United Airlines Updates Window Shade Policy

Filed Under: United

It’s always interesting to see how airline “safety” policies differ around the world. United Airlines is making two updates to their inflight protocols that seem like they’re trying to accomplish opposite things (sort of).

United Airlines will require passengers to open window shades

As of February 1, 2020, United Airlines will instruct passengers to keep window shades open during taxi, takeoff, and landing.

It doesn’t sound like this policy will actually be enforced, which is to say that crews are being instructed to make the announcement, but not to enforce that everyone is complying with their instructions.

Even though I’ve flown millions of miles, I’m constantly amazed by the beauty of flight, and I refuse to miss a takeoff or landing if I’m in a window seat. It’s just so magical. It always surprises me when I’m on a plane where a majority of passengers have their window shades down.

Most non-US airlines already have a policy requiring passengers to keep window shades open during critical phases of flight. This is a security policy — the logic is that in the event of an evacuation, having your window shades open will give you a better sense of where you are and what the conditions are.

United Airlines will no longer require passengers to keep electronics unplugged

As of February 1, 2020, United Airlines will no longer require passengers to keep personal electronic devices unplugged during taxi, takeoff, and landing.

Lots of airlines around the world have this requirement, and the logic is simple — in the event of an evacuation, you don’t want people tripping over wires.

But it seems United is abolishing that, and will allow passengers to keep electronics plugged in.

Bottom line

In many ways these two policy updates seem at odds with one another. Using conventional global airline “safety” standards, United is improving safety by requiring window shades to be open, and they’re reducing safety by allowing electronics to remain plugged in.

Of course the chances of either of these policies making a difference in the event of an emergency are fairly minimal. I’m not suggesting United is necessarily any safer or less safe as a result of these policy changes.

As an aviation geek and someone who is rather neurotic about keeping electronics charged on planes (I’ve clearly spent too much time on ex-US Airways A321s without power ports), I like both of these changes. I love to have my window shade open, and I also like to charge electronics at every opportunity.

What do you make of United Airlines’ policy changes?

(Tip of the hat to Live and Let’s Fly)

Comments
  1. Excellent! As I’ve said for decades, “What’s the best thing about being high? The View!” 🙂

  2. Windows are not just for ‘inside looking out’ but also ‘outside looking in’. Rescue team just can’t randomly cut and open the fuselage with no visual, they have to make sure it is safe for them and passengers.

    I also doubt USB cables at waist level can cause you to trip. It’s not attached to any heavy object nor anyone should care about phones flying around when you trip the cable in an evacuation.

    Kudos to United for advocating for safety. They have come a long way since David Dao.

  3. We flew United 5 days ago and the window shades announcement was made. We found it odd that a uniformed United pilot sitting across the aisle didn’t abide by the instructions and the crew didn’t ask him to raise the shade.

  4. This is ridiculous! Nothing gets me more worked up then when I have a window seat, with a window shade that has been placed under MY control, and the sun is baking down on me and my tablet screen, while we sit “15th in line for takeoff”, and the stewardess instructs me to put it up. Really! I am supposed to leave it open for my safety? Whatever – just more rules/regulations and people trying to have their ‘control’ fingers on everything. What’s next, “please close your air nozzles”, “please turn off your seatback entertainment systems”, “Sir, your seatbelt was not tightened with 5 ft-lbs of force”… ugh

  5. Nice change, but was hoping that they also forbade their crew on the 787 from locking out passenger controls of their own silly shading system.

    It is the most frustrating, negative and claustrophobic aspect of flying UA 787s

  6. My wife has anxiety about flying and having the window shade open only makes it worse to the point of her being on the verge of a panic attack or worse, so we always keep it down and will continue to do so, especially on taxi and takeoff. If we ever get pushback from a crew I’ll let them make the call of keeping the window shade open and potentially having to return to the gate for a medical emergency or leaving it closed.

  7. @ Sam just don’t book her a window seat then, or better yet, if she can’t handle flying without having a medical emergency, she shouldn’t fly.

    I always find it strange flying domestically in the US with the window shades down during take off and landing. I don’t like it, it actually makes me nervous and claustrophobic.

  8. AA years ago started proactively closing shades before passengers board the plane, presumably as part of the aircraft cleaning routine. At the time I thought it was under some misguided idea that it saves cost on airconditioning. They still do it and I find it highly irritating. They don’t, however, care about electronics being plugged, and keep the power on during taxi, take off and landing.

