It goes without saying that the process of raising the window shades of the plane when it is landing or taking off is extremely important from a safety perspective. These two instances of landing and taking off are actually the most critical moments given that a majority of accidents take place. Saran Udayakumar is an Aviation Safety Officer who explained on Quora that opening the window shade is actually a constituent of a much elaborate process for preparing the plane’s cabin for any unfortunate circumstances.
The responsibility for preparing the plane for all and any contingencies rests with the flight attendants. The crew on the plane have merely ninety seconds for facilitating the evacuation of each passenger in case of any emergency. Moreover, the evacuation process must not span greater than ninety seconds either, no matter what the number of passengers or size of the plane is. It is only due to the process of keeping the window shades open that this 90 second window can be satisfied in those sudden emergencies.
A former cabin crew from Emirates 24/7 mentioned that adjusting the cabin lights after raising window shades makes sure that the eyes of the passengers sufficiently adjust the light outside of the plane. As a result of this, in case of anything going awry and in the instance of people needing evacuation there is not a quick change in the contrast of light. The Q&A website travel.stackexchange.com highlighted the fact that this can potentially result in temporary blurred vision. This is akin to what happens during night flights when the window shades are raised but cabin lights fade which assists ground emergency personnel in spotting the cabin’s interior in an unfortunate incident.
Moreover, this exercise could potentially assist passengers in spotting and reporting sudden emergencies in no time. As the cabin crew looks outside the window of the plane, they can assess the external conditions before planning an evacuation with success should an instance of emergency arise. Plus, the exercise of raising the window shades allows rescue personnel to look inside the plane with ease. The cabin crew must decide which region in the aircraft is safe to evacuate from in the instance of any emergency. As the cabin crew leaves the window shade raised, it offers them sufficient visibility to make such a judgment call. Who knew there was so much logic to that?