There are few things more annoying than sitting next to someone on a long flight who refuses to keep the window shutters closed.
The moment the rest of the aisle attempts to get some sleep during a 15-hour haul, the person next to the window will inevitably decide they want to open the shutters and sneak a peek outside, flooding the cabin with light.
For passengers on Qantas’s new 787-9 Dreamliners, however, arguing over the window shutters will soon be a thing of the past.
That’s because the new planes, which start flying in December, won’t have shutters at all.
Listen: Kids might not like always like flying, but they do like paper planes. Just ask this Brisbane dad.
Instead, the planes will feature dimmable windows that can be controlled by the passenger at the window seat and – importantly – by the flight crew as well.
There’s another ingenious aspect of the new feature.
Not only will non-window seat passengers be able to sleep, but even at the darkest of the five settings travellers can still peer out the window and see… well, clouds, because that’s what you can generally see at 12,000 metres above sea level.
The Boeing Company design researcher Rachelle N. Ornan-Stone told News.com.au the flight attendants could control every window with the press of the button.
"It’s really important that everybody has the opportunity to have an uninterrupted sleep and not to have to worry about someone who wants to peek outside and fill the cabin with light," Dr Ornan-Stone said.
"We wanted to make sure that sleep is guaranteed and that flight attendants have control."
The eight planes will be used for flights between Melbourne to Los Angeles from December and in March next year the planes will also start flying from Perth to London, News.com.au reports.
We can't wait to see this clever feature in action. Now, if only they could do something about those reclining seats and crying babies...