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wjcandee
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:58 pm

It's not common, but not unheard-of, in the Continental US, unless there is something unusual on approach (weather, a delay, etc.).

It is absolutely-common on flights from the US to the Caribbean. Land in San Juan some time on a substantial aircraft and you will hear it every time.
 
B737900
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:03 pm

It was a dark and stormy night. Rain, wind and solid cloud. Break thru the cloud and there should be the runway. Can't even believe what the crew saw out the cockpit windows. Flight was AS from SEA to JNU with stops in Ketchikan and Sitka. We circled KET and made two attempts to land. Circled a bit longer and captain announced no go in KET and headed to SIT (my destination). Landed there no problem and that's when the clapping began. From KET to SIT there was no clapping; very quite. The clapping in this case was relieve.

[Edited 2015-09-19 11:14:46]

[Edited 2015-09-19 11:16:42]
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zrs70
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:27 pm

Wouldn't it be great to experience a flight through the eyes of someone who claps? The Joy, the exuberance, the newness. Oh, to not be jaded by the miles we have flown!

Clapping most often happens on an inaugural or retirement flight.

[Edited 2015-09-19 11:30:08]
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gatibosgru
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:50 pm

Was on a flight from BNA-FLL with a full wedding party on board. There was clapping consistently through the flight, and more after landing. Thankfully I had my noise canceling headphones.
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113312
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:06 pm

This seems to be something that Europeans do. I think it's totally stupid. If they really mean to show appreciation, they should wait until the seat belt sign goes out at the arrival gate. But, they always applaud after the moment of touchdown. It's as it the whole flight boils down to a smooth touchdown. You can even hear applause on landings that end up in a wreck as the plane runs off the end or side of a runway. There are plenty of videos of this.

Most Americans do nothing after landing and often even less upon leaving the plane. Most do not acknowledge the pilots or flight attendants when they leave.
 
Brick
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:11 pm

I've logged almost 1000 flights within the US since 1994 and I have never once had anyone clap upon landing.
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:14 pm

Quoting 113312 (Reply 54):
Most Americans do nothing after landing and often even less upon leaving the plane. Most do not acknowledge the pilots or flight attendants when they leave.

So wait a minute... Europeans, who according to you seem to be the ones who clap, are stupid for saying thank you or expressing gratitude via this action. But Americans who do nothing upon landing and even less so upon leaving the plane are not stupid? Or did I misunderstand your post?

As far as waiting until the end, let's face it, once the aircraft is wheels on the runway - it's probably safe at that point. Sure there are a few isolated instances of accidents post touchdown, but come on, those are tiny statistical numbers. Basing the idea of clapping until at the gate for that reason is crazy logic.
 
flyenthu
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:16 pm

I think it is an economy class thing, as most of the times folks are glad to get out of the cramped plane and get real food. I have not seen this in business. In business and first, they are probably already missing the pampering as they land.

        
 
GT4EZY
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:18 pm

There are several reasons and these tend to vary dependent on culture and area of the world.

Here in Europe it still happens on some "bucket and spade" services. I've seen people on forums, such as this, lambast such behaviour and I've seen colleagues roll their eyes but ultimately these days it simply means that the passengers are in a good mood and looking forward to their holiday (vacation). Rarely does it have anything to do with recognising the pilots (except for particularly breezy approaches) and rarely does it happen when you are bringing a load of holidaymakers home.
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Gazdon121
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:47 pm

I have been on two flights where the passengers clap, one was Gatwick-sanford and the other was a ORD-LAS flight details of
 
B2468
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:51 pm

Clapping seems to just be random. I do remember as a child back in the early 1980s, I used to fly frequently with my father RSW-NYC-RSW to visit family in Connecticut, and people seemed to always applaud after landing (though my memory may be fuzzy).

Since then, I have been on flights where no one applauded, and some where people applauded, in the USA, South Korea, China, Malaysia, and Singapore.

I think some of it depends as well on whether there is a special group on board. On one flight I took PEK-JFK on CA, there was a group of high school music students from New Hampshire returning from a tour of China, and they applauded both after takeoff and after landing. So, in some cases, I would guess that the applause is celebratory in nature, on the beginning or conclusion of a great trip.
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enzo011
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:59 pm

Had it happen a few times, usually when the flight went through some interesting bumps on approach. Also it seems to be easier to do when the crew was good on the flight, so more of a thank you for getting us down safely and thank you for the crew who looked after us for the flight. I won't ever start the clapping but do join in...its just fun to do.
 
KarlB737
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:14 pm

Quoting LBA1432 (Reply 29):
they're applauding that it managed to land safely?

Your statement can be exactly right if the weather is iffy and you're landing at Chicago Midway. If I recall correctly everytime I have arrived there clapping occurred.
 
