What continues to surprise me when flying is the amount of people who decide to sleep on a day flight. All it means is a lot of window blinds closed and completely missing the gorgeous views.
Recently I had the pleasure of flying from Hong Kong to London on a 9:45am departure. Not long after take-off, almost the entire cabin was in darkness as people watched movies and slept. Me? I noticed something out the window.
Views of China Passing By
Periodically peeking out the windows, I spotted that the cloud cover was breaking and mountains were coming into view. I was in for a pleasant surprise really.
The further we flew along our route, the more interesting it became. These mountains were pretty high, because they didn’t seem to be too far below us at all.
Soon I could spy signs of human habitation in the valleys, where you could see farmland neatly laid out. Wondering where I was, I turned to the inflight map to try to pin that down.
Turns out we were somewhere over China, flying pretty much north with mountain ranges to our left. For some reason Jiangtang is in my head but I honestly couldn’t tell you.
Getting a drink from the galley, I mentioned it to the cabin crew who had a look out the door window. They were pleasantly surprised at the views themselves, judging by the look on their faces!
Eventually we passed by and headed back into a cloudy area. At this point, I stopped being “that guy” and closed my window blinds as well and settled in to a movie.
Whatever happened to the wonder and awe at the miracle of flight? The views that people are missing by going straight to sleep during the day or having their heads in their entertainment system are many.
Some of my favourite memories of flying are the views you get along the way. Flying at midnight somewhere over the Persian Gulf and seeing the light of the oil refineries for example. It’s all so very interesting!
Should passengers on flights keep the blinds closed on day flights? What memorable views have you seen when flying? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
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If you want to sleep, buy an eye mask. Others shouldn’t have to live in darkness during a daytime flight.
I agree with you! You’ll get a better sleep with that anyway as it will block any general ambient light in the cabin. Thanks for the comment!
Hahaha! 🙂 Yup!
SO TRUE! I don’t sleep on planes at any time and I’m tired of FAs insisting that I shut my window shade. I don’t think so. Bring some eye shades if you want to sleep, leave the rest of us alone.
I hear you on that!
Which inevitably raises the issue of control of the window blinds. I specifically choose the window seat precisely so that I can get the fantastic views while the guy on the aisle demands that I close the blind so he can watch his movie.
Yes, I had the same situation on a flight from Dublin to Chicago. The aisle seat guy asked if I could close the blinds. There were two windows, so I closed the blinds on one and I had no complaint from him after that. It should be the window person in control of that really! Thanks for the comment!
10 years ago I flew the polar route on a SFO-DXB flight once, somewhere over the Yukon the pilot mentioned on the PA about a particularly strong Aurora Borealis. To date that was the only time I saw it.
That’s brilliant when a pilot mentions something that has to be seen, considering most people would rarely get a chance to see it. What an excellent experience that must have been! Thanks for sharing that.
And this is why I get annoyed when the cabin crew decide to close the window blinds on daylight flights. There is so much to see I don’t want to sit in darkness for 8 hours thank you very much, I want to look outside.
It’s interesting though, I was not asked to close my blinds at all, so I didn’t. I have a feeling the people on board just decided to close the blinds off their own bat. I’m completely with you, I’d rather be looking outside as well… or at least have the option to do so whenever I feel like it.
I think the big issue here is the “override” that I believe the FAs have on the 787 where they can dim them all.
Yeah, I’m not a fan of that on the Boeing 787 really. I prefer the A350 probably for that reason!