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The question that haunts me is: should I clap or not?

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You've probably noticed more than once that when an airplane lands, as soon as the landing gear touches the runway, passengers start clapping. Only in the head of many there is no understanding: why it is necessary, whether it is necessary to clap and whether the pilots hear the stormy ovation. For some it is absolutely normal not to attach importance to this ritual, for others it is in the order of things. We will not give an unambiguous answer as a result, but we will clarify some points after which you will decide on your own whether to clap or not.

Where did such a tradition come from?

This is one of the complex issues that has several versions. One of which says that pilots of Western airlines began to receive gratitude from passengers in the form of claps in the early 70s. There is a version that the tradition was born in the USA. One thing is known that the Russians did not invent it on their own, but began copying foreign passengers in the 90s, after the opening of the Iron Curtain. And they do it to this day, when among the passengers of other countries, such a tradition began to gradually die out.

Moreover, there are even more options for why they started clapping. Many people note that this could arise because of the mentality of certain countries. Others explain this by psychological factors, because for many to fly by plane is a huge stress and thus they splash out their emotions. By the way, many psychologists note that it is those who were most stressed during the whole trip who start clapping first. It is not necessary to exclude the fact that the media at all times brightly covered plane crashes in their publications. Therefore, it instills phobias and fears in those who rarely or for the first time go on a trip by this type of transport. Despite the fact that the plane is considered one of the safest.

For the same psychological reasons, a herd feeling is triggered and about 70% of passengers say they clap because everyone does it. Someone automatically repeats after others, and others are afraid of public condemnation. Also, those who fly for the first time simply copy the behavior. And this tradition does not have its own value, as well as meaning. But there are those who applaud themselves, they say, what a good fellow withstood such a false flight, overcame fears, rethought life or for other reasons, praising himself.


It should not be excluded that for many, applause is a way to express gratitude. At the same time, it is interesting how such people thank other workers who perform equally responsible work, for example, on railways. In moments of difficult weather conditions, emergency situations, some technical malfunctions of the aircraft, or situations when the lives of everyone on the aircraft are at stake. At such moments, of course, I want to thank the pilots and evaluate their work, because they professionally fulfilled their duties. But as a rule, such situations are ordinary, or are exceptional.

If you clap, when?

Many mistakenly believe that as soon as the plane landed on the runway, the flight is over. At the same time, the scoreboard with the seat belts fastened is lit. And all because the flight does not end there. Only the announcement of the aircraft commander or a complete stop of the aircraft can mean the end of the trip. And it is at this moment that you can clap. The proof of this is the Irkutsk plane, which landed successfully in 2006, but could not slow down and crashed into iron structures. And the story ended with victims. Therefore, it is not quite correct to thank the pilots in advance.

If you don't want to clap?

Don't worry and don't attach any importance to it. Most countries have stopped following this tradition. And at the moment, it is supported mostly by Russians, some Asian and African tourists. Moreover, most often the applause can be heard on charter flights. And they are usually flown by those who are on vacation 1-2 times a year, and maybe less often. Therefore, this type of transport is a novelty for many. At the same time, those who fly often prefer not to clap. But if you do not feel a great desire to succumb to a collective feeling, you can not do this without justifying yourself to others. There's nothing wrong with that.


Do pilots hear such gratitude?

Let's reveal the secret that pilots do not hear at all what is happening in the cabin throughout the flight. After the main plane crash of the world, which happened in 2001, it is not so easy to get into the cockpit. Moreover, there are armored doors between the cabin and the cockpit. That is, the passengers and flight attendants themselves will hear the clapping. The only thing is that the conductors will be able to transmit information at the end of the flight about how the flight went and whether the passengers clapped or not. And then many pilots do not like this kind of applause, while others, on the contrary, perceive it as a sign of recognition and respect for the profession. Of course, there are those who don't care. Anyway, the profession of pilots is the same job, not a game of roulette with passengers. Many airlines have obliged pilots together with flight attendants to accompany passengers, so you can personally celebrate his work and verbally express your emotions.

On the other hand, if you really want to express your gratitude to the pilots, it's easier to do it online now. Leaving a review and your opinion about the flight on the official website of the air carrier or at the place where the ticket was purchased. Thus, the pilots will see a real, not an emotional assessment of their work. It is possible that the authorities may somehow mark certain pilots. No employee will refuse such recognition.

On the one hand, the tradition of clapping pilots is a relic of the past, on the other, it's easier for someone to express their emotions this way. To applaud or not at the end of the flight - everyone makes the decision himself, the main thing is that your actions are conscious, and you understand for yourself why you are doing this. Share your opinion on this controversial topic. Have a good flight!