American Airlines Tells Crews To Stop Futzing With 787 Window Dimmers

American Airlines Tells Crews To Stop Futzing With 787 Window Dimmers

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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 noted my frustration with this in a recent review of United’s 787-9 business class.

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?!

Bottom line

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?

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  1. Eddie

    The Flight attendants should be more polite and respect the Passenger own decision to put up and down the shades,
    If you reserve the windows is a reason for that,
    Also if you are paying extra to fly why not leave us alone with recline to take off the whole seats,

  2. Daisy

    For some passengers who are claustrophobic a window seat with a blind that customers can control the dimmer/blind is ideal.

  3. Daisy

    I still like the old fashion thing when I can control the blind of the window to go up and down.

  4. Angrybastard

    Last time I flew on this type plane they not only locked the windows. One attendant kept walking by passing gas while snickering.

  5. Natalie

    If you don't want light from the windows, wear a mask. I want my window open the whole time. I choose the window seat and I meant to look out it, even if I drift in and out of sleep. If I couldn't see out the window I would hate every minute of the flight. Maybe they can offer flights for people who want to fly in a tube but no thanks. I love the look of clouds, of the lands, of the wide ocean. I set next to the window, I should get to control the window.

  6. Azamaraal

    Once again a single person believes that they have the RIGHT to cause grief to between 9 and 19 people who are in line with their window.

    On a polar flight the sun is low in the sky. If a window shade is open then the light from ONE WINDOW floods the cabin. Others, even on the other side of the cabin, will not be able to see their screens or sleep because of the...

    Once again a single person believes that they have the RIGHT to cause grief to between 9 and 19 people who are in line with their window.

    On a polar flight the sun is low in the sky. If a window shade is open then the light from ONE WINDOW floods the cabin. Others, even on the other side of the cabin, will not be able to see their screens or sleep because of the direct sunlight in their eyes.

    So that a millennial can look at the ice floes or the clouds. Continuously. For up to 10 hours. Trust logic - like snowflakes they may be different but from 40,000 feet they all look the same.

    I've suffered through some of these transpolar flights and the flight crew have been powerless because of 777 manual windows. Thank GOD for the ability of the crew to over-rule the selfishness of some people on the 787.

    And now someone at AA wants to eliminate this last attempt to make a flight PLEASURABLE FOR ALL THE PASSENGERS, not just the entitled.

    A sad commentary for all.

  7. Ivan

    I've never flown on the 787, but I would be very pissed if I couldn't see out the window. It is why I choose the window seat.

  8. stogieguy7

    The person in the window seat should control the blind/dimming. It's as simple as that. And, much like the author, I'm in disbelief at the people who take a window seat and immediately slap the blind shut for no reason. What, you ENJOY the experience of experiencing g-forces in a windowless pipe? Flying can be such an amazing and wonderful experience and those of us who relish the view should be able to do so.

    ...

    The person in the window seat should control the blind/dimming. It's as simple as that. And, much like the author, I'm in disbelief at the people who take a window seat and immediately slap the blind shut for no reason. What, you ENJOY the experience of experiencing g-forces in a windowless pipe? Flying can be such an amazing and wonderful experience and those of us who relish the view should be able to do so.

    As for the megalomaniacs who demand that ALL blinds must be closed to watch whatever dreck is loaded on their tablet or to take a nap: get over yourselves. You do you and I'll do me.

  9. PRH

    Bob

    If I pay for a window seat, I'd like to enjoy the window. The world doesn't revolve around you. Bring an eye mask.

  10. Bob

    I like the window dimmers locked. If one passenger with the window dimmer doesn't want to sleep the rest who do cannot with the light blazing in. If I pay for a biz or first class seat, I have paid for a sleeper seat and want to enjoy the ability to sleep and arrive refreshed.

  11. Arbitrary9

    For what it's worth, it seems United might have asked their FAs to do the same thing a year ago: https://travelradar.aero/united-crews-told-to-stop-controlling-windows-centrally/

    Ben's trip report shows how well that request went.

  12. MikeFlyCX

    I used to fly the daytime ORD - LHR flight and yup flight attendants locked the window dark more than 90% of the time. Discovered they can release control seat by seat. Which was great but then another FA would walk by notice the only partially dimmed windows and go lock it. Ring call button and get it unlocked again. Rinse and repeat! FA's also lock the windows on most of my x EUR to...

    I used to fly the daytime ORD - LHR flight and yup flight attendants locked the window dark more than 90% of the time. Discovered they can release control seat by seat. Which was great but then another FA would walk by notice the only partially dimmed windows and go lock it. Ring call button and get it unlocked again. Rinse and repeat! FA's also lock the windows on most of my x EUR to US flights as well. So I'm all for this. Yes, I've been asleep when someone on the other side of the aircraft opens the shade and have forgotten to put on my eyemask - upset with myself more than the person opening the shade. Take responsibility for your own situation!

  13. Charlie

    "flight attendants want to keep the cabin dark in order to encourage people to sleep so that they can provide less service"

    This is correct.

