How to Know If Housekeeping Changed Your Sheets, and Should You Clap When the Plane Lands?

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Clapping when I was on an inaugural flight and they had a water salute upon our arrival was good. But clapping on any other routine flight is just ridiculous. I won’t be joining in if you decide to clap.

  2. Re: clapping. When a flight lands in Israel, the whole plane claps. It was explained to me that it has to do with the jubilation of returning to the homeland.

  3. Always clapping was cute because I was not used to it and the fact that the pilot couldn’t have heard them anyway.

    It seemed naive, even innocent.

  4. The first time I heard clapping on a plane was upon landing in Puerto Rico. There was nothing celebratory or harrowing about the flight. My family started visiting PR several times a year at that time and there was always clapping. I concluded it was locals living on the mainland who were happy to be back on their home island.

  5. i am getting conflicting answers from AA, do executive Platinum members get double EQM on a economy ticket? under EXP status it says “100% elite mileage bonus”

    thank you!

  6. Clapping on a plane may not be “cool”, but who cares? People worry too much how they’ll be perceived by strangers who could care less about them. It’s not as if any other passengers are disturbed or injured by the noise.

  7. I’ve always found the whole clapping this to be kind of weird. If you’re that happy that the pilot managed to land you safely, which is pretty much the baseline competency for a pilot, then maybe you should fly another airline. If you’re clapping due to being overcome with joy at arriving at your destination, then maybe leaving in the first place wasn’t the best idea. The only thing worse is sarcastic clapping over some actual or perceived pilot mistake.

  8. I was on an AA flight that experienced a hydraulic line rupture in flight with a loud bang. The captain first thought that we’d had a bird strike, and then told us what had happened. Fortunately, none of the passengers in the economy section audibly panicked.

    When we landed at LAX, our scheduled destination, the emergency vehicles were lining the runway. The landing was uneventful — we pulled off the runway, stopped there, and were towed into the gate.

    On that flight, there was sustained applause and cheering when we stopped moving.

  9. First noticed it on Alitalia, TWA and Pan Am flights from JFK to FCO back in the ’80’s. I thought it was an Italian tradition given the large percentage of Italians on these flights. Over the years, I’ve seen it on the long haul International flights landing in several countries overseas. Not too much lately. I always thought it was an homage to the skill of the pilots. Everyone seemed so polite and appreciative

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