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Applauding a safe landing? No, thank you.

Sunday, 15 July 2012
Courtesy of Emily Tan

I'm all in favour of letting someone know when they've done a good job. I'm happy to tip a waiter. I'll applaud at the end of a play. I'll cheer when someone falls and knocks over a table of drinks.

But at the end of a Ryanair flight (and, let's face it, it's always a Ryanair flight) my blood boils when the passengers burst into a round of applause as we land.

I would be impressed if a random passenger had walked into the cockpit and landed the plane, after the pilot keeled over following an all night coke orgy with the stewardesses the night before. I would be impressed if a dog landed a plane. Or a badger.

But the pilot? I can't help but feel that landing the plane is an expected part of the service. I don't think we should be surprised, or even particularly pleased, when the aircraft lands safely and we don't all burn in our seats. I would be a little aggrieved if the plane didn't land properly, of course. Perhaps I would boo the pilot if we crashed, I don't know.

It just turns me into a grumpy old hag, and I hate it. So, people of the world, can we please stop?

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