The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a wonderful plane, in many ways.
As a newer generation wide body aircraft made of special composite materials, it’s a lot quieter and more fuel efficient than many of its earlier predecessors, with a more enjoyable interior space too. Even the windows are unlike any other, but on American Airlines, that often lead to a funny tug of war between cabin crew and passengers.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the only commercial plane without any window blinds. Instead, the planes windows dim, allowing passengers to effectively black them out, like a computer screen on the lowest setting, or leave them “fully open”, letting in as much light as any other plane with the blinds up.
This has lead to more controversy and frustration than one could imagine.
American Airlines cabin crew have real opinions on how customers treat their blinds, and like parents ferrying children around, they have the ability to “lock” the blinds for all passengers into certain positions, such as fully dim. After overruling one too many passengers, the child proof locks are being taken away, kind of.
American Tells Cabin Crew To Stop Locking Blinds
Ok, so you’re right – there are no “blinds” – just dimmers – but, you get the gist, right? American Airlines cabin crew members love
sleeping working on flights and setting the tone for all, by locking all the window dimmers into one position, to control the mood.
When they deem people should be asleep, they lock all the dimmers in full blackout mode. When they want you to eat, they turn them all up to full brightness. If you want something different, tough luck.
If you’re a jet lag aficionado and believe in controlling the light environments around you, this presents a problem. If you want just a crack of light while you work the night away, this also presents a problem.
Per OMAAT, American has sent out a memorandum telling cabin crew to stop messing with the blinds, after what must have been an enumerable amount of complaints. That certainly doesn’t mean everyone will read the memorandum, or that one should point out that such a memorandum exists, should there be any issues – but it should help.
GSTP Take: Let Passengers Sort It Out
Like many things in life, these issues tend to be best left between the passengers. If someone would like me to dim my blind, and politely asks to do so, I’ll gladly oblige if at all possible.
If I’m trying to sleep and the person next to me doesn’t want to dim theirs, I have eye masks and the ability to control my own blind. We each paid for our seat (hey, even points count), it’s not a private jet, so we can’t expect absolute rule over the cabin.
This is a great move by American Airlines which settles a very frustrating passenger experience issue, where you could never quite win with the virtual blinds. Cabin crew should stop “locking” the virtual blinds to the setting of their choice, which allows each passenger, or row of passengers to customize their lighting environments.