What Is Turbulence?

What is turbulence? If you are nervous about flying, turbulence might lead you to believe something is wrong with the plane. It can be disturbing if you aren't ready for it or if you don't know what it is. What is turbulence? "It occurs when an airplane hits an air po.

What is turbulence?

"It occurs when an airplane hits an air pocket," explains Milena Garita, Reservations Sales Representative with Continental Airlines.

"Much like there are currents in the ocean, there are currents in the air," says Garita. "You can't see these when you are flying. An airplane will hit this current like you would if you were in the water. It will push the airplane in different directions."


This can be pretty unsettling, especially for a first time flyer, but it's nothing to worry about.

"It's pretty normal and nothing to be concerned with," says Garita. "It's a common occurrence and your pilot is equipped to deal with it."

Turbulence is more common during the early and latter stage of your flight.




"It's very common but you may not experience it on every flight," says Garita. "It's especially common during take off or landing. Wind is a tricky thing and it'll push or pull the plane around a little."

That may sound a bit frightening, but it's not as scary as it sounds.

"Much like when you are driving your car on the freeway or up a hill and you get hit with wind," explains Garita. "As a driver, you compensate for it. It's not any more dangerous than that."

The only thing you have to worry about is getting sick in the air.

"There are folks who can handle it well and some who can't," says Garita. "If you get sick in the car or on roller coasters, you may be more likely to get sick from it."

If you are a nervous flyer and prone to motion sickness, a bad pocket of turbulence may really throw you for a loop.

"It's a very individual thing," says Garita. "Some get so nervous about flying they worry themselves sick. Sometimes just being that high in the air will make some people worry themselves sick. Other times, it's the movement of the plane due to the turbulence"

Chances of your flight having to land due to turbulence are slim.

"Unless someone has gotten extremely ill, you never really hear about emergency landings due to turbulence," says Garita. "Flight attendants are skilled in first aid. If someone is sick, and the flight attendants can care for them, the flight will not need to land."

Though it is extremely unlikely, there may be times when a landing is necessary.

"The only reason an airplane may land due to turbulence is if it has caused damage to the airplane but this is extremely, extremely rare," says Garita.

If you fear turbulence may cause you to get sick, there is something that may help you cope.

"Dramamine is a good idea if you know you get car or sea sick," says Garita. "Your doctor might be able to give you something to help you handle the flight."

Though turbulence may leave you feeling air sick, you should never worry about any danger. It's a common occurrence your pilot handles every day.

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