Yakflyer
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:45 pm

Why do people clap at a movie theater? I suspect the reasons are similar.
 
speedbudgie
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 8:56 pm

I've often heard this in Southern Europe. In fact, on one particular flight to Barcelona there was the clapping and then a series of chants where the Spaniards on the flight began cheering their home regions. Oddly this all seemed to happen in turn as though choreographed. It was fascinating and wonderful experience.
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tropical
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:07 pm

I've seen it a few times, but I think it's a dying art. In my 25+ years of flying, I'd say it's happened far more often in the first 10 years than in the last 15.

I'm more bemused by people doing the sign of the Cross as we go into final descent. It's almost something out of Airplane! Though to be fair if someone is afraid of flying and religious, I can't blame them for going for it 
 
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tb727
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:07 pm

I've noticed it happen on almost all my flights in and out of TJSJ this year.
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jmdc861
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:11 pm

I always thought it was a "Puerto Rican" thing. Years ago flying Trans Caribbean DC-8-61s from JFK to SJU with 250+ as well as Pan Am 747s with 350+ did you want to hear an ovation! Flown all over the world, only experienced it flying into San Juan.

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rbavfan
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:12 pm

Depends on if they had a rough flight and got a good smooth landing. Kind of a fear response.
 
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tlecam
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:15 pm

I've. Priced both in the states and abroad infrequently. Seems to correlate to groups traveling together. Once, a bunch of German students did it on a Delta shuttle flight between LGA and BOS, which caused some curious reactions from the usual passengers.
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Viscount724
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:17 pm

Quoting slcdeltarumd11 (Reply 4):
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

Agree, in hundreds of flights in North America over 50+ years I've never seen it once there. Used to be fairly common in Europe but seems to have gone out of fashion in the past few years. Still happens occasionally, especially on flights with mostly leisure passengers.
 
werdywerd
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:17 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 15):
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.

Uh, not tool long ago, it wasn't as safe as it is today to get on an airplane and make it to your destination in one piece. I'm sure make people parents and grandparents began the whole clapping thing upon landing because they truly were happy to make it in one piece and as a gesture to show appreciation to the pilots (who back then could hear everything due to not having cockpit doors and smaller aircraft)
Back in the 1940's-1970s, there were many more aircraft accidents as there are today. Many of the people who used to fly back then are still flying today and most likely passe4d on the tradition to thier children.

I don't think it's stupid at all, if someone wants to clap, let them. Does it really bother some of you that much (like the one guy who called pax "stupid"...) really?

And yes, not all passengers are as flight "saavy" as many of you are, a huge amount of people have a genuine fear of flying. So cut them a break.
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:48 pm

Clapping seems to be common on most VFR type routes. People who are flying to their home country or somewhere they associate with being important to them often clap upon landing. I've seen it happen on flights into TLV (as a Jewish person, landing in Israel evokes a feeling of being home). As majority of people flying to Israel are Jewish, most people eventually start clapping.

[Edited 2015-09-19 14:50:04]
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Classa64
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:49 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 15):
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.

Ouch! A bit harsh and insulting since a lot of us are passengers. I have clapped and its only for my relief and appreciation to the crew. I am sure if pilots could hear the clapping every time it may make there day or the F/A's day.

When it all started who knows, maybe Wilbur clapped after Orville's his first flight?


C
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eurowings
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:55 pm

I've seen/heard it on leisure flights from Northern Europe to the sunny South (AGP / TFS / PFO etc), I've even joined in a few times haha. It's a way of saying thank you to the flight deck for a job performed well. Although it doesn't happen in other European countries, in most UK/Irish cities people say thank you to the public bus driver on leaving the bus. I see it quite similar to that.

[Edited 2015-09-19 14:55:58]
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OMP777X
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:14 pm

Quoting enzo011 (Reply 62):
ad it happen a few times, usually when the flight went through some interesting bumps on approach. Also it seems to be easier to do when the crew was good on the flight, so more of a thank you for getting us down safely and thank you for the crew who looked after us for the flight. I won't ever start the clapping but do join in...its just fun to do.

That is when I've experienced clapping too, when it has been an interesting approach involving a go around or some severe turbulence. I'll join in as well because I'm equally as happy to survive the landing as everyone else (not that I ever truly feared for my own safety, but it is nice to know you've made it).

Quoting eurowings (Reply 76):
Although it doesn't happen in other European countries, in most UK/Irish cities people say thank you to the public bus driver on leaving the bus. I see it quite similar to that.

This is also true for me, though I don't know if I'd clap on a plane simply for the service by itself without there being an incident that makes it above the ordinary level of service you'd expect to encounter. Still, I'll always thank the crew and I do that with drivers on buses and in cabs just the same. It seems like the appropriate thing to do to show appreciation for them getting you safely from point A to point B.

