There is no need for United Airlines passengers to always follow an important safety instruction given by an airline flight attendant.
United Airlines crew has a blind eye when it comes to enforcing what many airline carriers consider the enforcement of one of their most important aviation safety policy.
The good news is United Airlines got on the bandwagon as of today with the rest of most airlines to require passengers to open window shades during take-off and landing. There is however a big difference in how United Airlines complies with their new policy when comparing it in how other airlines handle the same regulation.
Different from what almost every airline in the world does, United Airlines flight attendants will make an announcement telling their passengers to open window shades during take-off and landing, but will not enforce this policy. The new policy only means that crews are being instructed to make the announcement, but not to enforce that every passenger is actually complying with their instructions.
Two years ago eTurboNews compared the difference between Hawaiian Airlines and United Airlines in regards to open window shades during take-off and landing.
It seems to be grossly negligent by United that after many years of getting feedback by concerned passengers and safety experts, the second-largest U.S. airline is finally getting in line with the rest of the aviation world, but will refuse to actually enforce their own safety and security policy. This may put their passengers and crew in danger.
Opening the window shade when taking off or landing on a commercial airliner is a routine procedure enforced by almost all carriers in the world including in the United States.
The reason behind it is that in the event of an emergency, the crew needs to see what’s happening outside and react accordingly. Another reason – from time to time passengers have witnessed a potential catastrophe unfolding outside the aircraft and alerted the crew.
If it’s a daytime flight and an emergency evacuation becomes necessary, passengers’ eyes need to be adjusted to the light outside. If they were to emerge from a darkened cabin, with blinds down, it might waste a precious few seconds for each set of eyes to adjust to daylight outside, and it’s required that crew fully evacuate an aircraft cabin in 90 seconds. For the same reason, cabin lighting is usually dimmed on take-off and landing during a night flight.
When flight attendants move through the cabin in preparation for take-off and landing, cabin crew from most airlines around the world will usually ask passengers to open their window shades as a safety precaution. Take-off and landing are the two most critical phases in an aircraft’s flight.
United Airlines commented to eTurboNews several years ago that they will enforce this policy, which never actually happened. It’s difficult to understand why this important safety policy has not been taken seriously. It certainly doesn’t cost anything and may save lives.