Who Controls The Window Blind? Viral TikTok Sparks New Debate

Many on the internet have returned to the age-old debate: who controls the window blind? Following a viral TikTok which showed a woman asking a man to close blinds and him refusing, many are asking who was in the right. Let’s find out more and answer this question.

Plane cabin windows Getty
Windows up or down during the flight? Photo: Getty Images

The incident

According to a TikTok seen in the Daily Mail, two passengers are arguing over the window shades. The video is shot from the perspective of the woman, who demands the man in the seat ahead of her close his window as she wants to sleep. The man, TikToker Will Mantey who uploaded the video, says he likes to look out the window and wants to keep it open.

The woman then tries to physically close Mantey’s window but he has his hand on the window shade at this point. They continue arguing and the woman presses the flight attendant call button, saying “you don’t own the plane”. At one point when Mantey reaches his hand towards the woman’s seat, she says, “don’t touch me, that’s assault”. Moments later, the woman reaches to Mantey’s window and promptly closes it, before he opens it again.

Who Controls The Window Blind? Viral TikTok Sparks New Debate
The woman is seen repeatedly trying to force the window ahead of her’s shut. Photo: Getty Images

The video ends soon after but the argument continues, with the woman reportedly saying “you don’t need to see the clouds. You see them every day.” The flight attendant arrived at the seat and promptly offered the woman an eye mask. However, the woman does not take it and is later moved to a seat further back in the aircraft, according to Mantey.

The debate

The TikTok received over 22 million views, sparking a lot of debate online. While only part of the argument is seen on video, most have sided with Will Mantey, saying he has the right to keep the window open or closed. Many have also noted the woman’s behavior and her trying to repeatedly shut another passenger’s window as completely wrong.

While everyone has their own preferences, passengers do have complete control over their windows. In my view, on day flights (when this incident occurred), keeping windows open is a common practice among many. On night flights, closing the window blind is a common courtesy to the many passengers who may be sleeping.

Window view
Keeping windows open during morning flights is common practice. Photo: Kgbo via Wikimedia Commons

While the full argument is not seen on video, the best thing to do in such a situation is probably just request your seat neighbor to lower the window if you wish to sleep. If they say no, asking the crew to change seats is the next best option. However, forcing someone’s window closed is never the answer.

Regardless of the debate, it’s clear the flight attendants acted very capably during the incident. Offering the passenger an eye mask if they cannot sleep due to the light or moving their seat is probably the best thing to do in such a situation.

What do you think about this incident and debate? Should the windows be open or closed? Let us know in the comments!