  14. Ed

    Last time I checked, I purchased a class of service. For those who insist it is their window, it stands to reason that I own my aisle seat and therefore do not have to allow a window "seater" to pass. Hold your bladder the entire flight. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  15. Sue Notnesh

    I do understand that window shade should be opened for takeoff and landing, particularly on red eye flights. This, because a flight attendant finally had the courtesy to explain it to me instead of barking "Your shade...open it" Basically, they want our eyes to be adjusted to light in case there is an accident. Fair enough.
    But to expect me to wear an eye mask and a face mask is a bit over the top.

  16. Erik

    American screws up and does the right thing.
    Boeing wasn't thinking about the kids who wait months, perhaps years to be able to sit at the window. If a kid has to look out of a locked window shade that is dimmed by the FAs, he/she is going to remember that for a long time to come with disappointment. Unless it's a 15 hour flight where sleep is necessary, let them look out of...

    American screws up and does the right thing.
    Boeing wasn't thinking about the kids who wait months, perhaps years to be able to sit at the window. If a kid has to look out of a locked window shade that is dimmed by the FAs, he/she is going to remember that for a long time to come with disappointment. Unless it's a 15 hour flight where sleep is necessary, let them look out of the windows during the flight, because it's not only a fascinating experience for them, but it's also educational.

  17. John Mycroft

    I recall many years ago being asked to lower my window shade for the sake of the movie being shown at the front of the cabin. I politely pointed out that I could watch a lousy movie any time but this might be the only time I got to see America's scenery from 30,000 feet. I feel the same way about these shades.

  18. Katy

    So... if I spend my hard earned money on a flight and I want to have the window shade open I think I should be able to. Not everyone that flies somewhere has to be to work early that morning. Why should my experience be less because you want it dark? You can wear an eye mask to make it dark. Don't try to darken my vacation just because you aren't one yourself!

  19. John.S

    Unfortunately, just as there are some lazy FAs, there are also some selfish passengers who keep the window shade up even when everyone else in the cabin is trying to sleep (especially annoying when flying against the sun, so it's in full force but effectively night time).

    If there is an expectation that PAX are sleeping (ie on a 6-14 hour flight between meal service) and the sun is bright and disruptive, close them shades. No excuses.

  20. Jake

    Boeing should remove the FA lock feature. Full stop.

    They should be able to command the shades to "open" or to "close" them, but not to lock them. This is what the can do with the manual ones (i.e. they go around the cabin before landing to open them, and close them at night before sunrise, at least the good airlines do it).

    But then Boeing really only looks at $, not customers. I fly A350 whenever possible.

  21. Ryan Waldron

    And you ignorant people are still worried about the window shades. This is why those few of us left with common sense and more than 4 brain cells to rub together have to put up with all of the BS in the world. Because people like you lot are more worried about the window shades than the airlines stealing your money, selling you seats that don't exist and you wouldn't fit in anyways. You self...

    And you ignorant people are still worried about the window shades. This is why those few of us left with common sense and more than 4 brain cells to rub together have to put up with all of the BS in the world. Because people like you lot are more worried about the window shades than the airlines stealing your money, selling you seats that don't exist and you wouldn't fit in anyways. You self important simpletons are the reason that nothing will ever get better in this country for you or any of the rest of us who are smart enough to demand change.

  22. Sid9678

    I agree with you Lucky I select a window seat cause I wan to look out the window for all of those finding excuses why the FA’s should lock it get a damn sleep mask period. I choose or paid for a window seat cause I intend to use what the damn window is for. Again get a SLEEP MASK and shut up.

  23. Darryl

    Two reasons for FA window control.
    On the ground in hot weather the shades can be made dark to help keep the plane cooler.
    On take off and landing the shades are supposed to be light to assist in emergency egress should an evacuation be needed.

  24. J

    @ everyone who is an FA on here. If I pay thousands of dollars to sit in that seat, I control the window. What if I am staying on a certain time zone and seeing the sun helps? For that flight, that window is mine

  25. Eric Ueckert

    I couldn't disagree more. I've flown on the 787 multiple times - - including with the sun on my side - - and slept like a baby each time. That says a lot since my bedroom at home has blackout curtains. In fact, the 787's windows are one of my favorite features because I Iove being able look out and see something even when fully dimmed. That would be impossible on any other plane without being "that passenger" that raises the shade and disturbs everyone around me.

  26. Kent

    I find the blue glow which fills the cabins from the monitors disturbing, but I don't ask people to stop watching their shows or movies. Similarly, let me enjoy my favorite show - peering out of the window into the horizon, peppered with cotton candy clouds, while I enjoy a nice cup of coffee and relax.

  27. nicolas crocco

    i work for american airlines but my opinions do not represent the company's. on a related issue: why people nowadays fly with the shades shut? I cant believe how anyone wouldn't like to enjoy the amazing views on the short flight between EYW and MIA at 1:30 pm but hey, most windows remained closed. Same thing coming down from BTV to CLT, middle of the day, incredible views available and people totally unamused by it....

    i work for american airlines but my opinions do not represent the company's. on a related issue: why people nowadays fly with the shades shut? I cant believe how anyone wouldn't like to enjoy the amazing views on the short flight between EYW and MIA at 1:30 pm but hey, most windows remained closed. Same thing coming down from BTV to CLT, middle of the day, incredible views available and people totally unamused by it. Maybe im a child inside, but 48 years after my first non rev flight whenever I have the option I ask for a window. Best show on earth.

