Max Q
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Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:58 am

Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.


Why is this ? are they praising the landing or are the nervous ones applauding still being alive ?


Do they think the Pilots can hear them ?!


Very odd, sort of like people wearing baseball caps backwards, whats the point ?
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picarus
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:13 am

It could be any of those reasons. I've always tended to believe that it's about the pilot sticking the landing. Most passengers don't want a bone jarring landing and some are apt to applaud a billowy landing on deck.

FWIW, I like to feel the gear making contact,,,but to each his own. Either way, I wouldn't worry about it too much. In these days of intolerance and incivility, is it really a bad thing?
 
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scbriml
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:16 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.

I've often experienced it in Asia.
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David L
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:27 am

I've always suspected it's an outpouring of relief that they're safely on the ground "against all odds" and that the "terrifying ordeal" is over. I'm sure the same people don't clap each time the postman delivers a letter, etc.
 
slcdeltarumd11
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:34 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.

I have never once seen people in the US clap. I have seen it many times in foreign countries
 
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longhauler
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:36 am

Quoting David L (Reply 3):
I've always suspected it's an outpouring of relief that they're safely on the ground "against all odds" and that the "terrifying ordeal" is over.

Yup. The same reason The Pope kisses the ground after every time he get's off of an Alitalia airplane.   
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AustrianZRH
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:44 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
seems to be mostly a US thing

In Europe I never heard it on scheduled city flights, but on every single charter flight/holiday flight to sun destinations. The fly-once-a-year pax still find it incredible to survive being seated into a tube that is flying 10 km above ground, apparently  .
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:57 am

Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
I've often experienced it in Asia.

Agreed, I have heard it here in Asia, but rarely.

When I was young, I heard it a few times, mostly in Greece and Italy.

I've probably heard it less than 10 times total in my life.

Not sure what leads to it, but it seems to be driven by one slow clap starter and then spreads to a hearty 10-15 second affair.
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tommy1808
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:02 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.

around here people often clap on charter flights and pretty much never on scheduled ones.
I guess for some people scared of flying it's a way to went the tension, some just clap along, other take it as some sort of tradition.

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Aaron747
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:05 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 4):
I have never once seen people in the US clap.

Guess you've never been on a flight to HNL or OGG 
Quoting scbriml (Reply 2):
I've often experienced it in Asia.

Perhaps in SE Asia but this is almost unheard of in Korea or Japan.

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Very odd, sort of like people wearing baseball caps backwards, whats the point ?

I have no idea. Even if the weather was rough on the way in, I know that the guys/gals up front probably enjoyed the chance to tussle with nature a bit instead of having a snooze. The last time I had the pleasure of a gusty crosswind landing, I tipped my (forward-facing) baseball cap to the First Officer, said 'that must have been fun - jealous!' and he laughed and replied 'you betcha'. Most of the traveling public has no clue.
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Mortyman
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:06 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.

Fairly common on charter flights to sunny destinations in Europe. I have also experienced it on long haul flights, where the flights have for some reason been delayed because of severe weather and / or has circled for a long time or had technical issues.
 
DXTraveler
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:14 am

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 4):

ditto - I've only seen it overseas, on flights that appear to have a lot of tourists or large groups traveling together.
 
SCQ83
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:14 am

I have never flown charter so I can't comment.

Clapping in regular flights was uncommon in Europe but, like many other things, Ryanair popularised it. The famous Ryanair "trumpet" when landing and passengers clapping well work together   I don't think it is only about people that fly once a year (I smell a bit of airliners.net snobbism here) but Ryanair and their "O'Leary attitude" has probably made people more confortable about "going fool" in an airplane.
 
bgm
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:34 am

I think it's inversely proportional to the amount someone flies. A regular flier will not clap, but someone who flies once every few years probably will.
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LandSweetLand
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:37 am

I've seen it a few times in Australia. It was always after a really rough (turbulence wise) flight. These were always on small planes though so it's likely the pilot would have heard.
 
brilondon
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:38 am

Most passengers are stupid. Although I am sure that it goes back to the days of showing appreciation for the service and not for the specific act of landing, but for the whole flight.
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:38 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.

Very intriguing for me to read your statement. My experience has been the complete opposite - I have never experienced passengers clapping upon landing in the United States.

That said, in Asia and Russia I experience it all the time. In Europe mostly only on charter flights to vacation destinations.

In Russia, this is a very longstanding tradition. Throughout my 20 years of experiencing this, whenever I talk about it with others they always cite the clapping as out of respect and gratitude; a way to thank the flight crew and cabin crew for their hospitality on board and for a safe arrival.
 