    CX, on the other hand, has always been overly religious about keeping shades open before take-off and landing, as well as keeping electronics unplugged (even though power is off).

    Seems like United is adopting half of CX and half of AA’s routines with these new rules.

  9. @ Sam – then perhaps your wife should take Amtrak?

    I think this is a great policy and hope it is enforced. The glare on someone’s tablet or seatback screen is a minor inconvenience for the potential safety impact. Assume there’s a crash or other incident – wouldn’t you want emergency crews to be able to see inside the cabin to determine if there’s a fire, conscious people, etc?

    @ R-Dog – I can’t say I feel sorry for you. I’m sure you can deal with a little glare on your screen while you’re watching GoT or the Real Housewives or whatever else you binge on. I think safety comes first. And I know – it’s a real pain when the “stewardess” asks you do something.

  10. @Sam @R-Dog – You both need aisle and middle section seating, especially Sam’s wife!…actually she should wear an eye mask during these phases of flight.

  11. The policy of having window shades up certainly isn’t enforced on many flights leaving PHX. I’ve been on numerous flights where the FAs want them down to minimize the heat during the frequently hot weather out in AZ.

    Like everything else, everyone thinks their opinion is the most important one. Sleep or reading? Hot or cold?

  12. Love this. Drives me absolutely nuts when we are rolling down the runway to takeoff, or on final approach, and the person in the window seat has the shade down. Looking out the window during those phases of flight is by far the best part of flying, which is why I make every effort to sit in a window seat. When I board, I immediately open every shade that I can reach if they are shut.

  13. Oh, it is no secret why some passengers want to keep their window shade down during all aspects of flight. They are afraid of flying!

    I was a full time flight instructor for three years. My first instructor told me to cover the instruments in case of an engine failure. That way I would not scare myself!

  14. I’m gobsmacked by the several correspondents who select window seats and then insist on keeping the shade closed. Hint: aisle seat don’t have windows to worry about.

    And @R-Dog, the 1970’s are calling you to remind you that flight attendants are no longer called stewardesses.

  15. What a bunch of self-important, self-serving, whiny, entitled zeros! First world problems abound and the Amazon is burning. There are 100’s of rules and regulations you may not like, but when you buy a ticket, you’ve agreed to abide by certain rules, regulations AND policy. FAA, FCC, Corporate all apply. Policy differs slightly on ALL airlines, but just because you think it’s bogus or in error doesn’t mean your entitled self gets to ignore them. It’s still their policy and they have the right to error on the side of safety. If having to open your window shade for the duration of taxi, take-off, and landing is what sends you into an orbital tizzy or too much abuse to your fragile ego, perhaps you have bigger, personal problems to address. It’s not ALL about YOU. Zen out, stop being such a control freak, and change your seating preference to an aisle seat. Better yet, find another carrier that doesn’t have at least ONE ‘bogus’ policy that manages to put you into a ego bruised meltdown. As my dad would say…’GROW UP!’

  16. Was on a United flight this morning and can confirm that both of these were in place, although I didn’t know they represented policy changes. Thought the flight attendants just forgot to make people put away their laptops.

    I agree that its ridiculous that many passengers keep the window shades closed. Typically, I take an aisle seat and get frustrated that I can’t see out the window. Of course, the exception would be redeyes where you don’t want to be awoken by bright sunshine or if the sun is shining directly into the window.

  17. I always select a window seat to make sure I can close the shade. I will even pay extra for that seat if need be. It’s my personal preference and it makes the flight much more relaxing and enjoyable. I accept that others have a completely opposite preference. But we also have the issue of those 787 window shades where the flight attendants make an arbitrary decision to lock out the controls. I hate that.

  18. I have done about 6 trips in the month of January on United so far and everything stated above is actually already happening. Now for the complainers that I’ve seen above about too much light not being able to see their tablets or laptops this is only for take off and landing , and you can always take the train or covered wagon. I think United went the right way here. These guys have improved so much since Oscar took over. I’m very impressed.

  19. @CF Frost – Its the age old dilemma. Pick a window seat so you can look outside and sleep easier, or an aisle, so you can easily get up to use the restroom or stretch your legs. I always choose the latter if its over a 2 hour flights.

  20. Many airlines kept the shades down during cleaning and boarding because it kept the cabin considerably cooler on hot days.