  28. Ryan Waldron

    You self important "me me me" types are so funny with your "I paid for my seat" delusions. Keep flying long enough until you check in last and find that you didn't even pay for a seat because they sold 20 more than the plane has. Then you will be sitting pissed off (or in hand cuffs if you dare to stand up for your rights) waiting for the next flight that they feel like...

    You self important "me me me" types are so funny with your "I paid for my seat" delusions. Keep flying long enough until you check in last and find that you didn't even pay for a seat because they sold 20 more than the plane has. Then you will be sitting pissed off (or in hand cuffs if you dare to stand up for your rights) waiting for the next flight that they feel like allowing you on to! When are Americans going to wake up and demand that the airlines play by the same rules as ANY other business.

    Sell what you don't have = FRAUD = PRISON
    Force your workers to work without pay = SLAVERY = PRISON
    Make seats that people can't actually fit in and sell them = FALSE ADVERTISING = FRAUD = PRISON

    Why don't you all stop whining about window shades and demand that your elected officials hold the airlines accountable to every law that any other business must adhere to or lock the greedy scumbags up! Then you might see some change and have an airline or two in this country that treat their customers like human beings.

  29. Philip

    When I have to pay extra money to sit in a premium cabin and have a window seat, I should be able to use that amenity. Is it less annoying to have a seat buddy with a laptop on during an entire redeye? Haven't seen any FA to tell them to turn it off because they are flooding the cabin with light, especially their satiate.

    Anyone can wear a face mask to block out...

    When I have to pay extra money to sit in a premium cabin and have a window seat, I should be able to use that amenity. Is it less annoying to have a seat buddy with a laptop on during an entire redeye? Haven't seen any FA to tell them to turn it off because they are flooding the cabin with light, especially their satiate.

    Anyone can wear a face mask to block out light, many airlines still provide them.

    My 1st and only experience flying on a dreamliner was a beautiful flight across the Carribean and I encountered this exact issue, my window was constantly being dimmed and eventually locked dark. Mind you, it was 10a, irritating.

  30. Lisa

    I don't get why people can't just wear a sleep mask if they don't like the light. As someone with severe insomnia, I love just watching the stars on long overnight flights. If you like dark, then bring an eye mask, that way everyone gets what they want.

  31. BlueCat

    I can vouch for the identity of some FA's commenting. They are the one's referring to our passengers as a##holes.

    Real classy. In AA's case, they work hard to keep us at #8.

  32. Jordan march

    Lock it up and let the crew controll the windows. There are always people open the shade and make it bright on overnight flight.

  33. DCYukon

    It annoys me to no end that AA FAs close window shades ( and presumably lock dimmers) prior to boarding and do not ask passengers to open them (or turn off or lock dimmers off) during takeoff and landing, even when there is no summer heat to keep out of the plane. I see this as a safety issue in the event of an emergency at those times. Many foreign carriers I’ve been on include...

    It annoys me to no end that AA FAs close window shades ( and presumably lock dimmers) prior to boarding and do not ask passengers to open them (or turn off or lock dimmers off) during takeoff and landing, even when there is no summer heat to keep out of the plane. I see this as a safety issue in the event of an emergency at those times. Many foreign carriers I’ve been on include an announcement indicating that local law requires shades to be open at those times. When I complained to AA about this a couple years ago, their response was “ It is not an American Airlines policy to have the window shades closed during takeoff and landing.” Yet as of today, the practice continues.

    As for other times during flight, while it would be nice to have centralized control on overnight flights, I long ago resigned myself to the fact that there may be an insomniac or someone whose circadian clock is on a completely different time zone in the same cabin and who will, as a result, choose to be inconsiderate of the fact that they are out of sync with everyone else. Eye shades and ear plugs ( or good noise reduction headphones) are critical gear on long haul flights if one needs sleep as protection against those with, at best, no social skills or, at worst, narcissistic personality disorder.

  34. DC not in DC

    Paid FA should be blocked from micromanaging the activities of paying pax.

    FA cannot block pax from turning on their reading lights, force pax to dim their laptops or cellphones.

    Window shades are not a safety issue, so FA should have no say in the matter.

  35. Eskimo

    @Matt

    No that is wrong, @Bill is correct. He paid for his seat so he gets to use his seat.

    Unfortunate for @Bill, the FA's employers paid for the plane, so they get to use the shades.
    And just like how @Bill feels, the FA's employers don’t want anyone else controlling anything that the airline pay for. Period. End of story.

  36. Aaron

    A solution would be for Boeing to manufacture future 787s with a wide angle camera on the port and starboard sides of the aircraft. They could even install two cameras on each side, one forward of the wing and one aft. If a passenger wants to look out the window, they can do so from their IFE screen in front of them. Airbus already does with the tail mounted cameras.

  37. Michael Lashchuk

    My only 787 flight was on AA DFW to LAX. I routed myself on that flight just to fly on a 787. It was a day flight. Would you know you couldn't even see out the damn window the entire flight. I booked a window and couldn't even see out of it. It was dark for take off and landing too. Every window was the same dark tint. I went from loving that plane to avoiding it at all costs because of the windows.

