Do You Applaud When Your Flight Lands?

In case you missed it, Lifehacker HQ is currently running out of jerk week , which means we’ve been teaching you how to deal with jerks all week, but what happens if you might be a jerk? Sometimes it’s not entirely clear who is to blame.

Here is one example that I would like to share with our readers that covers this line: On a recent flight, I was sitting next to a woman who seemed perfectly normal and polite. After a brief disagreement over political events – I won’t go into details, but it somehow surfaced – we continued to sit amicably next to each other, despite our differences.

Upon landing, she suddenly burst into applause and was joined by at least a few other passengers. It was almost 1 am when we landed, and naturally I was amazed. Seeing my reaction and refusal to clap her hands, she turned to me – and without hesitation – called me “snob.”

Look, it’s great that we survived, but the pilots won’t hear my applause, they don’t care. But am I just an asshole? Generally, I don’t care if others clap their hands, I just don’t want to and shouldn’t make me feel bad about it. But perhaps it was just a misunderstanding; perhaps she felt that I blame her for the applause, in which case a “snob” might be perfectly appropriate.

The Washington Post recently detailed the reasons why some people clap their hands after landing. There is reason to believe that this might just be a survival mechanism for infrequent passengers, especially after long or turbulent flights. It could also just be a matter of cultural differences, according to our editor-in-chief Virginia. ( Travel and vacation history from 2016 also suggests this premise.)

So we ask our readers: Do you clap your hands when your plane reaches its destination? (If yes, please tell me why). And do you care if other passengers applaud?


Leave a Reply