    Back in the days before IFE’s, when they showed the in flight movie on overhead screens, we were told to lower our shades for obvious reasons. I didn’t care to watch the movie. My movie was looking outside the window so l would open my shade, at least halfway but was told to put it back down. I complied but wasn’t happy about it. I also didn’t want to be branded as self centered or selfish.

  21. Hmmm… so I too want to keep the window shade down to keep the plane cooler during long taxiing – but that makes me ignorant to rules and safety I suppose.

    Let’s finalize this right now – someone please go to the NTSB website – examine any (or all if you wish) of the aviation crash reports – and please find me a single instance of deaths either caused, or prevented, from window shades open/closed! Find one – I’ll eat my crow and say no more.

  22. I noticed last week our purser specifically said “you dont have to unplug your electronics” which caught me by surprise. Welcomed change of course.

    “Even though I’ve flown millions of miles, I’m constantly amazed by the beauty of flight, and I refuse to miss a takeoff or landing if I’m in a window seat. It’s just so magical. It always surprises me when I’m on a plane where a majority of passengers have their window shades down.”

    100% agree. This is me every time as well.

  23. How about updating the policy to using glassware for PDB. Foreign carriers do it. Or heck, just be consistent in offering PDB!

  24. The airline I worked for required all window shades to be open for taxi, take-off, and landing solely for safety reasons. Why? So that passengers–and especially cabin crew can evaluate fire danger outside the aircraft. Once opened, a window exit cannot be closed (we were trained to throw the exit out of aircraft so as not to slow down an evacuation) and could allow exterior fire to pass into the cabin. Ever tried to evaluate for fire from the tiny windows in the doors of a 737? Having the sun spoil the view on your laptop seems a small price to pay to save lives.

  25. The guy in the window seat controls the blind. I have it open almost all the time just because. But it is my decision – it’s why I choose that seat.

    If light bothered me I’d choose a middle seat.

  26. I have to disagree with your last remark. I don’t think it’s right to judge the necessity of a safety policy from your particular perspective.
    Sure, the statement is valid, and when coupled with the fact that emergencies are extremely rare, it probably makes very little (or no) difference whether you have your electronics unplugged or the window shades open from a statistical perspective.
    But when it comes to safety, we don’t talk about statistics. If we want maximum safety, we don’t want to take any avoidable risk, no matter how unlikely that risk is. If a passenger feel and failed to evacuate because of poor cabin visibility or a dangling USB cable, is it fair for that pax’s family? What would they think if they knew they lost a loved one because another pax wanted to watch a movie on his iPad during take off but the sun is too bright?
    Remember, it only takes one live to be saved for all these effort to be worth it.

  27. I just wonde at what point someone’s life becomes so joyless that they are indifferent to the magic of flight, views of the world from 11,000m, and require ideal sleeping conditions for 90 minutes on a Tuesday afternoon.

    Contrary to what is portrayed by most business travelers in the USA, you can derive happiness from more than just daytime sleep and aggressive evening emails.

  28. Lorenzo is correct! My husband is an airline captain and my son is a flight attendant. All of you whining and complaining about rules and regulations you don’t understand might quit all that if you were trapped on a plane that caught on fire!

  29. @Jerry well said. Every opportunity to get on a place and see the magnificent invention that made the world the way it is now is just awesome. Some people don’t appreciate it regardless of the fact the flight has affected everyone’s life in one way or another. Window shades should definitely be up for safety reasons. It can help orientate people in a split second accident.

  30. I’ve flown over 7 million flight miles and I keep the shade closed due to the brightness at 35,000 feet. It’s like being outside & not wearing sunglasses. Take off & landing, yes, open that shade. Air France requires it for all seats, and I’m glad US airlines are starting to get it.

  31. Go ahead and keep your things plugged in, you will be buying new things as the power surge from switching from land power to plane power fries all your shiny new lighting, turbo, whatever high speed charger you have plugged in.

    I’ve gone through 5 so far by accidentally not unplugging them at least during the power changeover.

  32. ‘Sounds like some people have a lot of time on their hands.
    Just take your seat and make your peace with your seat mate, flight attendant, and prevailing rules.
    There will always(probably) be another flight. Life is short. Enjoy this one.

  33. If RDog isn’t the troll I think they are, then they are definitely the person who stops in a burning plane to grab their luggage.

  34. Next will they make people in exit rows put their belongings in the overhead locker?
    I think I have only seen it in America that people are allowed to put bags under the seat in front of them in the emergency exit row. Surely that is as much a safety hazard as the windows.

