Reuters reported yesterday that passengers have complained about the windows not darkening enough on the 787 and that All Nippon Airways (ANA) is working with Boeing to install sunshades on their 787 Dreamliners. It appears that both of these statements are false.
One of the well touted benefits (by me and many others) of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are the dimmable windows. Instead of your classic shade that can be pulled down over the window, the 787 allows passengers to still be connected to the flying experience, while reducing the natural light that enters the cabin.
About a week ago, ANA released a survey showing that about 88% of passengers reported that the windows dimmability was better than they expected or fully met expectations. It seems that there might have been some confusion that passengers complained about the window and the other 12% did not like them. Nao Gunji, ANA spokes person told AirlineReprter.com that they have not received any direct complaints on the darkness levels of the 787’s windows and they are not wanting shades. “We are definitely not looking to install sunshades,” Gunji explained over the phone.
Although ANA is not looking at a sunshade option, it appears it could be possible. ANA already has one window in each 787 Dreamliner with a sunshade — in their lavatory — and it also has the dimming function. Could Boeing be working with other airlines to install sunshades on the 787?
“We are always looking at ways to improve our products but don’t discuss specific efforts in development,” Scott S. Lefeber, with Boeing 787 Communications explained via email. “Additionally, the response of our customers and the flying public to the larger, dimmable windows on the 787 has been very favorable. As always, Boeing works with its customers on an ongoing basis to understand new requirements and offer solutions.”
I have had the opportunity to be on the 787 quite a few times and flew on it for a 90 minute flight. Although I have not been in it with all the windows dimmed and the lights off, I have been in it with the lights on while the windows were dim. It might not have been as dark as your standard long-haul cabin for sleeping, but it was surely dark enough to get sleep and it seems this whole situation is more about mis-communication than it is about people being unhappy about the windows.
ANA reached out and explained that they previously worked with Boeing, well before delivery, on issues of the 787’s window dimming level. The airline felt that the windows did not darken enough, so an extra film was placed between the three layers of glass. It was, “Something ANA engineers and Boeing decided together in order to provide the best cabin experience to our passengers,” Gunji explained.