Flight Turbulence: Why Does It Happen And Ways To Stay Safe


Cheryl Felix •  May 24, 2024

Experiencing turbulence during a flight can be unsettling, but knowing what to do can help ease your mind. Turbulence is a common occurrence in aviation, caused by various factors like weather changes and air currents. While it might feel intense, severe turbulence is relatively rare. According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), less than 1% of all flights encounter severe turbulence.

Always buckle up when seated

When turbulence hits, the first thing to remember is to stay calm. Here are some tips to help you stay safe and comfortable:

  1. Buckle Up: Ensure your seatbelt is securely fastened. Most turbulence-related injuries happen when passengers are not buckled up.
  2. Follow Crew Instructions: Listen to the flight attendants and follow their instructions. They are trained to handle these situations and prioritize your safety.
  3. Stay Seated: Avoid moving around the cabin. Keep your belongings stowed away to prevent them from becoming projectiles.
  4. Secure Hot Drinks: Place any hot drinks down to prevent spills.
  5. Distract Yourself: Focus on a movie, a book, or engage in conversation with your seatmate to take your mind off the turbulence.
  6. Trust the Aircraft: Modern aircraft are designed to withstand turbulence. Pilots have sophisticated weather radar to navigate around the worst areas.

By staying informed and prepared, you can make your flight experience as smooth as possible, even when the air gets a bit bumpy.

For more safety tips during a flight turbulence, check out these informative videos below:

CBS News: How to stay safe during turbulence on a flight
Airplane Academy: How to talk to your kids about airplane turbulence

Or watch this educational video with your child about turbulence:
Bumpy plane rides? No worries! Become a turbulence expert!