  35. I fly Air Canada frequently and they always require electronic devices to be unplugged from power ports during taxi, takeoff and landing. Although once I was unaware of the policy on a flight from YUL to LGA while I was sitting in the front row of business class on an Embraer 190 and the “directrice de service” didn’t say anything and she let me keep it plugged in.

  36. I think United has realized it would be impossible for someone to trip over a plugged in device since their outlets are so worn out it’s almost impossible to keep an item plugged in.

  37. Oh for crying out loud . . . GET OVER IT!!. Keeping the shade open is JUST FOR takeoff and landings!! It’s a safety issue people. What a bunch of whining children!! As a non-airline pilot, I’m more concerned about flying with some of these twatwaffles that are griping about this. I can just imagine at some (God forbid) critical time, these self-centered meatheads will start arguing with flight crew’s critical instructions, thus imperiling all our lives.

  38. The European requirements are very much driven by the situational need to understand a potential fire situation outside the plane following the aftermath of the British Airtours Manchester accident.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Airtours_Flight_28M

    Emergency exits were opened onto smoke and flames.

    Similarly cabin light should be similar to external ambient light so pax are not evaluating a brightly lit plane and then stumbling around in the dark.

    I know, America does everything better, but these safety items do amaze me.

  39. Well I sure wish AA ( who I work for) would have the window shade up policy. Nothing upsets me more than when I’m sitting in an aisle seat (wishing I had a window seat) and most of the shades are down all around me as the plane is roaring down the runway for talk off. And then again I can’t see anything as the plane descends and touches down. I truly want to scream! Unless for a special condition mentioned above such as anxiety, I just don’t get it! I truly don’t!!

  40. This why I fly as little as possible any more. Oh, not because of a carrier changing policy, but because it means coping with the ridiculous self-centeredness of the whiners commenting here about how their preferences are the most important in a captive population.

  41. Bottom line… it’s a silly rule that would be just another burden to flight attendants. For the extreme rare of occasions when evacuation of a taxiing passenger plane, or one slid off a runway, etc is necessary (cuz let’s be honest, any other time that an incident occurs while the plane is moving you probably wont come out of it) I am fairly certain there is about 1 second of time available that would be required to open the closed shade and make an assessment of which side is the safest. But hey, let’s let people jam their overstuffed, oversized carryons under the seats, have wires dangling everywhere, and allow people on their cell phones (you can after you land after all) because those are not hazards at all!! Quoting John Stossel…”Give me a break”…

  42. Am literally sitting on a qantas flight. Have always had to have window shades up for takeoff and landing. Out of interest I asked the FA why. Apparently it is safety. If there is a problem they can quickly look out the window.

  43. Regardless of the devices being plugged in or not I’ve found that United crew will not activate them until they want to do so, typically after 10,000 feet.

  44. @Stephen – thanks for sharing that… it is interesting. In that summary I don’t see anything that would reference exits opening up onto the fire/smoke – let alone ANYTHING that could be tied back to visibility out a window. All the assigned causes (in that article) are engineering failures including an emergency exit that did not function. If all these people in these posts who are playing the safety card actually CARED about safety – then they should be pounding the doors of the airlines to fix more egregious safety concerns, such as: to cease use of all electronics until after takeoff and from landing to gate – as well as banning use of noise cancelling headphones during these same periods… way more risk to safety than window shades…

  45. I thought shades had to be up…and personally I HATE not being able to see out during take-off and landing…..
    I hope they enforce it!!!

  46. Delta told me to close the shade when we landed to keep the sun from heating up the inside of the plane. Guess that’s why Delta rates higher

  47. As an expat Brit who grew up with this rule (you even try to close it, they’ll tell you to open it), I’m surprised it took this long and didn’t even know it wasn’t a rule. I always have mine open until we get above 10,000ft and open again as we descend (if the sun is on my side), or just leave it open. Yes I understand the fear of flying thing, but I’d assume not being able to see out is worse as you’ll lose orientation. Even at night I like to know the lights are below me and not above, and during the day (aside from clear air turbulence), being able to see clouds (especially cumulonimbus) you can prep yourself for possible bumpiness and finish that coffee.

  48. One rule that they don’t have but should is that passengers should keep their shoes on at any time there is even the remotest possibility that there will be an evacuation of the aircraft. I often see passengers slip their shoes off during taxi or not put them on again on approach when they could soon possibly have to run to get away from the plane. I think that a good policy would be to advise that shoes should be kept on anytime the seat belt advisory is lit. It could save someone’s life.

