Suggestion for “galley curtain policy” to reduce airline cabin light pollution

A flight attendant’s recent use of a curtain in the forward galley got me to thinking about the “curtain policy” U.S. airlines have been forced to take resulting from a post September 11, 2001 directive by the TSA. Airlines were initially ordered to remove all curtains that impede a visual line of sight from anywhere in the aisle/cabin to the cockpit door. Curtains have returned to separate cabins, although they are mesh see-through versions that do little for overall privacy. The picture below was taken earlier this month on a regional United Express flight operated with an Embraer ERJ-170 aircraft.

And here begins my mini-rant. For the life of me I don’t recall if mainline United Airlines flights have a similar curtain, and if they do, they’re certainly not being used. I have been on countless flights in first class, particularly the Airbus A319s & A320s, where the light pollution from the galley completely illuminates the first class cabin. Is this a big deal? In the grand scheme of things, no, but on redeyes and lengthy transcontinental flights after the sun has gone down, it gets annoying. Particularly when I turn around and see a dark, soothing economy cabin. And yes, I do carry eyeshades with me, but that’s not the point I’m making here.

I would love to see a curtain like the one pictured above installed on every aircraft to negate the issue, and make it a policy to use during non-service times. Is this too much to ask? I’d love to get some input & particularly from flight attendants, even if it is to tell me I’m being too sensitive and to get over myself. So what say you?

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