Woodreau
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:40 am

Can we hear it in the flight deck?

I haven't heard clapping on landing...

But we can hear some things in the flight deck if it's loud enough from the forward cabin. Just like folks seated in the first few rows can hear some of our audible crew alerts, like the fire bell or autopilot disconnect.

The one time I did hear spontaneous clapping, it was during the takeoff roll, the whole cabin erupted in cheering and applause as takeoff power was applied and we started rolling - the flight was running a few hours late, so i imagine folks were just happy to be on their way.

And then there was the flight where the entire cabin was chanting and cheering the entire flight from takeoff to touchdown. It was a Wal-Mart crowd, from XNA to ORD after Shareholder's Meeting Week the first week of June. They had a good upbeat pep rally that we heard in the flight deck for the whole flight.
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Andy33
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:48 am

Maybe the clappers are hoping for an encore...
 
VapourTrails
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:52 am

Quoting David L (Reply 3):
I've always suspected it's an outpouring of relief that they're safely on the ground "against all odds" and that the "terrifying ordeal" is over. I'm sure the same people don't clap each time the postman delivers a letter, etc.

  


I had / have never experienced this as pax in Australia, then.. I flew abroad, and first time with a non-Australian airline, and the pax clapped after every landing.   

Was with Garuda Indonesia in the early 90's. I wasn't sure what to make of it or assume. That they are appreciative of the crew and show their appreciation in this way? They are happy that they have got to their destination safely? Just gratitude in general? The flying, service of cabin crew etc.?

It had never occured to me, what the pilots think about this, and it is a really good question.

[Edited 2015-09-19 05:01:55]
 
smokeybandit
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:54 am

I've never experienced this on any flight
 
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:58 am

Quoting bgm (Reply 13):
I think it's inversely proportional to the amount someone flies. A regular flier will not clap, but someone who flies once every few years probably will.

I concur.


Used to be a common occurrence on flights to Romania years back when basically no one flew. It's gotten much rarer, and when it happens it's not such a "entire cabin" affair anymore.

Also, I don't think I've ever had it happen in the US or Northern Europe.

Southern and Eastern Europe, yes.
 
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:59 am

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 16):
In Russia, this is a very longstanding tradition. Throughout my 20 years of experiencing this, whenever I talk about it with others they always cite the clapping as out of respect and gratitude; a way to thank the flight crew and cabin crew for their hospitality on board and for a safe arrival.

  


When the pax clapped on my flights, I joined in. I was going along with the majority in doing this.   

[Edited 2015-09-19 05:02:30]
 
PlunaCRJ
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:09 pm

Quoting AustrianZRH (Reply 6):
In Europe I never heard it on scheduled city flights, but on every single charter flight/holiday flight to sun destinations. The fly-once-a-year pax still find it incredible to survive being seated into a tube that is flying 10 km above ground, apparently

Maybe it isn´t the "survival" aspect, but the "I´m so happy to start my vacationes one" ?

In my experience, clapping on landing was way more common a few years ago. And it usually is triggered by the extremes, both super smooth landings (congratulatory clapping?) and incredibly rough ones (friendly banter?)

Just once I tried to start the clapping myself. Flying into UIO, we were ground stopped at GYE for a couple of hours and then had to cicle above UIO for another hour waiting for the weather to go above minimuns. I really wasn´t expecting to get to UIO that night, I thought we were all going to end back at GYE. Nobody went along though.

It was, terrible.
 
ZaphodHarkonnen
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:13 pm

In NZ the only time you're going to hear about it is after a landing in nasty weather. Usually a WLG landing.   :p
 
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:42 pm

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 21):
Also, I don't think I've ever had it happen in the US or Northern Europe.

Just flew MUC-HER and back a week later, both flights with Condor and the clapping was very loud after landing on both legs of the journey. I assume since this was a sunny destination flight most pax originated in the Munich/Bavaria or Tirol area. I definitely wasn't expecting the clapping, but a nice surprise and I happily joined in.   
 
Toni_
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:46 pm

You'll find this more with passengers from less developed countries and older generations. I guess it has to do with how they still treat it as something special. People get excited about the flight. They fix their hair and dress up on departure day. All to fly in a metal tube through the sky where the pilot is physically controlling the plane throughout the entire flight. As soon as the plane hits the deck they thank the crew with a round of applause for getting them back on terra firma. Cape Verdeans still do this occasionally, although it's decreasing more and more as people fly more.

