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Pilot explains what happens during turbulence and why passengers shouldn’t be afraid

Pilot explains what happens during turbulence and why passengers shouldn’t be afraid

Many people were grateful for the explainer, saying it should be played to passengers when turbulence happens

While plane travel is one of modern life’s huge advantages, there’s no denying that there are many aspects that are, ahem, less than ideal.

Sure, it’s a markedly quicker process than trying to get to Barcelona via horse and cart, but you do always have to factor some extra time for getting through the airport, including all those pesky queues at security (and that obligatory 6am Prosecco).

Then there’s the small matter – literally – of cramped plane toilets, which are rarely a particularly pleasant experience.

But there’s arguably one thing that’s worse than anything else, and it happens on most flights you go on.

Yep, that’s right, the dreaded TURBULENCE.

Even though it’s common, it can sometimes be so severe that it genuinely feels like we’re about to fall out of the sky.

But one pilot has reassured us that it’s not anything to be ‘scared’ about, having explained exactly what’s going on in a TikTok video.

In the clip, which was posted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ official account, he explained: “Turbulence is caused by changes of the flow of air around the airplane.

“As the airplane flies, it’s encountering different air masses with varying temperatures, wind speeds and directions.

“These air masses lead to different pockets of densities, leading to turbulence.”

The pilot said you shouldn't be 'scared' of turbulence (

Giving a demo to the camera with a model plane, the pilot continued: “When an airplane flies through these pockets, it can experience certain bumps and shakes.

“And although it can be uncomfortable, modern airplanes are designed to withstand it safely.

“Pilots and cabin crew are, of course, trained for turbulence to assure everyone’s safety on board.”

He added: “Remember, turbulence is a natural part of flying, and doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with the plane.

“So next time you’re on a plane and you encounter turbulence, stay calm and enjoy the rest of your journey.”

He explained how turbulence works in a TikTok video (

Many TikTokers were grateful for the airline’s PSA, with one commenting: “I wish more pilots would get on the speaker system and say this turbulence is only going to last for about a few minutes, or within 15 minutes we should be clear of this. Rather than just let us sit.”

Another went one step further, agreeing: “They should play this speech when turbulence happens.”

Someone else joked that ‘a flight without turbulence is a boring flight’, while another TikTok user echoed: “No turbulence no fun.”

Offering a bit of hope to the rest of us, one person added: “I used to be terrified of flying and turbulence. Not anymore. Finally I conquered it.”

Featured Image Credit: Gary John Norman/Getty Images/Jose A. Bernat Bacete/Getty Images

Topics: TikTok, Travel, Plane Etiquette