Why are the cabin lights dimmed for takeoff and landing?
Cabin crew turn off cabin lights for takeoff and landing to allow passengers’ eyes to adjust to the darkness in the event an emergency occurs that requires evacuation of the aircraft. If passengers’ eyes are adjusted for darkness, their night vision will be improved, which will help them find a route out of the plane in the event of an emergency in the dark.
Once the cabin lights are dimmed, you will have the option of using an overhead light which will give you enough light to continue reading, but these lights are dimmed so your eyes can still adjust to the light levels lower.
The reason the cabin lights are dimmed is not the same as why the lights are turned off while cruising (at high altitude en route) – it’s to allow you to sleep!
Other cabin crew instructions
Cabin crew give all passengers extensive take-off and landing instructions, such as turning off laptops, removing headphones, and making sure trays are stowed. They’re not just annoying, it’s actually for a very good reason – your safety and well-being should something go wrong.
Why should passengers store their laptops?
If the aircraft were to come to a sudden stop or there was an unexpected large impact, loose items could be thrown around the cabin. Any object the size of a laptop computer can cause very serious injuries if it hits someone. It is therefore in everyone’s interest that objects such as laptop computers are stowed in the seat pocket or in the overhead compartment for take-off and landing.
Some airlines will allow the use of smaller portable devices during take-off and landing, as these are deemed small enough not to pose a significant risk or could be useful in an emergency.
Tray Table Storage
The cabin crew asks you to ensure that tray tables are folded into an upright position for take-off and landing, because in the event of a collision you could be violently pushed into them, which could result in serious injury or even death.
Raise the window blinds
You must be able to see out in the event of an accident to determine which side of the aircraft can be safely evacuated. It is also to allow the Cabin Crew Member to be able to look outside and assess where a danger is (like a fire) and therefore decide which emergency exits should be used.
Removing your headphones
Some airlines have stopped insisting on it, but some airlines still enforce it. Basically, there may be an occasion where the pilots or cabin crew order an evacuation of the aircraft even though the reason is not obvious. For example, a fire in the hold. In this scenario, they need you to hear evacuation instructions immediately and clearly. You don’t want to miss half of it because you’re listening to your favorite band!
Seat in upright position
If you need to adopt the backup position, the seat in front of you should have its seat in an upright position to make it as effective as possible. So moving your seat to an upright position is actually for the safety of the person behind you, not you!