Not all heroes wear capes. Some just write memos to flight attendants…
The Boeing 787’s frustrating window dimmers
There are many areas where new aircraft technology benefits customers, like quieter engines and better fuel efficiency. However, there’s one area where new aircraft technology doesn’t benefit customers — that’s the Boeing 787’s window dimmers.
The Boeing 787 has bigger windows than most other aircraft, which is awesome. However, Boeing decided to eliminate the traditional shades that you pull up and down, and instead replaced them with dimmers. These dimmers can be extremely frustrating, and it’s one of the reasons that I prefer the Airbus A350 to the Boeing 787.
What’s so frustrating about the 787’s window dimmers?
- Even in the fully dimmed mode, it never gets quite as dark as it would with traditional window shades; if the sun is on the side of the aircraft you’re on, expect to feel some heat from it
- Crews can control the window dimmers centrally, and can put the dimmers to their maximum setting and “lock” them, so that you don’t even have the option of looking out the window
- Even when the window dimmers aren’t locked, I find the process of controlling the dimmers with buttons to be clunky at best
I don’t love the 787’s window dimmers system
American tells crews not to “lock” window shades
As noted by @xJonNYC, American Airlines has sent out a memo to flight attendants reminding them not to lock the window dimmers on the Boeing 787, because “it’s important that each customer at a window can control their own experience.”
Here’s the full memo:
Customers sitting in the window seats enjoy watching take off, landing and even spotting landmarks from the sky. The Boeing 787 windows are larger and have unique controls for window shades. Recent feedback about customer experiences on this aircraft is that the windows are being fully dimmed and locked by flight attendants, leaving customers frustrated that they are unable to control the window features from their seat. Do not lock the window features on the Boeing 787. It’s important that each customer at a window can control their own experience.
On behalf of myself and all other avgeeks, THANK YOU!
American is instructing flight attendants not to lock 787 window dimmers
Why do flight attendants control the 787 window dimmers?
For anyone wondering why flight attendants would try to control the window dimmers, I suppose there are two possible explanations:
- One is that flight attendants think it provides a better experience when windows are dimmed and mood lighting is turned on; I believe some flight attendants genuinely think that way
- The other is that flight attendants want to keep the cabin dark in order to encourage people to sleep so that they can provide less service; this is definitely the case for some flight attendants
I’ve flown millions of miles, but I’ll never take for granted the miracle of flight, and how gorgeous the world is from several miles up. While I get everyone is different, I’m always in genuine disbelief when people keep windows fully closed during takeoff and landing, even when they’re not watching a show or trying to sleep.
Who wouldn’t want to enjoy this view?!
American Airlines has told flight attendants on Boeing 787s what us avgeeks have been thinking for a long time, but have largely been afraid to say — stop trying to control the window shades on the 787!
Now, whether or not flight attendants read the memo and/or actually follow it is a different story…
Anyone else love this American Airlines memo as much as I do?