonioni, yes please,I haven't got mine to hand....

especially as this thread is in the passengers part...:)

8th Jun 2008, 23:42

The post I suspect you refer to was deleted by the mods. Why?

Anyway, what are you on about. How am I breaching ANOs?

9th Jun 2008, 07:57
13 please, Post #13.

I'm being a little bit contrary to be honest but this does all seem a lot of fuss about nothing.

The ANO (the law) says that if you prevent the crew from getting on with their duty (and it's deliberately not strictly defined) you are breaching the ANO and as a few people have found out it can result in a policeman awaiting your arrival or the aircraft turning around and sending you the bill. Additionally, the Captain is the law when it comes to deciding on what is in the interests of the safety of the flight and no amount of arguing at FL30 will change that.

I'm not privy to why the crew on any particular flight might ask you to put blinds down but its obviously not a great idea to make a big deal out of it in the air. I'd just have a quick grump and comply while mumbling something under my breath about writing a letter when we land. :)

13 please
9th Jun 2008, 08:33
well, as far as I know, asking pax to pull down blinds has nothing whatsoever to do with safety..!! And I think it's daft to ask pax 2 pull blinds down on daytime flights..I have to say tho, I've never noticed any crew making that announcement on daytime flights.. nightime flights when the night is short, yes many times. And there is usually an explanation as to why..As I said before, some pax may not realise that even though they have a long flight, it may be a very short night.. And it is a request, not an order...
If alot of pax are asleep, sometimes we will try and pull their blinds down.. then you'll come upon a pax who is awake, sometimes they'll see you coming and pull theirs down, but I say to them,if they would like to keep it open, that's fine, we're just putting them down because the sun will be rising in less than an hour, and as most people are asleep, we'll try not to wake them..I leave the decision to the pax who is awake, his/her seat, his/her window blind...
There's no point grumbling quietly, or otherwise, just say, I'd rather keep it open for the time being thanks... I would think that absolutely reasonable.. Of course I don't have the luxury of other cabin crew or airline habits, just speaking for me...
take care all...

9th Jun 2008, 09:42

Why don't you quote the precise ANO wording. You post is your interpretation.

9th Jun 2008, 09:48
I don't want to watch the damned IFE screens. Why should I be force-fed some crummy film when the view out the window (even the top of the clouds) is more interesting? This sort of thing really hacks me off - it once happened in a coach as well.

9th Jun 2008, 13:27
ZFT, I did quote the ANO.

11th Jun 2008, 08:03
Catering costs are far higher for day flights than night flights -and the crew have to work far harder. So if they can get passengers to sleep it's better for the airline and the crew.

I book day flights because I hate flying and can't sleep on planes. So I read, watch movies, play games, eat and drink. And I refuse to do so in the dark. If that inconveniences the crew, so be it. The airlines sell their services in their ads, including emails that they send to me - I choose to believe them.

I get really fed up with airlines promising 'cuisine, fine wines, on board entertainment' etc. and then expecting you to get on board and go to sleep!

If daylight is inconvenient for passengers, frankly speaking they should book night flights if it's a nap they're after. Or carry a sleeping mask on board. You don't close curtains on a bus if someone chooses to nap, do you?

11th Jun 2008, 08:59
When my kids were asked to lower the blinds, they said, "but its Google Earth live" to the FA.

Needless to say she let them keep the blinds up!

13 please
11th Jun 2008, 09:16
where on here have any cabin crew written that they want the pax to sleep during the day to make their day easier..??

I am crew and I actually wrote that you should NOT be asked to pull the blinds down during the day..

I have sed that if it's going to be a short night, then yes I would suggest to pax sitting by the window they may want to pull the blinds down, and explain why. By no means is it an order, but I think it's a good idea, for the majority of the pax...
It makes no difference to me whether the pax are awake or asleep, if we run out of food and drink, then so it.. no skin off my nose... If it's busy like that, it makes the time pass quicker for me...


11th Jun 2008, 10:01
When my kids were asked to lower the blinds, they said, "but its Google Earth live" to the FA.


The FA should have convinced and rephrased : sorry folks,but internet connection is now down

Final 3 Greens
11th Jun 2008, 11:27

Kindly define why declining a request from the cabin crew is deliberately interfering with the execution of their duty?

They ask politely, you decline politely, how have you interfered?

If you think this is breaching the ANO, you are misguided.

If the captain decides that the blinds must be closed and makes it a command, then that is an entirely different matter, but in over 1,000 flights I have never witnessed that circumstance.

11th Jun 2008, 19:25
I experienced this on a flight from MAN to AUH with Etihad. The crew requested everyone lower their blinds shortly after take off (10:00am) the cabin was then really relaxing with the nice mood lighting.

We had no idea what was going on outside the aircraft or when the sun had set. I only realised it had gone dark outside when the exterior camera was just showing black, prompting me just to double check....

I did't feel tired until i knew the sun had set.

12th Jun 2008, 21:25
"If that inconveniences the crew, so be it."

Ah Sir, but you are not incoveniencing the Crew. For us the flight time is work time and we expect to be up and about. And on our planes when we have a break, you won't see us because we retire to our own little cozy compartment, where the blinds will be down.
So, if you're ever on one of my flights, all blinds will be up for takeoff and landing as per requirement, and if you decline my polite request to pull them down because of an early sunrise, well, whatever floats your boat.
And you can be assured I will still try to make the flight as nice as possible for you. :)

13 please
13th Jun 2008, 11:59
Hi onboard... absolutely agree with you...

Margeaux, if you think you'll be inconveniencing us, sorry, you're wrong, if anybody will be inconvenienced with a short night/long flight, it will be a number of pax who will be trying to sleep....