NOTE: this is from my experience and observations only. I’m also GENERALIZING. Not ALL Polish people/Europeans clap on planes. NOT all Americans wear yoga pants on planes either…
– What’s with the clapping? One of the biggest things that always freaks me out on planes is when people clap. I mean why are they clapping? Is it that shocking that we landed alive and well? I feel like this is “thanking” the captain for a job well done. Now I don’t fly planes so I don’t want to diminish their effort in any way, I mean it looks pretty complicated and such but we don’t clap for our taxi/bus drivers when they bring us home safe. (and we put our lives in their hands to) What’s more, I don’t get a solid round of applause when I do my job well, I’m lucky if I get a small smile and if I get a pat on the back I’m over the moon. – though no one puts their lives in my hands for my job – which is BEST for everyone involved! Can the captain even hear the clapping? Who started this weird “tradition”. Now, I have never heard clapping on airplanes in North America so I always wonder, is it a Europe thing? Or a Polish thing? Or what! But if someone knows please let me know!
– Attire: This one is the most evident while on international flights or while people watching at airports. I can always pick out Americans as they are dressed for comfort and not so much to impress. I personally try to dress in between… but as most North American’s I love yoga pants… Europeans (especially those from further East) take the whole fashion thing to far. I mean do you really need 8 inch heels on a plane? SERIOUSLY? So when I’m travelling in North America my outfit consist of yoga pants, a t shirt and a sweater and running shoes. COMFORT is king in this situation. On the other hand when Europeans travel… comfort comes secondary in a way. I will never wear spikey high heels and a mini skirt on a plane (I mean really!?!) but I have upgraded my wardrobe to include a cute sweater, wedges (if the plane ride is short) and even *gasp*, a button up shirt that I wear to work to joke that I’m a professional!
– Drinking – I gotta say, this is where the Europeans ‘win’. It’s normal for most Europeans to have one or two drinks on the plane (be it wine with dinner, or before – during and after dinner or a drink or two. Of course I witnessed a person having 14 drinks in a span of 6 hours (impressive even for most Europeans) but I quickly learnt he was Russian which explained a lot. Though he staggered a bit off the plane he got his ‘money’s’ worth when it came to alcohol. As from my experience I believe that most North American’s drink a lot less on planes… I would say probably because you have to pay for your drinks whereas if it’s a longer flight the drinks are free!
– Eating – I believe Europeans are more food snobs. Airlines don’t care and we just eat what we’re given… though Europeans tend to be more picky and choose the fish more often than not. On the other hand I’m torn to say who eats more. I do find that snacks are brought in by both and the whole food thing is divided. THOUGH, I’ve only heard North American’s complain about the “small portion sizes” whilst Europeans say that it’s too much food…
– General behaviour such as talking – Sorry North Americans but as a whole you are louder. (This coming from me is funny as I know I’m probably the loudest out of the bunch) From my experience the loudest people talking about inappropriate things are normally North Americans (I have tons of examples including the two Canadian dudes behind me on the way to Thailand discussing where the best prostitutes are in Bangkok – awesome, bro… simply awesome. I did hope the whole time that they were from the US but alas they were from London, Ontario *SIGH*) Note to those guys: discuss prostitutes at a bar… or privately not with 200 of your closest passenger friends. Europeans are a bit “snobby” though and won’t really ‘make friends’ while on a 8 hour plane trip. I have met wonderful people on planes some of which I still have as FB friends.
For the most part this is what I have noticed so far when it comes to travelling between North Americans and Europeans on planes. Airport etiquette is different as well but I’ll get to that later…
What I wish I looked like while travelling:
What I actually look like:
Have you ever noticed “cultural” differences while on a plane? Want to share your story? Feel free to comment!