  49. Hasn’t this been a rule for years? I’d rather the loud-cell-phone-talker, who hasn’t stopped speaking after takeoff rule, be addressed. For clarity, “I didn’t hear him say, “The pilots are dead. Please talk me down.”

  50. Worked for a major US carrier for over 20 years. Here’s the deal with window shades. There is no regulations governing shades. In fact in a crash gravity will push the shades down. This is way most manufactures make shades at the over wing windows close and open by pushing the shades down towards the floor vs. Pulling them down from top of the window to the floor. This policy of opening shades is guidance via the particular airline. If you’re in a crash be prepared to open shades to access conditions outside the aircraft for best practices.

  51. I’m not sure of the rules in the US however in Australia the reason the shades are placed open during take off and landing is for safety – people get it when they’re told “ Do you want the real reason or a fake one “ ? hit me with the truth , “It’s so people looking in can see if you’re actually dead or alive “ when the aircraft crashes” – oh …….ok

  52. I’ve had AA Customer Service folks lie to me and tell me (after I filed a complaint with the FAA) that their policy is to keep shades open during taxi, takeoff and landing and that on rare occasions, such as during high temperatures, do they let people keep them closed. This, after I pointed out that they have NO announcements or enforcement of this supposed policy even during cold temperatures. Flight attendants also confirmed that the only shades that must stay open at these times are those in exit rows.

    Safety first, bozos.

  53. GSNick: U.S. carriers can offer pre-departure beverages in glass now. No problem at all.

    Oh, but they are pre-departure. They have to be picked-up PRIOR to push-back.

    Guess which option would receive more complaints?

    Foreign carriers are not subject to FAA rules on glassware after pushback.

  54. That’s kind of weird with electronics because it isn’t really a safety problem. It’s more like if there’s a surge from engine startup and a power transfer from the apu to the idg’s when the bus tie is made that your devices may get fried. More for your own good than a safety problem since most plugs would come off with minimal pressure…

  55. Is this not a regulation in (almost) all countries rather than an airline choice? I have flown a lot, in many different countries and they all ask you to open the window shades during take-off and landing – except in the US. I always find it odd (and rather dangerous) that these are kept closed when flying in the US. Passengers should be aware of the outside surroundings in the event of a Mayday situation. Further, when it is dark, the cabin lights are turned off and the window shades opened to ensure passengers’ eyes have adapted to the light outside. This is crucial in an emergency. It is a no-brainer and should be a law rather than a choice.

  56. LOL at this whole discussion. I am a US Army Airborne vet. I used to JUMP out of airplanes. I prefer to sit in the window seat, because I love to look out the window. If you don’t like to look out the window… wait for it… DON’T LOOK OUT THE DAMN WINDOW! When I read posts above about people who go out of their way to book a window seat so they can deny everyone else the ability to look out the window it boggles my mind. If you are that worked up about it, wear a face mask and sleep the whole flight.

  57. @ Bob J: Shoes MUST be off during an evacuation because some high (or even mid) heels will pierce the chutes, and you are not going to start discriminating between high, medium and low heels in a security announcement.

    @ Eskimo: One cannot just “Cut and Open” the skin of a plane, except in specific areas which are identified with markings outside. the cabin structure is much too thick and hard, and even emergency vehicles are not equipped with “universal can openers” which would be heavy and huge. AFAIK, nobody’s ever been saved that way since the time of the DC3.

    As to window shades open during T.O and landing, it has been generalized long ago worldwide except in the US, and for a very simple reason: You open an emergency exit or a door on the side where there is even a small fire and it gets sucked in full speed into the cabin. A small fire may be present in only a small area visible only from 3 or 4 and opening on that side almost automatically means DRAMA.

  58. I like the shades opened because I’m a (private) pilot and like to see what’s going on. Not to mention the nice views. My husband, on the other hand, always wants the shade closed. I do think there are potential safety issues with it closed during critical phases of flight, as the passengers then have no idea what’s going on outside, and there are times in an emergency that that could be very important.

  59. Amazing this wasn’t already regulated and is now simply optional?? Way to go America – truly the land of the free!

  60. Not sure if @Sam is making things up, but it’s unusual that his wife gets more anxiety with the shades open than with them closed. Being trapped inside a metal tube that’s accelerating, pitching and banking generally causes more anxiety (and claustrophobia, giddiness and nausea) than if you have a external visual frame of reference. Seeing the horizon helps your inner ear’s balance organ feel on-track. Shades should be open by default.

