Airplane Applause

When did passengers start clapping for the pilot when the airplane lands? 

Has anyone else experienced this? Perhaps I just keep winding up on planes full of rubes. Come to think of it, it generally happens on the budget airlines that don't even pretend to have a business class. 

The only occasions where it might be appropriate to clap when the plane lands are:
  • You are the Wright sister accompanying your brothers on an early flight and are impressed to still be alive.
  • The on-flight showing of We Bought a Zoo coincidentally ended at the same time.
  • You have Tourettes.
  • The pilot suffered a heart attack and Lindsay Lohan volunteered to finish the job herself. 
Other than these circumstances, save your applause for your kid's choral concert. Clapping only seems warranted if you think there might have been a different outcome, and if you think there's anything but a microscopic chance of not landing safely, you probably shouldn't be flying. I don't ever clap for people who do their jobs exactly as I expected.

I have even less respect for the people who start clapping as an act of conformity. They also don't understand the point of clapping, but feel obligated to join in anyway. Just stop! You are complicit. You are perpetuating the practice of clapping for a pilot who probably can't even hear you all the way up in the cockpit. By the time we all have to start clapping for the flight attendant when she pours our ginger ales, you'll realize where you went wrong. 

1 comment:

KirstB said...

Ive heard clapping in two scenarios: after a really turbulent ride and everyone is thrilled to be on the ground
and upon arrival in a vacation destination, like the Caribbean. Both instances were years ago.
I've also heard anecdotally that they always clap in Russia when the plane lands.