Keeping the window blinds open is meant to keep you safe. Picture: Pexels.

When the pilot signals travellers to raise their window blinds during landing and takeoff, he/she does so for your own safety. 

Thanks to a thread on Quora, it all starts to make sense. 

A user asked: “Why do crew members request to keep window shades open in airplanes during takeoff and landing?” to which many aviation experts shared their response. 

In a nutshell, it allows passengers to assess the outside area in case of an emergency. 

Takeoff and landing are among the most critical parts of flying, so it helps the crew and travellers to prepare if there is an incident. 

It also allows teams to monitor the inside of the aircraft during the evacuation process.  

John Keese, former Captain at American Airlines, said crew members and passengers could familarise themselves with the outside scenery so that they could protect themselves during an emergency. 

He said: “For instance, a very bad situation could be made much, much worse by opening an emergency exit into the area where a fire exists. Under conditions of extreme panic people will do all kinds of things without conscious thought, even jumping onto an evacuation slide directly into the path of flames, hazardous materials or arriving rescue vehicles. Open window shades provide a bit more situation awareness for everyone in the cabin.” (sic)

Nakul Vk, a flight simulator pilot, said the takeoff and landing were crucial phases of a flight.

He said seats were in an upright position during take-off and landing to ensure a speedy evacuation. 

“The seats need to be straight to reduce the time you take to get out. The lights are dimmed so that your eyes are already adjusted to an emergency evacuation situation,” he revealed. 

Auldrick Brown, a pilot, said: “There is also the added benefit of rescue teams being able to get a look inside the aircraft if necessary. Most (if not all) instructions given by the crew of an airplane are primarily safety-related, in the unlikely event that an emergency situation occurs.”