  61. Flights still cost a boatload of money. Often when booking I’m left in a position where the window seats are sold out. I absolutely love looking out the window. My opinion? I wish the windows had NO shades. Let the whiney folks who don’t appreciate what they are seeing sit in the middle! It might keep the seats available for those who want nothing more than to see out. Throw some 20% tint on there with a UV blocking film and call it a day. Then again some pathetic people go to the grand canyon or yellowstone and never get out of the car… There could always be a few blacked out in a back row. If I have to pay EXTRA for the window, you should have to pay extra to not have one. Period.

  62. @Josh

    It is not ‘unusual’ at all. Different people experience anxiety and panic differently, regardless of inner/middle ear physiology (which can also differ notably from person to person).

    Your assumption is baseless and your diagnosis is completely unhelpful. Sad attempt at generalizing (as are other comments in this comment section)

  63. I fly Southwest whenever possible and ALWAYS choose a window seat when one is available. I keep the shade up not only during the critical times but also during flight as I like to look out the window and enjoy the scenery such as exists. Even the cloud formations can get interesting at times.

  64. @Sam

    Maybe your wife should take the bus… We don’t need her inconveniencing another 179 people b/c she doesn’t want the window shade up.

    Get in line or get off the train tracks

  65. Window shade up yes!
    My wife is afraid of flying and gets ill if she cannot look out the window.
    A closed cabin seems to her like tomb.
    I like to look at clouds.

  66. @RDog. You don’t know your aviation history very well. As I was reading this article, I immediately thought of the BA Airtours disaster. An engine failure on take off led led to a fire on the left side of the aircraft compounded by a headwind which caused it to move quickly and engulf the aircraft. Imagine trying to evaluate the outside conditions in that situation with the window shades down. Newsflash. You can’t. One of the conclusions that came out of the crash was the impact that negative panic had on evacuation. The evacuation was slowed because people at the exits froze and didn’t know how to operate the door. You really think that people will open their window shades calmly and rationally in that situation? It’s not some nanny state regulation. It’s a safety issue.

  67. @RC – Stephen above posted a link to that accident you refer to… you can read my comments about it above … not so sure that is the strongest argument “for” opening shades… and counter to your point – I think people will ABSOLUTELY open their window shades to see what is going on (and nowadays – get their stupid phones out and take videos)…

    Here’s the deal… I would like to know who in the right minds would not instinctively open their windows to look out in ANY given situation/emergency… oh, an engine is on fire – I’m going to close my window cuz I don’t want to watch… c’mon…

    Personally – I think the whiners on here are people that want the aisle seat so they have easy access to the toilet – but then want the window shades open so they get their glorious view… well folks – buy a FC ticket in seat A and fly only the CRJ 700 or CRJ 900 from now on…

    My point is that if we want to play the safety card – lets go after the things that actually MATTER to safety… how many people are actually ‘listening’ to the SAFETY announcements pre-flight anymore, why cell phone usage is allowed directly after landing?

  68. I was seated in an exit row the other day on a AA flight. The lady next to the window wanted to sleep before takeoff and closed the shade down. I asked her politely to let it open for safety reasons. She was like “but I want to sleep” and I was like “I need to be able to see what’s going on if we have to evacuate and operate this door during takeoff”. She reluctantly agreed but I felt that I wasn’t backed by the airline as no announcements were made.

    We (AV geeks) know how situational awareness is key when operating an aircraft, it’s so easy to educate PAX through security videos, etc. Glad to see United taking this step!

  69. FAKE NEWS ALERT: United is asking Passenger to open their windows durn taxi, take-off and landing. It is NOT policy that you open your windows or required.

  70. This entire article and the comments show why there is air rage, lol. People need to chill. Maybe free valium should be given out.

    First, I prefer to have the shades up at the aforementioned times, but if the sun is beating down on someone or they have a medical issue, given that most people keep the shades up at these times, I just look out another window. Wtf is the big deal? Safety crews will have the majority of windows to look into and flight crews will probably be able to see the engines and wings.

    Second, thank goodness they are cracking down on animals and making sure that medical certifications are legitimate. And they should reserve certain sections for people with the animals and people with severe allergies to keep them apart. Both have medical issues and equal rights imho.