I can understand the applause after landing, however I remember seeing a video of a Russian charter flight from Egypt to Moscow I believe, where the passengers went bananas as soon as the plane rotated off the runway at take off. Now it might have had something to do with the passengers being fully "refueled" as well, but it was hilarious to see. Too bad I can't find the video anymore.
 
cschleic
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:24 pm

I was on a UA flight once that had clapping, when the third approach was the successful landing, after going around twice due to some warning light issue in the cockpit. Naturally, people were nervous, especially when they warned us that the fire trucks would be waiting. Uneventful in the end.

Also experienced clapping in the terminal when an arriving plane landed in bad weather. Everyone thought it wouldn't be able to land and the outbound flight would be cancelled.
 
Max Q
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:28 pm

Quoting Woodreau (Reply 17):
And then there was the flight where the entire cabin was chanting and cheering the entire flight from takeoff to touchdown. It was a Wal-Mart crowd, from XNA to ORD after Shareholder's Meeting Week the first week of June. They had a good upbeat pep rally that we heard in the flight deck for the whole flight.

Yes. that sounds like pure excitement..
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LBA1432
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:41 pm

I've experienced this a few times and I find it really odd, I mean, do these passengers clapping know something about the aircraft that I dont, like they're applauding that it managed to land safely?   

It always reminds me of a Chelsea Handler quote - 'There are two types of people I don't trust: people who don't drink and those who clap when the plane lands' TOO TRUE.
 
nikeherc
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:26 pm

The times that I have seen it happen have been after stressful events. For instance, after an eight hour delay in ORD on a flight to EWR during the 1973 "energy crisis". The airlines had reduced flights and crews due to the shortage of fuel. There weren't enough flights to place the passengers on alternatives and our plane was broken. We had been through all of the free booze and United had actually fed us on the plane on the ground. Finally a DC-8 51 was substitututed for our fully booked 61. A number of passengers couldn't be accommodated. We were all tired and grumpy. When we finally took off the passengers applauded, but the lead FA came on the PA and suggested that we hold the applause for a landing in Newark. Everybody on board applauded that landing also.

In my experience, applause at such times, whether on airliners or in other situations, serves to release tension and show relief that things have finally worked out.
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aklrno
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 2:43 pm

I've heard it in the US, Europe, Asia, and in my own car when I've parallel parked. Some people are frightened by the experience and relieved (perhaps surprised) they have arrived safely.
 
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adamblang
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:05 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this

I've probably fly 25% international, 75% domestic U.S. so far in life. The only times I can recall clapping on landing are flights within the 48 contiguous states after some pretty rough air. Most certainly "thank god that's done and we're going the ground" rounds of applause. I don't recall applause intra-Asia, intra-Europe, intra-South America, or on long haul but maybe that's because I'm a jaded traveler at this point and don't pay attention to what much of anybody is doing anymore.
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afterburner
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:17 pm

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Perhaps in SE Asia

I've never experienced passengers clapping on all my Indonesian domestic flights, flights from and to SIN, KUL, and HKT. In fact, I think I've never experienced passengers clapping on all my flights ever.
 
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falstaff
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:26 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Never understood this, seems to be mostly a US thing.
Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 4):
I have never once seen people in the US clap. I have seen it many times in foreign countries

I have never heard anyone clap on a US domestic flight. I have only heard it once on a US airline and that was on NW. Back in 2008 I flew DTW-AMS on an NW 744. After touchdown the man behind me started clapping and then a bunch of other people, including me, joined in.

Quoting Aeroflot777 (Reply 16):
In Russia, this is a very longstanding tradition

The man who started the clapping was Russian. He must have been a regular traveler because he was very well known by most the FAs. They stopped and chatted with him a lot.

Quoting cschleic (Reply 27):
Also experienced clapping in the terminal when an arriving plane landed in bad weather. Everyone thought it wouldn't be able to land and the outbound flight would be cancelled.

I saw that once in 2007 on a NW flight to ORD. Due to weather in ORD all the other flights from DTW-ORD had been canceled that day. When the gate agent announced it was time to board everyone began cheering.
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VC10er
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:27 pm

It has been going on since the early 1980's as I recall. How much before that, I have no clue. Did it happen in the 1960's? Or even the 1950's when the general public starting flying, not just those who could afford it, and at a time when people were switching from giant ships to cross the Atlantic?

