We flew from U.S. to Ireland recently and thought it odd that we were required to keep blinds closed at all time during flight.

We asked flight attendant why that was the case but she only said it's part of flight regulations. Why?

  • 4
    I suppose that was an overnight flight? They just ask you to close the blinds so people don't get woken by the sun suddenly shining through the cabin. I would not expect it to be a hard requirement, just a courtesy for other passengers. If it was a hard requirement, that would be unusual.
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:19
  • Possible duplicate of Why is the light in an airplane turned off during take off and landing?
    – blackbird
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:20
  • Another related question
    – blackbird
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:23
  • @jcaron, I bet you do not want to look out of the window all the time. I pay extra (used to get to the airport very early) to get a window seat. I think it unreasonable to keep the window blind closed all the flight. If they can not sleep with the blinds open, they should wear something to keep the light out. Screens on the seats give more disturbance but are allowed all night long.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:31
  • When it's actually dark outside I don't mind opening the blinds. I just try to avoid it when the sun is starting to shine a bit too much (no clouds at that altitude) and that may annoy other passengers. I guess they also want to avoid people leaving the blind open, then going to sleep, which will then be a nuisance later on. But again, that has always been a request, never a command, and never for the whole flight. As soon as they switch the lights back on for breakfast or whatever, people are usually free to do as they want. And of course blinds should be open during take-off and landing!
    – jcaron
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 18:36

2 Answers 2


I bet it was a 'night flight'. One where all passengers were encouraged to sleep most of the flight.

Likely a meal, dinner or supper, soon after the start and a second, breakfast style, shortly before arrival and little or no service (unless asked for) the rest of the flight.

I do not like it myself, I love looking out and will not sleep anyhow during the flights. Having the blind opened a crack, enough for the person at the window to look out, has been allowed, but it is against some airline rules.

'Daytime' flights usually have the passengers free to open the blinds.


It isn't against any regulations.

The reason is that you are flying towards dawn, and at some point it will suddenly get very bright outside. With the blind open, the brightness will awaken everyone else in the cabin. Many people on your flight are going to work and this is the only chance they get to sleep before a long day of meetings in Dublin. Waking them up unnecessarily will make a lot of people grumpy with the cabin crew. Therefore cabin crew do often ask you to close the blinds or close them for you if you go to the loo or doze off.

This happens on day flights as well and is quite annoying if you are working or reading with the assistance of natural light.

A firm "I prefer the blinds open, thank you; but I shall remember to close them before I sleep" is usually sufficient to move the situation along. If not a discreet word with the purser may be necessary.

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