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OMP777X
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uhntissbaby111
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:11 pm

Idk about it being an American thing. Have never heard it on a US flight. However, I do remember the whole cabin clapping after flights to/from Poland on LOT. Great memories!!
 
Q
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:34 pm

I was on Southwest 737-200 long time ago St Louis to Chicago Midway when near St Louis far north it was bad turbulence rough. I saw the wing flipping twice as long as 6 to 9 feet. Whoa! Then continue flying to Midway. Pilot report that Midway has low visibility due fog. Captain was trying to land Rwy 4R. I saw the approach lights too far left side of our line up before touchdown. when fog clear it up and captain saw runway too far left trying to left turn but too late go around. Circling to try again same rwy 4R. I can see approach lights underneath our 737. I say He made it before touchdown a passenger next to me are you sure? I say yup! When 737 touchdown and all passengers clapping!! LOL! I did clapped it. I came out of plane I saw captain's shirt under armpit was sweating!!! LOL!

Q
 
kurtjeter
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:40 pm

I haven't experienced this in quite a while, but I remember back in the 1980's, it seemed fairly common on international flights. I always assumed it was because a good number of passengers on that flight were glad to be back home after . . . a week, two weeks, .. . . .
 
checksixx
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:51 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
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 ?

I think its very odd that you even have to ask the question. I have to assume that you fly rarely and/or are not a seasoned traveler. Most clap...most (all over the world) clap when there is clearly weather issues, aircraft issues, etc...that could cause a bumpy landing or hard landing....and the pilots get it down gently. I would think that this is the most common reason.
 
global1
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:07 am

It seems to be a cultural thing.

It's quite common in Latin countries, and Miami as well.
 
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jetpixx
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 12:50 am

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

I think it depends on what part of the country you are...in the US, I've experienced it quite frequently on flights from the Northeast to South Florida. For whatever reason, those people are really excited about landings...I never understood. If they're happy, then when you're leaving the plane, say something to the pilot (they're usually there). But clapping...kind of inane.
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aviateur
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:18 am

The following is taken from chapter five of my book:


Q: I’m old enough to remember when passengers used
to applaud on every landing. Does this ever happen
anymore?


A: Clapping upon landing was still widespread as recently as the late ’70s and early ’80s. No surprise that it scarcely happens anymore. The number of Americans who fly at least twice a year has more than quadrupled in the past quarter century. The familiarity of the routine, and the hassles that come with it, have rubbed away whatever sense of excitement or novelty was still there. It remains somewhat common overseas, however, where passengers aren’t (yet) as jaded. In the past few years, on trips I’ve taken to Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, cheers and applause could be heard on roughly a quarter of the landings.

Do crews feel offended or insulted? Not in the least. It isn’t a critique of the landing or a judgment on the pilots’ skills. Neither is it an outburst of relief at having cheated gravity and lived to tell about it. Even the most nervous flyers are more optimistic than that. I wouldn’t deconstruct it too much. It pretty much speaks for itself and needn’t be taken too seriously. It’s just having fun, and to me it lends a folksy, humane touch to the end of a flight.

And you’ll notice, when it does happen, it’s a strictly economy class phenomenon. People in first or business never clap. You’ll be apt to look for a socioeconomic meaning to this, and maybe there is one, but the dynamics of economy class — more people sitting closer together — lend itself to the occasion. There’s a certain communal spirit, especially after a long- haul flight, when you’ve spent several hours in a relatively intimate space with hundreds of people. In a way, the applause acts like a big collective handshake.


-- Patrick Smith
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
yanninemo
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 1:31 am

I've never seen any clapping in the US and I've done a lot of flying in the US. I have however seen the clapping every time I flew to Europe.
 
klwright69
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:14 am

In the 80's I was once on IB from JFK to MAD. It was a 747 classic, everyone clapped on take off and landing. It was quite a boisterous atmosphere.

Here is a video of passengers clapping on DL to Lagos not a long time ago. This video is very entertaining if you haven't seen it. They start clapping at 8 minutes and then do it again at 10.00 minutes into the video the people were so happy to be in Nigeria. You can reach your own conclusions. It's memorable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYqPPAk5znE
 
superjeff
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:27 am

The only time I've ever experienced this was on a Ukraine International flight CDG-Kiev and the return. I don't think it is the norm in the U.S. ; it may occasionally happen, but I fly pretty much weekly U.S. domestic, and haven't run into it.
 
A332DTW
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 2:38 am

I've experienced this once or twice, in the US and Europe, respectively. However it was only after the approach was made through some bad weather and the turbulence was a little too much for everyones' comfort. A lot of people tense up when flying through storms, especially during landing. I guess it's both a sense of relief, and kudos to the pilot for a good landing in bad weather.
 
flyinggoat
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:29 am

I don't think I've ever seen clapping in the U.S., but clapping seems pretty common on the flights I've taken to the Philippines.
 
