United Airlines Rethinks Its Taxi, Takeoff, & Landing Policy

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United Airlines is rethinking its policy on taxi, takeoff, and landing policies. As per One Mile At A Time, the airline will be making two changes to its policies from February 1st, 2020. Both of these policies target taxi, takeoff, and landing.

United Airlines, Window Blinds, Power Sockets
United Airlines is to alter its policies for taxi, take-off, and landing. Photo: Getty Images

Take-off and landing are two of the most critical parts of a flight. As a result, fairly comprehensive policies are in place that governs these phases of flight. In fact, most people will be familiar that their seatbacks and tray tables should be up, while armrests should be down. So, what about United Airlines?

New window blind policy

United Airlines has now ruled that window shades should be open during taxi, take off, and landing. This is something that many airlines already ask for. However, apparently United Airlines isn’t yet one of these, hence the change to its policy that is being brought in next weekend.

Live And Lets Fly points out that crew will purely be making announcements, and not enforcing the policy. This means that if somebody really doesn’t want their window open, they won’t be forced to open it.

United Airlines, Window Blinds, Power Sockets
Window blinds should remain open for taxi, take-off, and landing. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

The problem with enforcing such policies is that the crew must be seated for takeoff and landing. Even if they were to make you open the window, what’s to stop you closing it the second they’re in their seats?

Of course, the crew will have total control on the Boeing 787 where they are able to centrally control the windows. Rather than physical blinds, the 787 has dimmable windows. Some carriers such as Emirates even have electric window blinds on some aircraft. Meanwhile, Airbus could start offering dimmable windows soon.

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What about power?

United Airlines is also refreshing its policy on charging items. Again, this will relate to taxi, take off, and landing. The airline currently asks all passengers to remove chargers that are powering devices during these phases of flight. However, LALF comments that now only passengers in the emergency exit rows will be asked to do this.

United Airlines, Window Blinds, Power Sockets
Only passengers in emergency exit rows will have to unplug their devices. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

In the business class cabin onboard its Airbus A350s, British Airways requests passengers to disconnect devices during take-off and landing. Typically the requirement, at least in economy cabins, to unplug devices is to stop cables getting in the way during an evacuation.

This is sensible and is exactly why tray table latches in emergency exit rows only open one way. However, it would appear as though United feels that this will only present a real issue in the emergency exit rows.

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Do you mind keeping your window open during taxi, take-off and landing? How do you feel about needed to unplug devices during these phases of flight? Let us know your thoughts, and why in the comments!

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