Not Allowed to Open the Window Shade at all During Cruise?

So recently I was lucky enough to fly business class on China Southern’s A330-200. I was blown away by the service and how warm and friendly the crew was. However, I was curious as to one thing. During cruise, I opened the window shade to take a peek outside, but the flight attendant came to my seat and told me not to open the window shade because the UV Rays were powerful up high. Has this ever happened to you on China Southern or other airlines?


Interesting as I was told a very similar thing on ETIHAD first a year back and it tickled my mind. My brother was in economy and confirmed no announcements. Maybe they just care about your skin more in First 😋


Haha, I think he means the window shade

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Oh… well if that was the case. My bad. However that sounds extremely weird, if the UV Rays were too strong up at altitude (which I’ve never heard should be an issue before) they shouldn’t have made windows. Never had it happen to me for sure.


Haha, I’ll remember not to post when I’m tired next time lol.

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Haha, lol! I’ve never have it happen to me though, sounds weird about the UV Rays - but idk. Maybe CZ flights are more prone to UV Ray, or maybe they don’t want their customers to get skin cancer. :)

  • The customers will most likely get sick of the food served anyways. ;)

The food out of Guangzhou was worse than CX economy, but the food back from Seoul was possibly better than the ground equivalent. I guess KAL catering will always be better than any mainland China catering. Interestingly, the flight attendants came around offering sauce for the appetizer after everyone had finished with it.

I know on SAA it is common procedure to ask passengers on certain route sectors to keep the window shades closed due to it saves the airline money in regards to drink and a addition snack/meal services. The crew also enjoy this implementation as it reduces how much effort they need to give on a flight as due to the window shades being down people are more likely to go to sleep. Another reason it is done on SAA is passengers want to sleep and by placing window shades down it helps airline not have to offer eyeshades especially on the regional flights within Southern Africa that don’t meet the bandwidth for a amenity kit( eye shades) to be provided in economy…

I know that when SAA flew to HKG, PEK and BOM during the hot summer months it was required by ground crew to close all window shades as it kept the aircraft cool from the heat as it block the sun from entering.



From what I have read in several Flight-reports, I also see Korean Air to do the same. They said it will bothering passengers who want to sleep (Despite it’s day at that time). Maybe that could be one of the reasons?

Anyways, I did open my window shades during cruise during the cruise on XT250 (Jakarta to Bangkok) Flight, I can feel the sunburn on my hand during mid-flight. Maybe that could also explain that?

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When I flew on Virgin Australia once i got stuck next to a person who hated flying and fell asleep with her arm on the handle for the shade, a few minutes later when she got up and went to the toilet I swaped seats with her,i then opened up the shade then both the flight attendants and the passenger told me off. The flight attendant for opening the window when other people were asleep (because I was on a flight during early morning while the sun was coming up then people woke up) and the person because she saw how up the plane was and had a panic attack


On all of the southwest flights I’ve been on I’ve had the window open during cruise for the most part and the flight attendants were fine with it. It is true that the UV rays are more harmful up there but it doesn’t matter unless it is for a really extended period of time. I’m guessing there were a lot of other reasons like the ones listed above that the FA wanted you to close the shades.

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It is true that the UV levels are much higher at altitude, you can notice it by how quickly your eyes hurt when looking outside after a long flight compared to a long sleep. It seems impossible to adapt to the light at 40,000 feet rather than at ground level.

Now, is the flight attendant correct in using this fact to say that opening one window shade will compromise the safety of the flight because of the “added power” of UV rays at altitude?

Absolutely not.

To understand this, we have to understand how UV rays work, UV is an invisible form of light. Compared to visible light, harmful UV light (UVB/UVC) is very difficult to reflect off of most man-made surfaces due to its short wavelength, therefore it will not bounce all over the place in the aircraft cabin unlike visible light.

Therefore, the conclusion the flight drawn by the flight attendant from the fact that UV radiation is more potent at altitude is incorrect in stating that it will harm the occupants of the aircraft. The only person the light will harm are the people that come in direct contact with the light coming into the plane, so you, the person adjacent to you, and perhaps the flight attendant walking past will be harmed. Though the UV exposure for all of the aforementioned people will be negligible due to the short exposure times.

Would I advise arguing with the flight attendant? No, you have to comply with his/her instructions no matter how scientifically flawed they may be.

The more plausible explanation would be to not disturb sleeping people, but that’s dumb as well, on a daytime flight, you’ll only make the jetlag worse by going to sleep.

tl;dr: Even though the flight attendant is scientifically clueless, you have to listen to him/her.


Was this over Greenland? Where was it?

I think we were flying over China.

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I opened a tiny bit of shade farthest from me just so I could see what I was doing. I literally only opened a tiny sliver.

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This is really funny if you take out the word “shade” from all of these posts.

Me when I first posted this.

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You won’t have this problems when travelling with a 787 ! HAHAAH, no matter how dark, you still can see out 😀


happened to me on my Delta flight from JFK to LAX as well…

Oh yeah m8