Author Topic: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?  (Read 7243 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 07:33:40 PM »
To me, the window shade is under the control of the person sitting by it (except for flight attendants who are in control of everything).  You did fine.  It wasn't rude for the woman to ask but you are in your rights to say no.
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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2012, 08:49:50 AM »
I must be in the minority, but I completely disagree with the consensus of opinion on this thread. IMO, having a window seat does not mean it's "your window", any more than having an aisle seat means that it's "your aisle". You just happen to have the seat adjacent to it.

In situations where being next to an open window causes anxiety or motion sickness, the logical thing to do would be to offer to swap with another passenger if they want control of the window shade. If that's not the case, then obviously potential physical or mental discomfort outweighs someone just wanting to look out of the window. But aside from that I think the person with the window seat should be taking the wishes of the other passengers fully into account, especially if they are communicated.

Sharnita

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2012, 08:58:24 AM »
I must be in the minority, but I completely disagree with the consensus of opinion on this thread. IMO, having a window seat does not mean it's "your window", any more than having an aisle seat means that it's "your aisle". You just happen to have the seat adjacent to it.

In situations where being next to an open window causes anxiety or motion sickness, the logical thing to do would be to offer to swap with another passenger if they want control of the window shade. If that's not the case, then obviously potential physical or mental discomfort outweighs someone just wanting to look out of the window. But aside from that I think the person with the window seat should be taking the wishes of the other passengers fully into account, especially if they are communicated.

Actually, I do tend to agree with this.

MindsEye

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2012, 09:27:48 AM »
I must be in the minority, but I completely disagree with the consensus of opinion on this thread. IMO, having a window seat does not mean it's "your window", any more than having an aisle seat means that it's "your aisle". You just happen to have the seat adjacent to it.

In situations where being next to an open window causes anxiety or motion sickness, the logical thing to do would be to offer to swap with another passenger if they want control of the window shade. If that's not the case, then obviously potential physical or mental discomfort outweighs someone just wanting to look out of the window. But aside from that I think the person with the window seat should be taking the wishes of the other passengers fully into account, especially if they are communicated.

So if the person who is sitting by the window wants the shade open, and you want it closed, and you ask them to close it, then they should close it just because you asked?  Or they should switch seats with you?

(Actually that once could create an interesting loop in your argument, since once you have the window seat you now have to adjust the shade how the other passengers want and not how you prefer. Ad infinitum.)

I don't think that it is rude for the person sitting by the window to say "no" to adjusting the shade to your preference, and I don't think that it is rude for them to decline to switch seats with you just so that you can control the shade. 

"Taking the wishes of the other passengers into account" doesn't mean "do what the other passengers say".  The person sitting by the window always has the last word. 

Sharnita

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2012, 09:49:02 AM »
I must be in the minority, but I completely disagree with the consensus of opinion on this thread. IMO, having a window seat does not mean it's "your window", any more than having an aisle seat means that it's "your aisle". You just happen to have the seat adjacent to it.

In situations where being next to an open window causes anxiety or motion sickness, the logical thing to do would be to offer to swap with another passenger if they want control of the window shade. If that's not the case, then obviously potential physical or mental discomfort outweighs someone just wanting to look out of the window. But aside from that I think the person with the window seat should be taking the wishes of the other passengers fully into account, especially if they are communicated.

So if the person who is sitting by the window wants the shade open, and you want it closed, and you ask them to close it, then they should close it just because you asked?  Or they should switch seats with you?

(Actually that once could create an interesting loop in your argument, since once you have the window seat you now have to adjust the shade how the other passengers want and not how you prefer. Ad infinitum.)

I don't think that it is rude for the person sitting by the window to say "no" to adjusting the shade to your preference, and I don't think that it is rude for them to decline to switch seats with you just so that you can control the shade. 

"Taking the wishes of the other passengers into account" doesn't mean "do what the other passengers say".  The person sitting by the window always has the last word.

