Most frequent flyers love window seats, and with good reason: there's nothing quite like that view from high above the clouds.
Whether you're admiring sunrises and sunsets; making moonlight journeys over cities marked by telltale pinpricks of light; watching the distant landscape illuminated by the orange of dawns and dusks; or simply letting your mind run free, your thoughts as untethered to the ground as you are.
All of which could explain why a decision by Airbus to introduce dimmable cabin windows on its new A350 jets is expected to trigger outsized consternation from many travellers.
At its Airbus Summit 2021 held in Toulouse, France overnight, the aircraft manufacturer revealed it would adopt 'e-windows' for the popular long-range A350 as part of a 2022 upgrade to its Airspace cabin design.
Instead of the long-standing window shade over which passengers have total control, the new A350 windows will be made from high-tech electrochroamatic material similar to that already seen on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and the forthcoming Boeing 777X family.
Passengers will be able to dim their window by tapping a soft-touch button mounted into the frame; holding that button down steps through the dimming stages.
Describing its A350 e-glass as using 'third generation' technology, Airbus says the windows will be able to go to 100% dark to block out everything.
The catch is that the aircraft's cabin crew are expected to be able to over-ride any passenger settings to 'open', 'close' or dim by degrees any and all windows.
There's an obvious passenger comfort angle here: on an overnight flight, the windows can all be darkened to prevent sleeping passengers from being roused by the sharp light of sunrise.
And there's no need to remind everyone to open their window shades ahead of a landing when the crew can set all the e-windows to maximum transparency with the flick of a switch.
All the same, we know many travellers love being able to gaze out the window at any stage of their flight – it's why so many select window seats in advance, and why those seats are among the first to be reserved on most flights.
ET readers: what's your take on the news that future Airbus A350s will include electric window dimming?