Did you think not turning the plane into a fireball and crashing into a mountain was a special treat? Do you think we are Lindburg, making the dangerous crossing to Newark for the first time? And it’s not like the pilots can hear you through their terrorist-proof door.
Maybe where you live, but not in the last flights I’ve been in. And even with the cabin open, you’re not walking out through the cabin, whereas in a bus you are walking out close enough to the driver that you can touch him. The only times I’ve disembarked from a plane where the people at the door were pilots and not cabin crew, they were planes small enough to not have cabin crew.
I clap. It doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t cost anything, and it doesn’t keep me on the plane longer.
Furthermore, I appreciate the skills of a talented pilot more than a 12 year old girl appreciates the singing ability of Justin Beiber.
Isn’t it a coincidence that Lindburg flew across thew Hudson for the first time, and some guy named Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic solo for the first time? What are the odds two guys with such similar – but differently-spelled – names would achieve historical firsts in flight?
See, that’s the kind of thing that would inspire me to clap.
In Sweden it’s called the Mediterranean charter flight applause, not occurring on charter flights to other destinations or on regular flights. However, I have taken part in a very spontaneous applause when landing with a charter flight in England (or on the return trip, I don’t remember which) when the flight attendant saying thank you to the passengers happened to call the captain Blomkål (cauliflower) instead of Blomkvist.
I agree it’s pretty stupid, but I can’t get upset about it. It’s charming, harmless idiocy - they are saying, “Thank you for working your pilot wizardry and not allowing this scientific witchcraft to kill us all!” Or something equally mixed-up.
If you lined up all the idiotic acts from most to least well-intentioned, this would end up somewhere near feeding bread to pigeons, only it doesn’t help those mangy shit-machines flourish.
Now I think about it, throughout my life, most times I have clapped it is out of social obligation, not out of any rational desire to convey appreciation.