    Third, charge $25 or more for carry ons that won’t fit under the seat and limit total carry ons to one per person and only $10 for checked bags so people don’t bring their entire wardrobe on board. No more 1 carry on and 1 personal item policy. Put your laptop in your carry on with your other stuff and pay the $25. Not enough space?…,Check a bag. Larger diaper bags? You can’t afford $25, how are you going to afford to raise your kid? Certified medical exemptions only. And stop grabbing bags during emergencies. People should be imprisoned for that.

    Fourth, for safety purposes, there needs to be more space between rows even if we have to pay more.
    Flying is not a constitutional right! People need to stop treating it as such. It is about safety and respect for one another. I don’t mind my taxes helping those in need or donating to charity, but if you can’t afford to fly, that really isn’t a national concern and safety shouldn’t be compromised by allowing airlines to cram more people on planes all at a lower price instead of fewer seats all at a higher price.

    Just my imho, but I’m usually right, lol.

  71. I wanted to comment even though I’m near the end of this.

    There’s a different kind of safety no one has talked about that’s UV exposure and sun damage. I fly consistently out out of PHX. Flight attendants are exposed to the sun and fly a lot closer to it a lot more often. I always wear sunscreen and enjoy take off and landing, but I’ll fly AA to avoid being cooked on the runway. And cuz it’s my hub 🙁

    It infuriates me when the pilot announces we’re flying over something awesome like the Grand Canyon and no one looks. I like to look out the window sometimes, and sometimes I ask the person in the window to close the shade.

    I think the correct answer is the obvious one: if the shade condition bothers you, ask the person in the window to accommodate you. It’s the same as a reclined seat; I’ve asked someone not to recline while I write a report. They don’t have to do it. But I’ve never had anyone say no.

    I’ve had plenty of people trip over my laptop cord in the emergency exit row. I actually unplug it before they pass me now proactively.

    I’ve been in an exit row briefing where the flight attendant asked why look out the window and the passenger didn’t know. Because there’s fire or tree or shit out there!

    One last thought: Although I do enjoy flying, take off, and landing, I don’t know how I’d feel about watching the ground *as* I plummet to my death, I think I’m okay with looking at my seat back trying to call loved ones/screaming and crying.

  72. Ben, it used to be great, but you were born in the wrong decade, about two to four too late. I have logged millions of miles and achieved lifetime status with some airlines, but over the last twenty years plus, it turned into one old greyhound flying through the sky.

    First, before I board (which with my status of flying up to four flights every week it is my reward to board first), we must board the disabled.
    Nowadays, let’s say with 90% accuracy that most people are too fat or lazy to board on their own along, so they want to be wheeled to their seats along with their whole families (sometimes I have seen five people and none of them assist the individual).

    Now some of this group may be handicapped (I apologize), but the miracle of this process is most of these people at 37 thousand feet are in someway cured when it comes time for departure from the aircraft it’s like “The Running of the Bulls at Pompeo.” They’re up; first, they grab their luggage with strength and don’t get in their way. They are HEALED! No wheelchair or assistance necessary, seated in that seat for 2 -5 hours, was therapy. Some medical plans should cover these flights, there must be some healing powers present when closer to the heavens, or we have some fakers that what the bulkheads and think because the can’t pass the on the Ben and Jerry’s they need exclusive rights.

    Then you have the dogs, some towering as little poney’ barking the whole trips (what service they provide I do not know) and yes taking a pee on the first-class restroom floor. Well, guess it smelled like urine. The flight attendant won’t clean it, maybe the barefoot passenger who puts his feet up and clips his nails on the back of the first-class seat next to me may. They even have their special restrooms in every airport (or coming soon). Sometimes when I have to go (and I mean go), I use it, nobody cares anymore, look away, and don’t say anything, for you won’t be “hip” to today’s privileges for all. We need one pee room for everyone, lower our airport cost operational cost.

    No, Ben, the days of using points to get to first class are here, no automatic upgrades on your status without even making a begging phone call. No clean linen for the back of your head, pack your sanitizer for your total perimeter, and maybe you can lend it to your toenail clipping seat partner who just walked in the dogs’ urine in the first-class bathroom. Yes, stay glued to that window, because you have a modern-day freak show going on in the other direction.

  73. +1 to Jerry! I was in a middle aisle in EWR-SFO last night in J on the 781, and I was hoping to get limited window views from the guy to my right. The person next to me blacked out their windows and was the only one who did so!! I was so furious. You just had to black out windows when the sun wasn’t even on your side all for what?