In that case it might depend if there are more people in the row - then it would be majority rules.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2012, 09:54:50 AM »
I don't agree with majority rules.  If I'm sitting in the window seat, I get the final decision on the shade.  I may take into account that little Bobby beside me would like to look out the window and leave it open for a few minutes but if I want to sleep or keep from getting motion sick, the shade is going down.  And unless the other passengers in the row all want to shift so I can get the aisle seat, and hence be as far away from the window as possible, they don't get to overrule me.
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Ontario

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2012, 12:06:10 PM »

So if the person who is sitting by the window wants the shade open, and you want it closed, and you ask them to close it, then they should close it just because you asked?  Or they should switch seats with you?

(Actually that once could create an interesting loop in your argument, since once you have the window seat you now have to adjust the shade how the other passengers want and not how you prefer. Ad infinitum.)

I don't think that it is rude for the person sitting by the window to say "no" to adjusting the shade to your preference, and I don't think that it is rude for them to decline to switch seats with you just so that you can control the shade. 

"Taking the wishes of the other passengers into account" doesn't mean "do what the other passengers say".  The person sitting by the window always has the last word.

I guess they have the last word, as they are ultimately in control of the situation. But I don't agree that the window is the "property" of the person sitting by the window. In my experience, you don't usually pay extra for a window seat, and often it is just good luck that you find yourself with one. While I suppose being the most affected by it, you should have the most say, I would - at the same time - think it rude if someone was unwilling to put the window down because they wanted to look out the window mid-flight while I was stuck unable to sleep or watch television because of bright sunlight. I think a lot of it comes down to the reasons behind it.

ettiquit

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2012, 12:15:51 PM »
I don't think that majority rules really comes into play here, because the person sitting in the window seat is the one most affected by whether the window is open. 


In the OPs case, she would be far more (badly) affected by the window being open than the little boy who didn't get to look out the window would be.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2012, 01:55:39 PM »
I think that the person who has the window seat gets the final say, but I never had a strong opinion of it one way or the other.  The only thing I think is kind of rude is when someone reaches across and opens/closes the shade without asking, and here's why.  The last time I was on a plane our family couldn't sit together, so I was in a window seat with two strangers to my right.  The woman on the aisle side stood up when the seat belt light went off, leaned across both of us, and closed the shade...almost putting her "upper endowments" in my face without so much as an "excuse me".  I would have closed it for her if she'd asked me!  ::)

Figgie

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2012, 02:39:28 PM »
This is a common topic on a board I participate in.  This is a board full of mostly very frequent fliers and their take on it is that you need to be responsible for your own needs and not expect strangers to accommodate you. 

They say that there are cost/benefits to many seats on an airplane and it is an individuals responsibility to make seat choices that best meet their needs.  If you can't stand to look out a window, book the window seat so you have control over the shade.  Same thing if you want to look out the window...book the window seat so you can have the shade open.

If you end up not getting a window seat and want the shade closed, then you need to bring along eye shades and not expect the person at the window to close the shade to meet your needs.  It could be that the person in the window seat gets severely motion sick if they can't see out the window and if they end up not booking a window seat, then they need to figure out what medication works best to help with that and not expect the person in the window seat to open the shade for them.

Generally, the only time the shades are required to be open are during take-off and landing per the flight attendants request.  On red-eye flights, the flight attendants will usually ask you to lower the shade so that the light doesn't disturb other people who want to sleep.  This is because when flying trans-atlantic or trans-pacific it can be common to fly when it is still light outside and frequent fliers usually try to sleep if it is nighttime in the country they are traveling to in order to help with jet lag when they arrive.

Having said the above, it is also perfectly okay to ask politely for the shade to be opened/shut as long as you are willing to accept a no answer.  I generally try the best I can to accommodate others, but I know that when I am asking a favor of another person, they definitely do have the right to tell me no. :)

As for moving so parents/children can sit together...this is a hot topic and generally people will only trade if they are getting a better or equivalent seat.  Nowadays, many people are paying for specific seat assignments and they are unlikely to want to trade down especially since the seat they chose cost them money.

