This is a different type of post compared to what I post usually but I figured that in-flight etiquette could be discussed here too. On a recent transpacific flight from Tokyo Narita (NRT) to Newark (EWR) with United UA78, after dinner was served, came time to dim the lights and people get a chance to sleep. They could also enjoy the in-flight entertainment system or read. If needed, personal light is available. On this particular flight, a relatively light one, a passenger occupying the seats 21 or 22 right side got to reading and decided she needed more light even after turning on her personal light. She then raised two windows fully. This action affects most passengers on this part of the cabin, especially those across from her. Some came up with creative ways to block the light but building a temporary shade using extra blankets (see picture 2).
I heard several passengers asked the flights attendants to see what they can do and the FAs came up to the lady to no avail. Only after about 4-5 hours, she lowered her windows half way (see picture 1). I guess it was a good thing some of the passengers brought sleep mask with them. Furthermore, it was not a full flight with the Premium Economy section emptier than the regular economy section.
I sat in the middle section right beside the action. Luckily, I caught some sleep early on and was not really affected by the light beaming from the right side as I was awake and doing stuff too. What if I was trying to get more sleep? What if there was more passengers in this flight? What if she could just turn the other personal lights on her row? Oh well, these are things you encounter on long haul flights – especially in the economy cabin. Cheers.