    Exactly as jerry said, this person was just on their laptop in sleep mode during the whole flight. At least don’t pick a window seat at all then. At least let the window go to someone who, despite flying a lot, still appreciates the window views and the different views each flight brings .

    People take flying for granted, but even to this day, I still appreciate the novelty of flying and am thankful for each opportunity opportunity to sit on a plane, and at a window too! The WiFi was broken on my plane and everyone around me was complaining to the FAs, but I was more than happy to have some disconnection time and got up as many times as I could to enjoy window views from the exit door windows. Disconnect a bit and appreciate what’s given to you, or else at least give that seat let someone else who does.

  74. All you people keep taking safety, get with reality or an actuary, you have about a ONE in ELEVEN MILLION chance of having that accident. Over a forty-year career in the air for business, I had two emergency landings. One, we lost an engine out of Bermuda on a 737, turned around went back, waited a few hours and back on (US AIR). Another the take-off flap got stuck in the take-off position, the pilot bust through the cabin right after take-off and ask passengers to get out of their seats because he believed the flap tore off. The called the tower, who ended up patching them into Boeing Headquarters in Washinton state, we circled for 40 minutes at a very slow speed for if we went any faster the flap would tear off, got directions from Boeing and made the landing. I blew that day off and went the next day, had enough excitement. But that’s I don’t know how many million miles, stop worrying about the crash and focus on a little comfort and class for a change. Remember, one in eleven million. Go play the lottery, your odds for any substancial winnings are better.

  75. You all are morons, just like a bank opening if a sign signal is not given of all clear, their is trouble aboard.
    It’s that simple, we have grounded flights and you will not be able to take off, if we cannot get an all clear, as a flight officer of 38 years, when all of the shades are open , on take off or landing, it’s a clear to go!
    Get a grip and understand!

  76. Interesting. I end up flying as close to the CG as I can to get the smoothest ride possible but my company doesn’t pay for plus seats so I end up basically on the wing. There is pretty much nothing to look at other than perhaps the engine depending on what aircraft model it is. Also because they have tighter up the seating spacing for non plus flyers there is not a window that you can actually look out as it is literally mostly obscured by the seat back. I fly on the north side of the plane whenever possible, but when all of these things conspire leaving the shade down shouldn’t matter. I think that instead of that all United executives should fly in economy every time they fly.

  77. I fly very often, at least twice a week. Many people entering the plane, take a seat and close their window shade. Sometimes I’d asked to close my window shade as well, because they want to sleep for a while. But because I’m suffering with claustrophobia there is no way to close it. They can buy an eye mask, but I have no other choice. For those who are having trouble with the laptop or tablets, I close it the halfway but never completely. I explain the problem and never get a negative answer

  78. I will never forget a flight from Vegas to Seattle on Alaska where the pilot required all window shades down. I wondered what they didn’t want us to see, military or aliens? I too love to look out at this beautiful planet.

  79. I couldn’t agree more. I have seen huge views of this planet over a few hours that are stunningly beautiful and remind me that we all live on the same orb. Take an aisle seat if you don’t want to gaze on the world.

  80. When you buy an air ticket, you are given the right to board someone else’ aircraft operated inter alia for profit and needless to say for the good of all passengers. Your airfare is what you pay to get from one place to the next, and perhaps be entitled to some refreshments and entertainment along the way. The ticket does not promise or entitle you a personalised service at the expense of 10, 100, or more other individual passengers just like you. The airline’s concern is to provide the best experience and convenience for all on board. There is no one set of parameters which will suit everybody, so rules are made which are designed for the safety an comfort of all on board. If anyone thinks they are different, and should have a special set of rules, or they personally don’t agree, then they should put themselves in the shoes of the airline and its personnel, and see if they can accommodate the preferences and whims of those ‘special’ (or selfish) people on board – good luck.
    Not even considering the absurdity of expecting special treatment, rules are rules, so if you want to fly or do anything in life abide by the rules or laws for what it is worth. If you are too special to do this on an aircraft, do us all a favour and don’t fly. Go and find a remote place on earth and establish your special place where you can do what you want, and surround yourself with those who may be willing to accommodate your preferences, or your demand to be treated differently. That place is not on board an aircraft.
    Just to put my ranting in perspective, I live in a country where lawlessness is rife, and believe me it makes life h*ll. Just imagine being exposed to people breaking the law or rules all around you and making up their own laws or rules based on their personal whims. Whatever the reason for the rules, it is not your choice to choose to comply or not – just do it because it is a rule!

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