I do know that just taking someone's seat and then asking them to trade is the sort of thing that can cause tempers to flare.  The term used is "seat poacher" and it tends to get a strong negative reaction from frequent fliers.  Much better to hover and not settle into the seat that is assigned to another person and then politely ask them if they would be willing to trade.  And accept that they can say no and their reasons for doing so may well be private.

I remember on one flight a woman got upset because the man in the aisle seat wouldn't trade with her for the window seat.  It escalated and ultimately the woman was reseated at the back of the plane.  The gentleman she was demanding to switch seats with was very polite, but quite firm in that he would not be able to trade seats. 

It turned out (we got to talking during the flight) that he needed to use the bathroom about every half an hour and had back problems that made it difficult for him to get out of a window or middle seat that often.  None of that was apparent from him just sitting in his seat and he didn't want to share his private medical concern with the angry woman who wanted him to trade seats.

Mostly, I try to remember when I am flying that it is public transportation and that people are often stressed and nervous.  Trying to be kind to others can make a miserable flight a much more positive experience for everyone. :)

ettiquit

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2012, 02:48:48 PM »


I remember on one flight a woman got upset because the man in the aisle seat wouldn't trade with her for the window seat.  It escalated and ultimately the woman was reseated at the back of the plane.  The gentleman she was demanding to switch seats with was very polite, but quite firm in that he would not be able to trade seats. 

It turned out (we got to talking during the flight) that he needed to use the bathroom about every half an hour and had back problems that made it difficult for him to get out of a window or middle seat that often.  None of that was apparent from him just sitting in his seat and he didn't want to share his private medical concern with the angry woman who wanted him to trade seats.

Mostly, I try to remember when I am flying that it is public transportation and that people are often stressed and nervous.  Trying to be kind to others can make a miserable flight a much more positive experience for everyone. :)

A few years ago, a friend and I were traveling together and our seats weren't together for one of the legs, so we asked the lady who had the aisle seat in my row to switch with my friend's aisle seat.  She did with NO argument, but grumbled and gave us dirty looks the entire time.  It made me think that maybe we were impolite to even ask, but geez, she could have said no.

MindsEye

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2012, 02:50:47 PM »
I will POD everything that Figgie said.


Carpathia

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2012, 05:55:24 PM »
I haven't flown for nearly 15 years, so don't really know the etiquette but as I'll be flying in about 10 days time I'm reading tis thread with interest!

A question - I can sort of see both sides of the window-seat-controls-window and window-affects-all-in-the-row points of view but would it not be considered rude to have the window seat, decline a request to put the shade up because you don't want to see out, and also then decline to swap seats with someone who does want to see out?

dawbs

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2012, 06:02:48 PM »
I haven't flown for nearly 15 years, so don't really know the etiquette but as I'll be flying in about 10 days time I'm reading tis thread with interest!

A question - I can sort of see both sides of the window-seat-controls-window and window-affects-all-in-the-row points of view but would it not be considered rude to have the window seat, decline a request to put the shade up because you don't want to see out, and also then decline to swap seats with someone who does want to see out?

well, there are other reasons for choosing the window seat--like sleep (something to lean against--also easier when the window is closed).

MindsEye

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Re: Choosing to close a window view on a plane, okay or not so much?
« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2012, 06:05:52 PM »
A question - I can sort of see both sides of the window-seat-controls-window and window-affects-all-in-the-row points of view but would it not be considered rude to have the window seat, decline a request to put the shade up because you don't want to see out, and also then decline to swap seats with someone who does want to see out?

My vote is: not rude at all, on either count. 

If you are in the window seat, it is not rude to adjust the window shade to your preference.  It is also not rude to decline to swap seats with another passenger.