  38. Ryan

    I've never had a problem with the window being too dim.. You should sleep anyway, get the most out of your trip rather than wasting precious sleep time in flight. On the contrary though the inability to dim and dim enough is frequently a huge problem

  39. Always One

    There is always one.. with the window shade open (mechanical or otherwise)... there is also a few with their overhead light on, doing paperwork, computer input, etc. etc. with or without a mechanical/electrical shade.... they could care less about anyone else....

  40. Alan

    I much prefer those airlines that have installed shades on their 787s. If I wanted a tinted version of what the outside world looks like, I would put on sunglasses.

  41. Norman

    Future supersonic and hypersonic airliners will not have windows. In its place will be a 'virtual' window on a screen to show what's outside. Hope fully they won't be able to be too bright and be like the night screen on your iPad or computer.

  42. David

    I specifically book window seats when I can so I can look out the window whenever I want. Do I leave the window shade open the whole time when many people are trying to sleep? No.
    But, I reserve the right to take a peak at my discretion. Great memo!

  43. Matt

    @Bill, I think you should fly the plane, too. You paid for your ticket after all.

  44. Marcy Kent

    Hooray - now United needs to do the same. I always choose a window seat, in part because I love to look out, daytime, nighttime .... I HATE when the flight attendants lock the dimmers. It is not up to them to decide when I should sleep! If the light is directly bothering someone, I will adjust the shade/dimmer until the angle has changed, but I am sorry - if you are particularly sensitive, wear a eyemask!

  45. Bill

    I don’t want anyone else controlling anything that I pay for. Period. End of story.

  46. Bob Dobbs

    The only reason why a flight attendant would not want to provide service it's because someone has a problem controlling their alcohol. Why do you think the flight attendant would want to withhold something from you? I've seen ear fights break out on flights because someone wants to keep the window shade open and it drowns Out video screens. Personally I don't care. But I noticed flight attendants were more doing things just to keep...

    The only reason why a flight attendant would not want to provide service it's because someone has a problem controlling their alcohol. Why do you think the flight attendant would want to withhold something from you? I've seen ear fights break out on flights because someone wants to keep the window shade open and it drowns Out video screens. Personally I don't care. But I noticed flight attendants were more doing things just to keep the peace. They just need to take the alcohol off the planes that would solve a lot of problems. I have a feeling they're close to doing that anyway. Usually the only people complaining about flight attendants withholding service aren't the ones who've been denied more alcohol.

  47. Klr

    Derek memo isn't flaw. Lights for take off and landing are to be set to match outside. So it case of incident or accident your eyes don't have to adjust to different light.

  48. PaulS

    I learned the value of eye shades and ear plugs ever since I flew in F on UA and the person behind me worked through the night from NRT-SFO (lights on, dictating into his phone). Since then, I've become used to being responsible for my own experience when flying. When it is an overnight flight and I want to sleep - I always bring eye shades (or provided to me on some flights) so if...

    I learned the value of eye shades and ear plugs ever since I flew in F on UA and the person behind me worked through the night from NRT-SFO (lights on, dictating into his phone). Since then, I've become used to being responsible for my own experience when flying. When it is an overnight flight and I want to sleep - I always bring eye shades (or provided to me on some flights) so if someone decides to keep their shade up or someone needs to keep their light on to work, I won't be disturbed. With so may pax crammed into a metal tube, I think it's important to give a little.

  49. polarbear

    good call @derek:
    isn't there a requirement to keep windows open for takeoffs and landings so everybody's eyes are used to light conditions outside. Use the ability to lock shades there!

    1. dingopoo

      @polarbear it's also so that in case of an emergency, rescuers can see inside the plane

  50. Tad Balinger

    I actually love 787’s, including their window dimmers. And I consider them much better and more reliable than old shades that break often on (especially) older aircraft. And I am surprised that AA doesn’t allow cabin crews to control general window dimming when required, it’s just much easier for both sides. 787 is my, by far, favorite airliner so far. Amazing new technology that actually works and makes traveling so much easier and more fun.

  51. Bill

    The FA didn’t pay for my seat, I did.
    If you want to sleep then buy a light blocking sleep mask and get some earplugs.
    I for one can’t sleep on an airplane, so I have my overhead light on in order to read my “real” book. My choice.
    Next thing will be the FAs telling me that using the overhead light is not permitted.

  52. sjs

    Ben, any chance you want to reach out to United and see if they are willing to go on the record with the same policy? Would be lovely.

    Also - for everyone saying they like it dark, there is an easy solution. After the meal, the FAs should dim the lights, but not lock them. That eliminates the careless/lazy person who doesn't close the shades, but leaves freedom for the remaining individuals who do not...

    Ben, any chance you want to reach out to United and see if they are willing to go on the record with the same policy? Would be lovely.

    Also - for everyone saying they like it dark, there is an easy solution. After the meal, the FAs should dim the lights, but not lock them. That eliminates the careless/lazy person who doesn't close the shades, but leaves freedom for the remaining individuals who do not like to be treated like caged animals. If someone is so selfish as to leave the window shade open all flight, you are welcome to (and I certainly would) either politely ask for it to be dimmed or ask the FA to make the same request. It's really not that hard to speak to other people.

