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Passengers Scream as Southwest Flight Has Turbulence Like a Rollercoaster

One TikTok user documented the wild ride.

Experiencing airplane turbulence can be a nerve-wracking experience, even for seasoned travelers. Most turbulence are harmless, resulting in no injuries or damage. However, occasionally turbulence get so bad that people get injured or even die. Earlier this week, a man was on a flight from Hawaii and documented some serious turbulence, and the footage has gone viral. Read on to learn what happened inside the plane, why we recently experience more turbulence and the best ways of dealing with them.

A TikTok User Docunted the Turbulence

@homodrome Bumpy rise on #southwestairlines last from Honolulu night !! Pilot and crew were great ! passengers deserve an Oscar for best performance ina disaster film 😂✈️ #turbulence #airplane #airport #airtravel #gaytravel #bumpyride #scaryride #screaming ♬ original sound – JC

TikTok user @homodrome was on a flight from Hawaii when he and the other guests onboard experienced the bumpy ride of a lifetime. He documented the experience in a 20-second video that has been viewed 1.1 million times.

"Bumpy rise on #southwestairlines last from Honolulu night !! Pilot and crew were great ! passengers deserve an Oscar for best performance in a disaster film," he captioned it, adding the tags #turbulence #airplane #airport #airtravel #gaytravel #bumpyride #scaryride and #screaming.

"Free roller coaster ride on Southwest last night," he added during the clip. The other passengers could be heard screaming in the background like they were on a frightening roller coaster ride. The man next to him held up the emergency evacuation manual at his seat and pointed to it, as the poster uttered "yikes."

There Have Been Injuries and Deaths Due to Turbulence Recently

A man buckling his seatbelt on a plane

There have been several reports of turbulence lately, and some have even resulted in injury and death. Earlier this month, Washington, DC, attorney Dana Hyde was killed while flying on a corporate jet forced to make an emergency landing after severe turbulence. Also, on a recent flight to Germany, seven people were hospitalized on Lufthansa Flight 469 after severe turbulence. The flight was forced to make an emergency landing. 

According to Insider, pilots report an average of 5,500 encounters with severe or greater turbulence every year. However, that number has increased in recent years due to climate change. 

What Causes Turbulence

United Airlines Boeing 777

Airplane turbulence is an abrupt and, at times, forceful alteration in airflow that may result in bumps or jolts during a flight. The causes of turbulence vary, including:

  • Mechanical turbulence: This type of turbulence happens when a solid object, such as a building or mountain, disrupts the airflow.
  • Thermal (convective) turbulence: This occurs when the sun heats up the surface of the earth, causing the air above it to warm and rise. As a result, it mixes with cooler air, creating unstable conditions.
  • Frontal turbulence: This type of turbulence occurs when warm air is lifted by a sloping frontal surface and the friction between two opposing air masses.
  • Wind shear: It occurs when there is a rapid shift in wind speed or direction over a short distance, creating regions that are susceptible to turbulence.

Turbulence can range from mild to severe, depending on the intensity of the airflow disturbance.

How to Handle Airplane Turbulence

Hand of asian female passenger try to open a tray in front of the seat in low cost airplane by slide to unlock and ready for inflight meal or food service. Plastic table in back seat in economy class.

Although most turbulence is safe and doesn't compromise the aircraft's safety, it can still be uncomfortable or intimidating for passengers and crew. Therefore, following certain guidelines to manage turbulence calmly and safely is crucial. Here are some steps to help you handle airplane turbulence safely.

Firstly, keep yourself safe during turbulence. This means always keeping your seatbelt fastened, even when the seatbelt sign is off. Although pilots usually have prior knowledge of turbulence, sometimes, it can catch them off guard. Therefore, it's important to keep your seatbelt fastened at all times.

Additionally, avoid getting up during the flight unless it's necessary. If you need to use the restroom or stretch your legs, do so before takeoff or after landing. Stow all loose items, such as bags, laptops, books, etc., in the overhead bin or under your seat to prevent them from flying around and injuring you or others.

Keep your tray table folded when not in use to reduce the risk of spilling drinks or food on yourself or others. If you're up during turbulence, sit in the closest seat to minimize your movement and exposure to bumps.

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Follow the Flight Crew's Instructions


It's important to stay calm during turbulence. Remember that turbulence is a natural part of flying and is usually not dangerous. Pilots are well-trained to handle turbulence, and planes are designed to withstand it. You can also distract yourself by engaging in an activity such as reading a book, listening to music, or watching a movie.

Lastly, follow the flight crew's instructions. They are trained to handle turbulence and ensure your safety and comfort. If they ask you to fasten your seatbelt or adjust your seat, follow their instructions promptly.

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