We've all felt that sweet relief of finally landing back on firm ground after a bumpy flight.

But if you've ever felt compelled to applaud the pilot for landing safely, think again.

Pilots actually hate it when passengers clap. According to a Q&A on internet forum Quora, Scott Kinder, who identified himself as a 737 captain of a major US airline, said it is ignorant.

"Don't even think about it. Passengers really have no idea what's going on upfront with the landing, so how do they know what to clap for and what not to clap for?" Mr Kinder said.


"If a pilot floats a landing and lands half way down the runway, that's horrible and dangerous. But if it's smooth, he gets claps from the back?

Pilots actually hate it when passengers clap. Photo / Getty Images
Pilots actually hate it when passengers clap. Photo / Getty Images

"Or a pilot comes in with heavy crosswinds and a snowy short runway. To be a good safe pilot, he's going to put it down fast and hard, and the pilots will say nice job to each other after that. Guess what the pilot hears from deplaning passengers? 'Nice landing, ever hear of flaring?' 'You must have been Navy', or 'worst landing I've ever had'."

So what may have felt like a rough landing to you might have actually been a very skilful and safe landing.

Another pilot on the forum, Peter Wheeler, agreed, saying applause from passengers really doesn't mean anything as a professional pilot.

"The passengers cannot determine the technical quality of the landing and are not expert judges of technique. Sometimes a smooth landing is the exact wrong thing to do," he said.

"Sometimes a smooth landing was achieved at the expense of other important things, like touching down on the correct part of the runway."

So while you may think you are giving the pilot major props, there's a high chance they're just rolling their eyes.

"The point being, we really don't pay attention to any applause from the back because we grade ourselves based on the situation that day. We're not really interested in what seat 20B thinks." Mr Kinder said.