  53. D3kingg

    I’m fine with individual window control for the duration of these fluffy woofy 2 hr 30min - 6hr flights while international borders remain closed to Americans . Sorry on an ultra long haul 14+ hr to Asia the FAs should control the windows.

  54. Chris

    These comments are so strange. Have people never heard of sleep masks? The person next to the window should have control over it.

  55. Andre

    I applaud AA for taking in customer experience feedback and attempting to change their processes to address the feedback. That to me is the best policy beyond my personal beliefs.

    That being said it’s my opinion that the person who booked the window seat should have control over the window. If the person wants to flood an overnight flight with light that should be their prerogative. Wear eye shades, book a window seat or fly...

    I applaud AA for taking in customer experience feedback and attempting to change their processes to address the feedback. That to me is the best policy beyond my personal beliefs.

    That being said it’s my opinion that the person who booked the window seat should have control over the window. If the person wants to flood an overnight flight with light that should be their prerogative. Wear eye shades, book a window seat or fly in a premium class. It’s almost like hostel living. It’s rude for your roommates to turn on the light coming back from the bar at 3 am, but it’s what you paid for.

  56. Jason

    For those of you who like to control the windows. What about the long/ultra long hauls where you should be sleeping SIN-LHR, DFW-HKG, DFW-NRT.... especially when taking off during the day. Gotta adjust time to get acclimated.
    There is always a guy on the other side of the plane start opening his window and totally brighten the cabin. :-) Even eyeshade is not able to block out that bright light. For the long and...

    For those of you who like to control the windows. What about the long/ultra long hauls where you should be sleeping SIN-LHR, DFW-HKG, DFW-NRT.... especially when taking off during the day. Gotta adjust time to get acclimated.
    There is always a guy on the other side of the plane start opening his window and totally brighten the cabin. :-) Even eyeshade is not able to block out that bright light. For the long and ultra long haul, I hope they maintain control of the shades and at least ask ppl to be considerate.
    In my experience, ppl who open their window on these flights are usually just not aware of their impact to other fellow passengers, as this has little effect on shorter flights.

  57. DentonAnnie

    Miguel, Miguel, Miguel — how old are you? 100? You definitely win the award for nasty, misogynistic, horny old dude who probably tries to get drunk on the flights and cop a feel as the flight attendants go down the aisle.

    I’m with AA FA — adjust the settings from 3-5 so that passengers have a good view out the window on level 3 without blinding everyone else with the level 1 spotlight. We don’t...

    Miguel, Miguel, Miguel — how old are you? 100? You definitely win the award for nasty, misogynistic, horny old dude who probably tries to get drunk on the flights and cop a feel as the flight attendants go down the aisle.

    I’m with AA FA — adjust the settings from 3-5 so that passengers have a good view out the window on level 3 without blinding everyone else with the level 1 spotlight. We don’t dim the cabin to do less service — that’s just insulting to the entire industry — but we do like to create a calm ambience where people can rest, especially on the long-haul trans-Atlantic or -Pacific flights.

  58. Elsie

    I want to control my window. I like the dimmers. You can set it at 10/20% and still enjoy the view. With shades you can only peep out of the bottom half inch (at most) before the Karens cast aspersions.

  59. Clayton

    @AAFF If you ever find yourself on the same flight as me please make yourself known. I'll clear it with your purser to give you the cash for a bottle of wine!

    A VERY sensible approach but, fromy own experiences at least, your approach is sadly lacking. Whilst there's no way to identify you ( and I wouldn't ask you to) I've screencapped your response and included it an email to AA highlighting this...

    @AAFF If you ever find yourself on the same flight as me please make yourself known. I'll clear it with your purser to give you the cash for a bottle of wine!

    A VERY sensible approach but, fromy own experiences at least, your approach is sadly lacking. Whilst there's no way to identify you ( and I wouldn't ask you to) I've screencapped your response and included it an email to AA highlighting this as quote possibly the perfect approach and one that should be encouraged and distributed widely.

    Now if only BA could be sent this memo( although in their defense they are pretty good at allowing you to alter the settings if asked)!

  60. Dee

    (1) If I book a window seat, which in other respects is rather inconvenient, it is because I want to look out the window. And (2) for all those folks who want to sleep on the red-eye, it is DARK outside for night flights. Seriously.

  61. Austin

    I personally like to control my window, not be forced to. I typically don't sleep well on planes (or in any moving vehicle), so I like to look out the window. For the ones complaining about someone who has the shade up or the dimmer at the lowest setting, there are hundreds of people on the plane, not just you. Now that being said I think it is courteous for the person in the window...

    I personally like to control my window, not be forced to. I typically don't sleep well on planes (or in any moving vehicle), so I like to look out the window. For the ones complaining about someone who has the shade up or the dimmer at the lowest setting, there are hundreds of people on the plane, not just you. Now that being said I think it is courteous for the person in the window seat to have your shade down or the the dimmer set to the max setting when the sun is rising. However if I'm on a red eye, and it's midnight, me being able to see out of the window does not effect you. And especially when you are beginning the descent, I want to see out the window.

