Why do people clap when the plane lands?

A few weeks ago I came home from holiday to return to work the next day on a flight that reflected my mood quite well: turbulence. After a pretty rough landing, everyone on the plane started applauding.

It was then that I wondered: why do we do this? We don’t applaud when the subway train reaches a stop? Is it to show approval for the pilot’s skills and for achieving a safe landing? But the pilot can’t even hear us clapping…. We could all be doing a standing ovation and he wouldn’t even aware of it. So actually, nobody even cares if we clap or not?

Apparently the destination determines whether there will be clapping involved or not. Studies show – yes, crazy enough, there have been studies about this- that especially “holiday destinations” like Hawaii, Bali or Spain, often lead to clapping, while the pilot who takes us to “business destinations” like New York, he will most likely not be applauded. People would be more eager to clap when they arrive on a destination that promises sun, sand and cocktails for days to come than when they get to a destination that they associate with home or work. If the above is correct, we wouldn’t actually be clapping to thank the pilot for getting us on the ground safely, it would more be expressing a feeling of joy that we get to go out of the metal box that we’ve been in for hours, and get to go partying in the beach bar.

So I’m sorry dear pilot, we’re not clapping for you. Oh no wait, never mind, you can’t hear me anyway.

Will you be clapping on your next flight?

Airplane etiquette – a thing of the past?

We’re all in this together. We’re in this small iron box with very limited personal space, please let’s not make each other’s lives even more hell. Unfortunately some people don’t seem to care… Here are the most annoying plane passengers you might encounter on your next trip.

Aromatic Passengers

The tax-free area is this wonderful space where deodorant and perfume comes free, please use it. There really is no excuse for smelling bad.

The Rear-Seat Kicker

Are you bored, nervous or a jerk? None of these 3 explanations justify your behaviour though.


Okay, it can be stressful to take an airplane… But drinking…? This type actually describes my neighbour during my flight from Marseille to Brussels this summer extremely well. I didn’t open my book yet and Speedy Gonzalez already drank 3 gin-tonic. On top of that he was… an armrest claimer!

The Armrest Claimer

I got on the plane and took, to humour my boyfriend who is a very nervous flier (no Lucas, no way to deny it anymore, it’s on the internet now…), the universally dreaded MIDDLE SEAT. When I arrived at my seat, full of wonder/fear/yes even hope who my unknown neighbour would be, I saw the drunk already ordering his 2nd gin-tonic, all while not letting go of both of his armrests. Despite the heavy drinking, which necessitates pouring drinks into very unstable plastic cups on a heavily moving plane, (me without a doubt needing both hands for it and I’d still be spilling), he never let go of it during the entire flight….

The Chair Recliner

Besides claiming the armrest and kicking on the rear of the chair before you, there’s another thing that could go wrong that involves chairs. There’s always that person I’d like to call the Chair Recliner. Sure, it’s okay to recline your seat if you want to take a rest on a very long flight, but be polite, ask the passenger behind you if it’s OK.

People who like to go for a gentle stroll… in the plane

OK, this I don’t get, what is WRONG with those people who stroll around the plane multiple times? Why would you even do this? 9 times out of 10 you’re blocked by the stewardess who’s walking through the middle path with the tax-free or foodcart, leaving you standing there for minutes like a complete idiot. Do you really already need to use the restroom after having been on the plane for 3 minutes?

Queue Jumpers

I hate this person so much that I dedicated an entire post to him. From the moment the “fasten your seatbelt” light goes out, or often even before it, this person gets up, starts clearing his seat and luggage and moves forward in the plane. Yes, congratulations, you just got off the plane 45 seconds sooner than me. You will also be waiting at the baggage claim 45 seconds longer than me (which will most likely make a total waiting time of 1 hour and 45 seconds), enjoy.

Those Who Do Not Travel Lightly

Only one piece of hand luggage is allowed, however, some people seem to be unable to travel without taking all their belongings, claiming the whole overhead locker department with their stuff. Of course every 5 minutes they need something from one of the many bags, not exactly remembering which bag they put it in (would be a lot easier of you stuck to the one bag-limit if you ask me), forcing them to stand up for a long time, blocking the stewardess, opening every bag and preferably kicking you with an elbow or a backpack multiple times in the process.

