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green_rd March 1st, 2010 07:42 AM

Airplane Shades Open
The DW & I were discussing the requirements of some but not all airlines to have the window shades open for landing. Any idea which airlines require this and why?

Marc March 1st, 2010 01:28 PM

I actually thought all airlines require it but some don't enforce. The reason is that in case of crash, it allows rescuers to be able to see in windows if need be.

optize March 1st, 2010 01:34 PM

Weird, I've flown many many times and never heard of such a thing.

Marc March 1st, 2010 02:55 PM

I apologize; I had it backwards. Apparently, it is to allow cabin crew and passengers to evaluate the situation outside the plane in case of crash. Of course, I coule be wrong again. :confused:

Fern March 1st, 2010 08:24 PM

I'd never heard of it either :confused:, but my DH, who has flown a lot more than I, agrees that it's for passengers to see out or emergency workers to see in, in case of a crash landing.

Makes sense, but I'd rather not try it out :shock: !

Trip March 1st, 2010 08:28 PM

That's okay with me, I really don't like,when person by the window closes it..

Phil&Liz March 1st, 2010 09:35 PM

Ok, well there are alot of versions of why out there.
I had one experience where the ailse seat person insisted I close the shade for his comfort. Funny, I didn't see why the aisle seat person could dictate the window seat person.

A website I frequent yields these snipets:

Begin snipets:
The legal part would depend on the specific airline's Policy and Procedures manual. That, and any later changes to it, describes (among other things) how the airline will meet the requirements of the FAR's. Once approved, the airline is required to operate according to the P&P manual's provisions.

Specific to the shades issue is an FAA requirement to be able to "assess whether opening the emergency exit will increase the hazards to which passengers may be exposed." One airline may propose meeting that requirement by relying on the window in the emergency exit while another may propose meeting the requirement by having all the shades retracted. Once the FAA approves whichever the airline proposes, it is then required.

Asking passengers to close the shades on the ground (usually at the gate) is completely legal as long as the P&P doesn't require the shades to be open. And even if it does have the requirement, it would only apply while passengers are on board since it's a provision for getting the passengers off the airplane in an emergency.
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It is recommended by the FAA to have shades open in case of a crash and rescuers need to look inside, as well as giving as much normal light into the cabin. It is actually required over the Emergency exit windows only I believe so that the FA's can look outside for fire, water, etc...prior to opening an exit. Some carriers may make it mandatory, which is their right to do so to comply with the FAA recommendation.
Every certificated airline has its own unique set of procedures that are approved by the FAA. This is one case where a marketing affiliation (such as UX) or alliance (*A) does not apply. It's much like the cockpit checklist -- developed by individual airlines, approved by the FAA, and followed to the letter. So Skywest's procedures can be different than GoJet's which can be different than Shuttle America's which can be different than mainline United's. And they are.

The "window shades must be up" helps a passenger evaluate the outside conditions in the event of an emergency landing (i.e. which side of the plane poses least danger). This has been the case since long before "security" was an issue. As I recall, TWA had this policy, as do SQ and TG today.
************************************************** ************************************************** **********************************************
Window shades being open for take-off and landing is a pure safety issue.
Many airlines apply this policy, and I dare say most airlines I've flown on outside the US have the same proceedure.
Firstly it helps passengers to assess outside conditions. Secondly the shades being open mean the passenger is accustomed to the outside lighting conditions.
The same as the temporary 'blindness' if you are in a dark room and a window is opened (letting in the sun) is avoided by having the shades open - that is, you are already accustomed to the bright light.
At night the reverse applies. By dimming the cabin lights and having the shades open you do not need to waste precious seconds adjusting to darkness after strong lighting.

End snipets.

Phil & Liz

luv2cruiserccl March 2nd, 2010 08:09 AM

Its interesting that you posted this i did not know about this, but i can say now i do.. So i wonder what airline's actually enforce this?

david30101 March 3rd, 2010 08:39 AM

If the airlines want the shades open, all they need to do is remove them all together..Problem solved. Some people shut them to block the suns glare at times. The sun is allot stronger at 35K then at sea level. (plane is above clouds and polution)

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