  62. Milo

    Locking the shades at the lowest setting is a gift from above on westbound trans-Pacific flights taking off during the day.

    Or eastbound trans-Pacific flights taking off during the night.

    Those who complain about this probably haven't flown enough of either. Or are simply selfish / inconsiderate.

    I had been kept awake by too many a*holes who insisted on opening the window shade wide open in the middle of the night (origination time) when it...

    Locking the shades at the lowest setting is a gift from above on westbound trans-Pacific flights taking off during the day.

    Or eastbound trans-Pacific flights taking off during the night.

    Those who complain about this probably haven't flown enough of either. Or are simply selfish / inconsiderate.

    I had been kept awake by too many a*holes who insisted on opening the window shade wide open in the middle of the night (origination time) when it was broad daylight outside.

    Com'on? What is there to see? Granted, those not living in the Pacific Rim may not understand the vastness of the Pacific, but with the exception of a few westbound polar routes from the eastern seaboard, you are in the middle of a f**king ocean. It's blue sky on top, clouds below you, and blue ocean in the bottom if not blocked by the clouds. Seen it once, seen it all. You can fly for 10+ hours and you are still in the middle of a f**king ocean, with blue sky on top, clouds below you, and blue ocean in the bottom if not blocked by the clouds.

    Besides, with the electro-chromatic dimming on the 787 windows, you can still see it's blue sky on top, clouds below you, and blue ocean in the bottom if not blocked by the clouds, even at the darkest setting. It's better for your eyes too.

    As for the darkest setting not blocking out the sun, except for a few north-south long-haul routes, as a seasoned traveler, you should be able to figure out which side the sun is on for a given flight. Follow the science, and pick the opposite side; it is an easy solution. Besides, when the sun is shining bright on your side, even traditional shades can't block the heat from the sun.

  63. Ken M.

    If want to control all of the windows, pay for all of the window seats on the aircraft. If you want to look out the window you should be able to look out the window if you purchased a window seat. If you want to sleep, wear an eye mask. If you want control the window of a person sitting at that window, compensate them for it. I like looking out the window even at night. I like to find landmarks and figure my location from those landmarks, even at night.

  64. Ryan Waldron

    I'm not one for blind ignorant patriotism....that can very easily be manipulated into tyranny, but one thing I would pride myself on if I were a pilot or airline would be proudly flying Boeing aircraft. It amazes me that you would rather fly on a surrender monkey bus than a dreamliner over something as trivial as the window controls.

  65. RM

    1. Can't sleep smashed into a tiny economy seat.
    2. My wife gets motion sickness if she can't look out the window. Do you want it dark or not to be puked on?
    3. Wear a sleep mask if you want to sleep.

  66. Aman

    Flight attendants should be able to dim the windows on overnight flights when most passengers would prefer to sleep. On most overnight flights I have flown, flight attendants have always asked passengers to keep the window shades down.

  67. Drew

    I'm a light sleeper but would compromise with not locking the darkest setting andup to halfway dim. But the irony of some of these comments is unbelievable. Some don't think they should be 'forced' to have a dark window so hundreds of other people can sleep, and their solution is to force the rest of the cabin to purchase and wear sleep masks.

  68. Infrequent Flyer

    Interesting. On a long-haul from Hong Kong to EWR, I raised the window shade overnight to see if stars were visible. And then left it up. An attendant asked me to put it down. I asked why, and he said “radiation”. Umm... they aren’t lead-lined, are they? And this new dimmer feature seems to indicate that claim was BS anyway.

  69. DW

    Hmm, I think I have a solution that has been around for ages. Just as cruise ships have outside cabins with balconies, and inside cabins with no window, maybe future planes can have a section, maybe half the plane, with no windows at all, and then an area at the rear with windows - just like the old days of smoking or non-smoking, you can select your seat based on dark, or light...

  70. Emily

    I don't like to dim my window or lower the shade since the natural light allows me to relax and rest. I find the natural light less of an annoyance compared to the bright flickering of the larger hi-def screens installed these days. Anyone who disagrees can use eye shades. I have generally never had any trouble with keeping the window undimmed except once on an Air Canada flight. I basically told the FA that...

    I don't like to dim my window or lower the shade since the natural light allows me to relax and rest. I find the natural light less of an annoyance compared to the bright flickering of the larger hi-def screens installed these days. Anyone who disagrees can use eye shades. I have generally never had any trouble with keeping the window undimmed except once on an Air Canada flight. I basically told the FA that if anyone complained, I would dim the window. No problems thereafter.

  71. Nate

    If you can't sleep because of lights, wear a sleep mask and stop complaining.

  72. Ben L.

    @Miguel please be less demonstrably horny in the comments section

  73. Mark G

    Are sleep eye masks no longer a thing? Let everyone control their own window.

  74. jcil

    If you want to sleep use the eye covers that are included in the amenity kits ( you know, that cheap little pouch of junk that gives you that orgasm of delight.) Let the rest of us marvel over the outside wonder that is our world.