Crying children and inattentive parents

Top-3 candidate for sure! Crying or screaming children, what an awful sound. If on top of that, the parents are totally inattentive and aren’t doing anything to calm their child down, we totally get a nervous break-down.

The Chatterbox

Are you nervous, lonely or over sociable? Then please go to a bar, not a plane. And take all the above people with you, leaving only the civilized on the airplane. Thanks.

People waiting in line at the gate – Who are you, why do you do it and how can I make you stop?

I absolutely LOVE airports.

Especially the arrivals area, where people get through the door and run straight in the arms of their loved-ones who are waiting for them. All the hugs and kisses, there’s just so much LOVE. Whatever I saw on the news that day, the arrivals area restores my faith in humanity, every single time.

Of course I also love the departures area because every time I’m there, it means I’m going on holiday. I gently go through the whole process of passport control, the security checks, do some tax-free shopping and get to the gate to sit down, do some reading and enjoy my last moments of sufficient leg space and guaranteed arm rest.

However I seem to be the only one. Whenever I arrive at that gate, 2 minutes before the gate opens or 45 minutes, people are already lining up, getting completely stressed out, almost killing other passengers to get on that plane first.

But I wonder WHY? Is there some big secret? Does whoever gets on the plane first get complimentary champagne? Does this person get an automatic upgrade to first class? Is there a secret cockpit visit that I am unaware of?

People, listen, I swear, the plane is not leaving without you. This plane is not an exclusive club where only the first 50 people get in. You already have a boarding pass, your seat has been assigned to you, nobody else is going to sit on your seat. Sit down, relax, enjoy the leg space, enjoy the armrest without having to battle your neighbour for it, enjoy the last moments without the assortment of funky smelling passengers sitting around you, enjoy that no child is crying in your ear or is tapping on the back of your chair and enjoy that no idiot in the row before you is reclining his chair, limiting your personal space even more.

Oh and while I’m on it, here’s a last piece of advice: when the plane lands, please stay seated until the doors open. Because I’m sure you’re the same people as those who wait in line at the gate. Also, letting the rows before you get off first is just common sense. Those 46 seconds that you will be on the ground sooner than me, nah, not worth it.



6 health benefits of public transportation

Quick… Name something that irritates you every day. The first thing that comes to your mind is probably commute, otherwise you probably wouldn’t be on this website. Because we don’t want to be negative about public transportation all the time and we all want to create a healthy lifestyle… We found an article that gives us 6 (Yes, they found 6!!!) health benefits of public transportation.

We are more active. Public transportation users would get over three times the amount of physical activity a day of those who don’t. Why would we want to be more active? It helps lower the risk of serious diseases (heart and vascular diseases, strokes, diabetes, hypertensive diseases, osteoporosis, joint and back problems, colon and breast cancers, depression,… But also bad moods, increased lateness and absenteeism) so we can use the public transportation for many more years to come.

It’s safer. Public transportation is responsible for a very small rate of passenger fatality compared to automobile travel.

It reduces stress… (Okay don’t really agree on this one because nothing makes my blood preassure rise more in the morning than another delayed train or an annoying commuter but here’s the theory provided by the article): It would improve acces to education and eployment, which leads to better long-term economic opportunities and would benefit community cohesion by promoting positive interactions between neighbours. Nope… Still not buying it.

It’s better for the environment. True, it keeps the air cleaner, since we’re all riding the same vehicle instead of 236 persons individually polluting the air with their car.

It saves money. Even though train/bus tickets don’t come cheap, neither do car payments, gas prices, parking,… Driving is estimated 12 times more expensive.

It provides access to essential needs later in life, as it allows older people to gain access to important services and activities such as banking, shopping, healthcare appointsments,…

Let’s try to keep these in mind next time another passenger drives us insane. 😉

Source: Transloc, http://transloc.com/6-health-benefits-of-public-transportation