This is something i've always wondered about, but thanks to an article I came across from indiatimes I no longer have the big question mark on my head when the flight attendant wakes me up during landing to open my window.
Lifting the shades on the windows during take-off and landing might seem like a trivial ask to many airplane passengers. Some travellers believe that this to prepare them for the jolty landing moment when the wheels hit the concrete below.
But experts have now revealed the reasons why it is much more important to passenger safety than you would think.
Aviation Safety Officer, Saran Udayakumar told Quora users that in cases of emergency the cabin crew only have 90 seconds to evacuate the aeroplane. In order to make this possible the crew prepare the passengers and the aircraft so if anything does go wrong they can evacuate quickly. This also means emergency personnel outside can see into the cabin to assess the situation.
He explains: "Passengers are curious; hence they are perfect extra eyes to see if something goes wrong out there. Usually passengers report stuff right away."
"In case of sudden emergencies, every second counts. Therefore if shades are open crew can easily see outside conditions to help them in planning the evacuation - which doors to use for evacuation."
Personally I use to always think it's so we can see if anything is going wrong with the plane outside, but then again we're not experts so how could we even know...