ODwyerPW
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:37 am

You never hear clapping upon landing on any flight that originates from Las Vegas on a Sunday evening when it reaches it's final destination.  

I'll admit it... I've clapped. Once had an extended final approach to Albuquerque NM that was so rough that many on the plane vomited. (me included). That plan came down so hard and crooked. Didn't matter, we were so glad it was over we applauded.
learning never stops.
 
joeycapps
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:07 am

Some of these replies are just brutal. Let people clap if they want to. I think that one of the things aviation fanatics, such as myself, tend to forget is that flying isn't common for everyone. I remember sitting next to a woman and her son and as we landed she started clapping. Her son, who looked frightened for most of the flight, started smiling and clapping along. She was the ONLY one clapping (until her son started in) and it actually was quite awesome to see this kid calm down so quickly and be happy.

I don't think that the original post was meant to be rude, but some of these replies I'm reading just remind me that in today's world of intolerance, I should never be surprised by the small things that seem to annoy some to no end. If "stupid passengers" clapping is someone's biggest problem of the day, maybe they should be glad.

2c over.
 
guyanam
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:14 am

Quoting kurtjeter (Reply 78):



Most of the clapping I have heard have been on flights with a heavy quotient of immigrants, who are merely happy to arrive back home. Every flight to SJU from NYC had clapping on arrival in PR, and also on some flights to other Caribbean destinations.

No clapping on the NYC SJU flights now as fewer US based Puerto Ricans seem to be on board these days. Curious if they clap on the FL SJU flights. Or maybe folks are no longer so over joyed as PR has many problems these days.


Never seen US passengers clap except in a very challenging landing, and I suspect that the crews appreciate it.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:28 am

When I was working in Ukraine, I remember the passengers also clapping after takeoff 
Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
Do they think the Pilots can hear them ?!

Sometimes we can actually hear them clapping even with the cockpit door closed. (A320)
 
dampfnudel
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:39 am

When I was a kid during the 1980s I flew every summer with my mom from JFK to FRA to visit my grandmother. I almost never heard clapping when we landed in Frankfurt, but everytime we landed in JFK, a bunch of passengers, sometimes including my mom, would clap. Maybe it was a bunch of German tourists who rarely fly expressing their relief that they made it across that big, bad Atlantic. I always felt it was a little weird. Last year when I landed in JFK on a KLM flight from AMS, there was no clapping.
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DocLightning
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:32 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

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

I've heard it in South America and in Asia.

I always figured it was just a show of appreciation for the crew, just like after a play or a symphony. The landing is the end of the flight (after that, there's just taxiing, no flying) and the end of the service. And unlike when you get to the gate, people can clap and not have to worry about jumping up to disembark.

I think it's a nice tradition to thank your crew who has worked hard to serve you through the flight.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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boeing737max
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:09 pm

Been on many us flights, only time people have clapped was when we land in bad weather.
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:17 pm

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

Just completed 5 flights in Italy, and apart from the final one which was a business man timed flight, a clap went out in all of them.

Cleverly, the Italians only unclench and clap when plane comes to a stop at the gate area.
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
kilroyguy
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:57 pm

It used to happen from time to time on Reeve Aleutian after a particularly turbulent landing at Adak or Cold Bay. Ironically this was on an Electra combi with the pax behind the cargo --- no way it could be heard up front.
 
Beardown91737
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RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:35 pm

I can only remember this happening twice.

1. CO captain on last flight before retiring and the crew had announced it was his retirement flight.
2. Sarcasm on WN landing at MDW, after staying earthbound on the third bounce and keeping it inside the fence.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
 
holzmann
Posts: 599
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 3:43 pm

RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Sun Sep 20, 2015 10:49 pm

Used to happen on nearly every flight took when I was a kid in the 80s. Now I just hear sporatic applause from a handful of pax on TATL flights.

The reasons? My theories...
1. Religious. A lot of people genuflect before take off. Similarly people are thankful to arrive safely.
2. Happy to arrive at destination: the vacation can begin!
3. Appreciate a good landing.
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klwright69
Posts: 2709
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 4:22 am

RE: Why Do Passengers Clap After Landing?

Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:35 am

I agree with you Holzmann. In this video there are two rounds of applause. One at 8 and one at 10 minutes into the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYqPPAk5znE

It is clear one of them is reason 2, happy to arrive, and other round of applause is reason, 1, religion.

In the video people are praising jesus and saying halelujah!

Some cultures are known for being very jovial and festive also. There is a cultural aspect as well as religious in some cases.

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