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I understand the rationale for putting seat backs straight, folding tables, fastening seatbelts etc., but I've never really understood why the window blinds matter.

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    $\begingroup$ That are the two most likely times there can be an incident, and its a usual policy to have blinds up during those stages so passengers can also spot and alert the crew if any outside malfunction goes undetected. $\endgroup$ – Hanky Panky Mar 27 '14 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Iceman: "Stewardess? Oh, stewardess!? I hate to bother you, dear - I do realize that take-off is SUCH a busy time - but could you please tell the captain that the engines seem to be on fire, the wing just fell off, and the ground seems to be coming up rather more quickly than seems prudent? Thank you, dear..." $\endgroup$ – Bob Jarvis - Reinstate Monica Jan 1 '15 at 4:14