There’s nothing better for a timid flyer than to land safety at their destination after a bumpy, turbulence-filled flight. But before you press those hands together in an exuberant clap, you might want to reconsider. Turns out, some pilots don’t like to receive rousing applause.
That revelation comes after several pilots shared their feelings about post-flight applause on Quora, suggesting that a simple, “nice job” might be preferred to a round of clapping.
There appear to be a few reasons for this, according to the pilots:
1. You Don’t Know What’s Going On
One 20-year-veteran of the airline industry wrote that the applause isn’t needed, as passengers aren’t really in the “know” when it comes to what’s happening with the flight.
“Passengers really have no idea what’s going on up front with the landing, so how do they know what to clap for and what not to clap for?” he asked.
For instance, he suggests that when a flight encounters a rough landing, the pilot may have been working as hard as he could to land the aircraft, but the passengers only feel as if they’re being vibrated around their seats. Instead of a round of applause for landing safely, the passengers might exit remarking that it was the “worse landing I’ve ever had.”
“The point being, we really don’t pay attention to any applause from the back because we grade ourselves based on the situation that day,” the pilot notes. “We’re not really interested in what seat 20B thinks.”
2. Sometimes The Applause Isn’t For Them
Other pilots wrote on the thread that the applause coming from passengers often isn’t for them at all.
“I thought people were just happy to be at their destination,” a retired airline captain wrote.
Another pilot noted echoed the sentiment, noting that, in his view, the applause isn’t necessary because passengers can simply thank the pilot on their way off the plane.
3. Just Another Part Of The Job
Several pilots wrote that while the applause was nice, and they might have enjoyed it, the expression wasn’t really something they thought about.
“As a human being, I appreciate the applause,” another pilot wrote. “It’s always nice when people give wholehearted positive feedback. As a professional pilot, it doesn’t really matter to me.”
Still, in the end, most of the pilots said they’d never turn down applause.