  75. Jeff

    Demetrius:

    Which flight attendants are you with? The ones Lucky thinks are overbearing and know the best lighting? Or the ones Lucky thanks are lazy and trying to get out of providing service?

  76. M. Casey

    Flying into LAX in a window seat is the most enjoyable for me. I flew this AC domestically, and I thought this “new” plane had broken window shades. It wasn’t until later I realized the FA locked them for the entire flight from Texas.

    Worse yet, is that you have to look up on seat guru - the airlines do not tell you - which seats have misaligned or missing windows. This too can be frustrating.

  77. Billy

    Flight attendant here. I know people love to hate us, and some of us deserve it, but we don’t dim the windows to provide less service. People still ring their call lights no matter how dark the cabin is. We also don’t lock the windows during takeoff or landing, and generally I’ve seen my coworkers keep them unlocked at night and during sunsets. A lot of us are avgeeks and like looking outside too. I’m...

    Flight attendant here. I know people love to hate us, and some of us deserve it, but we don’t dim the windows to provide less service. People still ring their call lights no matter how dark the cabin is. We also don’t lock the windows during takeoff or landing, and generally I’ve seen my coworkers keep them unlocked at night and during sunsets. A lot of us are avgeeks and like looking outside too. I’m one of them!

    Our reasoning is pretty simple though. We keep the dimmers locked during cruise on bright sunny days and during sunrise because most travelers like it that way. A lot of others don’t care as well. The worst is when you have 120 people who want to sleep or watch movies and you have this one random guy with the window shade wide open and the Sun shining in everyone’s face for 8 hours. I doubt even the most dedicated avgeek wants to look at clouds and ocean for 8 hours.

    I get the whole freedom to choose thing, but I just don’t feel that bad for the 2 or 3 people that are inconvenienced by this.

    1. Roma

      What about some
      Of us extremely claustrophobic. We will never be able to fly again because of your abuse. Give us the choice to open the window. And my kids bug for window seat. They want to look out. We will gladly sit in back of plane for this.

  78. donnybrasco

    there will always be the a hole who leaves his window up and falls asleep…

  79. Joeboo

    100% support the FAs!
    Nothing worse than that one dork who keeps opening shade in the dark cabin/ people trying to sleep etc...

  80. Miguel

    Benyamin, you missed the good ol days when stewardesses had a waist line, and proudly were featured in TV ads inviting the flying public to choose “tea, coffee or me”. If you were lucky, when the lights were dimmed you could catch a glimpse of one sitting on the lap of a lucky dude in first class. Never ending service kept coming for some lucky flyers on layovers long after the flight was over. Ahhh!

  81. Timo

    I'm against the flight attendants...and I'm married to an AA FA. My window my choice!

  82. Russ Talbot

    I hate those dimmers on the 787. Worst feature Boeing ever put in a passenger aircraft. If you want to sleep, use eye covers. Don’t force your will on the entire cabin.

  83. Juan

    Yeah for most of these short flights, it's not really necessary to have the windows controlled by the FAs, especially since most of AA's 787 flights are domestic right now.

    I will say though, it's pretty common for non-US carriers on long-haul flights to ask passengers to close their window shades. I've experienced this on Virgin Australia, KLM, Air France, and Iberia in the past. US carriers are probably the exception when it comes to...

    Yeah for most of these short flights, it's not really necessary to have the windows controlled by the FAs, especially since most of AA's 787 flights are domestic right now.

    I will say though, it's pretty common for non-US carriers on long-haul flights to ask passengers to close their window shades. I've experienced this on Virgin Australia, KLM, Air France, and Iberia in the past. US carriers are probably the exception when it comes to this.

    That said, I also like keeping my window open. However, I also pick my seat so the sun won't be shining through the window the whole flight. I'm also usually on my laptop and/or watching a movie on the PTV, and I don't mind turning up the brightness to overcome the glare. To me it's like working next to a regular window at a cafe (back when we could do that regularly lol).

  84. Min

    Therefore you need a leader onboard that run the show ….. aside why the cabin crew need to control the locked of the windows?
    US Carriers cabin crews are not being hold accountable

    Foreign Flag carriers will never dream of doing such …..

  85. jetset

    I agree in providing control to passengers generally but it is incredibly annoying when one passenger wants the window open on an otherwise dark cabin during a redeye flight as the sun is rising. I fully support FA's locking windows in that scenario.

    Otherwise your trip report from the UA flight is completely bizarre - they shouldn't be locking window shades to dark during taxi and takeoff, they should actually be locked completely transparent! I've...

    I agree in providing control to passengers generally but it is incredibly annoying when one passenger wants the window open on an otherwise dark cabin during a redeye flight as the sun is rising. I fully support FA's locking windows in that scenario.

    Otherwise your trip report from the UA flight is completely bizarre - they shouldn't be locking window shades to dark during taxi and takeoff, they should actually be locked completely transparent! I've actually had pilots on all my recent domestic UA flights specifically ask folks to keep window shades open for takeoff for safety reasons (which is rarely enforced in the US normally).

  86. Non-AA FA

    Nah, I'm with the FAs on this one, especially on red eye and long haul flights which you generally would find the 787 on pre-pandemic. As an FA myself, keeping the cabin dark during those times so passengers can sleep is important, and (at least for me and my crews) has nothing to do with doing less service.

