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Why do we HAVE to pull down the blinds?

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Why do we HAVE to pull down the blinds?

Old 28th May 2008, 17:38
  #1 (permalink)  
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Why do we HAVE to pull down the blinds?

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?


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Old 28th May 2008, 18:08
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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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 18:08
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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.

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Old 28th May 2008, 18:25
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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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 18:42
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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 !
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Old 28th May 2008, 19:09
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Window Blinds

Top Bunk:

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

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

Thanks for the explanation.

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Old 28th May 2008, 19:37
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You do not HAVE to?....

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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 19:49
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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)
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Old 28th May 2008, 20:37
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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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 21:11
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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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 21:47
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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.
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Old 28th May 2008, 21:50
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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.

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Old 29th May 2008, 09:39
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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.

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

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Old 29th May 2008, 14:18
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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.

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Old 4th Jun 2008, 19:40
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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.
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 00:30
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....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)
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Old 5th Jun 2008, 11:08
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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!

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Old 5th Jun 2008, 11:45
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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.
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