I asked my mother, may she rest in peace, about the time when she stopped taking the Queen Mary to Scotland and switched to flying TATL. She said she really didn't think about it much. When she flew for the first time to Scotland it was not a big deal for her, she wasn't afraid or anything...just happy it took a day and not 5 days. Though she told me my Scottish Uncle Ben, who was born in the late 1800's, said "I'll fly only when my feet can be dragged across the water"  

I'm curious about when it started???

In the past 25 years, I find that it happens less and less, either not at all, or just a handful of people clapping vs the all of economy or "coach" bursting into applause.

I don't partake in the applause when it happens, but I seriously appreciate that flying is a MIRACLE STILL. I recently looked at a Lufthansa 747 landing at GIG (Rio) and thought "my God, that ENORMOUS metal machine was in Frankfurt about 10 hours ago, and it will be back there by the following morning, flying on it's own miles above the Earth and filled with hundreds of people" the miracle of flight does deserve applause.
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lesfalls
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:40 pm

It its quite common in the U.S but rare in Europe. When you start clapping everyone looks and stares at you if your doing something strange  . Unfortounatly though it is bcoming more uncommon in he U.S .
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rta
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:46 pm

Its simply to show a sign of appreciation. That being said, I can't remember the last time I've heard clapping on any of my flights, especially in the US.
 
BiggerJetsPlz
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:49 pm

I took my neighbors up in a C172 last weekend to do a little sightseeing, and they applauded when we landed. I'd like to think it's because I greased the landing (I did!) but I think it was more just releasing nervous energy. None of them had flown in a small plane before.
 
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:59 pm

See it on International and long flights much more than Domestic or short flights.

Clapping for a successful trip, relief at being back on solid ground safe and sound, good landing....
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nema
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:13 pm

Ive only witnessed it in the USA but i just put it down to the Yanks being a tad fanatical.
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crownvic
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:14 pm

I clap because I know its the end of enduring a cramped cabin packed like sardines with smelly, disgusting, hygienically gross, rude and inconsiderate people who treat flying today like backpacking in the woods for days on end..Oh... did I leave anything out???

[Edited 2015-09-19 09:16:17]

[Edited 2015-09-19 09:17:18]
 
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Tomassjc
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 4:33 pm

Quoting adamblang (Reply 32):

. The only times I can recall clapping on landing are flights within the 48 contiguous states after some pretty rough air.

My only experience in the States as well, after a bouncy approach into FLL on a summer afternoon.

Quoting VapourTrails (Reply 19):
That they are appreciative of the crew and show their appreciation in this way

This seems to be the case on PAL, where I've experienced applause on several landings, especially on arrival from the US into the Philippines.

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B737900
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:06 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 15):
Most passengers are stupid.
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Most of the traveling public has no clue.

I enjoy reading and contributing to Airliners.net until I read comments like these. Are we to believe only a.netters really know what's going on. Don't think so.
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mjoelnir
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:41 pm

Quoting B737900 (Reply 43):
Quoting brilondon (Reply 15):
Most passengers are stupid.
Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 9):
Most of the traveling public has no clue.

I enjoy reading and contributing to Airliners.net until I read comments like these. Are we to believe only a.netters really know what's going on. Don't think so.

  

I think clapping is just a thank you, like every where else.
 
bmacleod
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:41 pm

From surfing 8-9 AC and WS Youtube landings I didn't hear any clapping's but they probably clap on AC and WS too.
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nottarockstar
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:43 pm

Quoting B737900 (Reply 43):
I enjoy reading and contributing to Airliners.net until I read comments like these. Are we to believe only a.netters really know what's going on. Don't think so.

Amen. People clap after a long flight because they're happy to be on the ground, I think. It tends to happen on flights with less than frequent fliers, in my experience. And I've heard it on US airlines, as well as international. The last flight I remember hearing it was FRA-SIN on SQ.

Just flew SFO-FRA rt last week and no clapping on the upstairs of the a380 - wouldn't be surprised if it happened somewhere on the football field below.
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:50 pm

Same reason my grandma always says she will pray for me when I get on a flight - random human behavior.
 
Redd
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:55 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
seems to be mostly a US thing.

I've never experienced this once a US flight

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Do they think the Pilots can hear them ?!

They can. I've been in the cockpit of an AC 742 for landing YYZ - FRA (as a 12 year old), after a very bumpy landing I could hear the upper deck clapping like crazy.

I've experienced clapping on Charters, every LOT WAW-YYZ flight I've taken, KLM trans-atlantic flights and a few others I can't remember now.
 
a380787
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:57 pm

I've seen clapping twice - once on a domestic flight about 2 months after 9/11, and the second at LAS after a particularly bad landing

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