    Last time I flew a 787 was on UA, and the dimmers were locked on their darkest...

    Nah, I'm with the FAs on this one, especially on red eye and long haul flights which you generally would find the 787 on pre-pandemic. As an FA myself, keeping the cabin dark during those times so passengers can sleep is important, and (at least for me and my crews) has nothing to do with doing less service.

    Last time I flew a 787 was on UA, and the dimmers were locked on their darkest during the portion of the flight when most are wanting to sleep. It stayed dark, and everyone who wanted to was able to sleep. And even on it's dimmest setting, I can still look outside and enjoy the view. Last time on AA? The asshole 10 rows back wanted to 'control his own window shade experience', flooding the cabin with light and keeping half of us awake, despite multiple people complaining and FAs asking him to close his shade. Lots couldn't sleep because of how bright the cabin was from just one open shade.

    Moral of the story; one person's 'window shade experience' is not more important than everyone else's 'sleep experience'.

  87. Josh R

    Sorry, but I am not with you on this. There is nothing worse than being on an overnight flight with some idiot that keeps the window wide open, bathing the entire cabin in light. This is particularly problematic on westbound Europe to Asia flights, as you get sun early in the flight when you should be sleeping.

    I am 100% with the flight attendants on this one.

  88. fahrradman

    Umm, I think we are taking things a bit to far when we presume nefarious intent on the part of flight attendants. Some foreign airlines (Cathay Pacific comes to mind) enforce a closed window shade policy on long haul flights. The intent is to allow people to sleep without being bothered by bright light from open window shades. I don't agree with this as I sometimes like to look out the window mid-flight but understand why they do this.

  89. neil

    @Ben (Lucky)
    Can you give us an update when to expect the new commenting feature you revealed months ago. Thanks

  90. neil

    Ben L says:
    I like @AA FA’s approach. I get frustrated on a longhaul flight when someone decides to inconsiderately flood the cabin with bright light."

    How about FAs using the same approach they do on non 787 flights. In case it is a real disturbance approach the passenger and ask/suggest they lower the shade. That's not difficult is it:-)

  91. Bandmeeting

    Why block out windows when it is dark outside?

  92. SEM

    All the comments seem to support "I want what I want" which is fine, just be comfortable with that...

  93. NPS-CA

    On overnight flights this is insane. Lock it to the dimmest setting. On domestic, or eastbound and north/south daytime international sure, leave it open control. Whomever in AA management decided this is an utter buffoon who has never had to sleep often on flights and be ready for work the next AM

  94. Ben L.

    I like @AA FA's approach. I get frustrated on a longhaul flight when someone decides to inconsiderately flood the cabin with bright light.

    1. Serena

      The world does not revolve around you. Wear a sleep mask.

  95. Endre

    All the Donnas and Karens at AA do agree on keeping “the cabin dark in order to encourage people to sleep so that they can provide less service”. They hate to serve people. They love to yell at and constantly remind passengers that cabin crews are “only here for our safety”.

  96. derek

    Memo is flawed because it doesn't require FAs to lock the windows to bright upon takeoff and landing.

  97. DenB®

    I'm printing this and bringing it with me on every AA flight:

    "It’s important that each customer at a window can control their own experience."

    Hear, hear.

  98. Marky Mark

    Sorry, Demetrius, I am 100% in favor of this. I'm right there with you, Lucky, in that if I book a window seat, I booked it because I wanted to look out the damn window at something.

  99. AA FA

    On domestic or short haul, I agree with AA. It's not on us as flight attendants to demand a dark cabin.

    On long haul, it's on us to help regulate the sleep cycle for our passengers so they arrive as well rested as possible. The plane was literally designed to be used that way. When I lock the windows overnight on long haul only, I lock them between 3 & 5 (1 being the...

    On domestic or short haul, I agree with AA. It's not on us as flight attendants to demand a dark cabin.

    On long haul, it's on us to help regulate the sleep cycle for our passengers so they arrive as well rested as possible. The plane was literally designed to be used that way. When I lock the windows overnight on long haul only, I lock them between 3 & 5 (1 being the brightest, 5 being darkest) so you at least have some control over it. Leave it to the one a**h*le to want his window shade open when 300 other people are trying to sleep.

    Do my coworkers overuse this function? Yes. Is it occasionally important to lock the windows? Absolutely.

  100. tipsyinmadras

    This, thank you. Hope other airlines follow suit. It’s one of the things I hate most about the 787.

  101. david

    I don’t see why anyone was afraid to say this.

  102. Demetrius

    I am with the flight attendants 100%

Featured Comments Load all 108 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Roma

What about some Of us extremely claustrophobic. We will never be able to fly again because of your abuse. Give us the choice to open the window. And my kids bug for window seat. They want to look out. We will gladly sit in back of plane for this.

Serena

The world does not revolve around you. Wear a sleep mask.

Eddie

The Flight attendants should be more polite and respect the Passenger own decision to put up and down the shades, If you reserve the windows is a reason for that, Also if you are paying extra to fly why not leave us alone with recline to take off the whole seats,

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