United Tells Cabin Crew To Stop Controlling 787 Windows Centrally

United Airlines has sent a notice to its flight attendants regarding the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft windows. The staff have been reminded to not centrally lock the electronically dimmable windows (EDWs). The Chicago-based carrier wants its passengers to be able to allow as much light in as they want.

United Airlines 787
United wants its passengers to have more freedom when it comes to brightness levels on the airline’s Boeing 787 aircraft. Photo: United Airlines

Unique offering

One of the several standout features on the Dreamliner is its transition windows. The level of shade can be adjusted electronically to suit the preference of those sitting next to them.

This feature differs from standard plane windows that usually have shades that can be pulled down to block light glaring in. Rather than having all light or no light, window seat passengers can transition the dimness to a sweet spot that they want with EDWs.

Additionally, Gizmodo reports that the windows have a height of 19 inches and are around 65 percent larger than their counterparts. This allows for spectacular views to be seen while daydreaming on a flight.

ANA 787 Window
Two different settings of brightness on the windows of a Dreamliner. Photo: Spaceaero2 via Wikimedia Commons

Window of opportunity

On several aircraft, crew often ask passengers to keep their window shades down or have them up at different times of the flight. However, on 787s, flight attendants don’t have to manually adjust every shade as they can just lock them to one setting centrally. With this in mind, United has asked its employees to not be so strict with the settings.

According to Live And Lets Fly, United sent the below reminder to its flight attendants:

“Remember, on B787s, please don’t use the flight attendant panel to force window shades to darken or lock them at a set level. This prevents customers from adjusting their window shades as they prefer.”

Different points of view

Some passengers would prefer the settings to be locked to a dim level to ensure that blinding light doesn’t make its way in. However, other travelers would prefer to have the option to be able to see outside.

United Airlines 787 Plane
Passengers have different preferences when it comes to shade. Photo: United Airlines

Aircraft windows have been purposely designed to be at eye level and help offer a feeling of openness to reduce sensitive situations such as anxiety while on a plane. Therefore, these fliers will welcome United’s stance.

The use of these windows has been largely well-received. One of the companies that helped implement this technology is Gentex. The firm has also been consulted to introduce EDWs on Boeing’s upcoming 777X. Therefore, it looks like this design could become a standard for more aircraft by the time this decade is over.

Simple Flying reached out to United for comment on the notice. A spokesperson replied by informing that the airline often provides helpful tips to its flight attendants and that this notice was simply a reminder. 

Are you a fan of the Boeing 787’s electronically dimmable windows? Let us know what you think of the ability to adjust them in the comment section.