Thursday, January 6, 2011

Would You Do This on an Airplane?

Upon arriving to the Toronto International Airport for the first time together on a direct flight from Cancun, my wife noticed something unusual at landing time; all had gone well, and the landing was smooth. Upon completion of the successful touch down and the plane came to a complete halt, the passengers applauded.

"What happened?" she asked me, talking in hushed tones in Spanish.

"What happened? What do you mean, 'what happened?' " not exactly sure what she was asking about.

"Why did they clap?"-

"Hmm." I thought for second. "I guess it's because the flight and landing went well. Isn't that normal?" I was actually asking myself as much as I was her. I believe I've been on an equal number of Canadian flights as other flights; I could remember that on some they applauded at completion of the flight, and on others they didn't, but it had never occurred to me to think of why.

"Mexicans don't clap after a flight," observed my wife. "I guess we just figure it's their job, they SHOULD do it right." After a brief discussion we came to the uncertain conclusion that this was a Canadian thing. We didn't remember it happening on flights from Mexico to Atlanta or Philedelphia. We couldn't remember if it happened on our flights from the U.S. to Toronto. But the direct flight from Toronto to Cancun (made financially possible thanks to Westjet!) was the first to be virtually entirely Canadians.

So, now the question comes back to you; do you, or would you applaud at the end of a flight? Have you ever been on a flight where they did? Were the passengers Canadians? Is this something only Canadians do or are we just imagining stuff?


  1. I don't. But I do say something to the pilot when I come out of the plane if the landing was great or the whole flight was peaceful. AS I always fly with kids I also take the time to say thanks to the attendants because they ALWAYS help me with something.. and always something different.

    Plus I'm almost always the last one going out so I have their attention :)

  2. It's always good to show gratitude; I also say thanks as I leave the plane.

    The applause only works if everyone else does it. And I don't think anyone other than a plane full of Canadians does it.

  3. Hi Jacob. I have been on a few domestic U.S. flights where the passengers clapped. Not usually though. I joined in due to peer pressure. Saying thank you on the way out seems pretty customary for us. I have never been on a flight that crashed, so I really don't know what the appropriate response to that would be!

  4. Well, there you go; I guess it's not just Canadian. I wonder what factor decides if the passengers clap, then. The flights I've been on when they didn't clap were as well done as the ones where they did.

  5. Maybe Just feeling safe and landed. No matter how the whole flight was :) LOL

  6. that to say thank you to the crew for bringing us to a safe landing !!! Ive been on many flights , europe too,, and they clap at landing !