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Unfair Perks: Plane Passenger Shows How Extreme Turbulence Hits Different in First Class

It's nothing like what happens in coach.

Severe turbulence is a traveler's worst nightmare. In the best case, you're moderately inconvenienced by a few bumps here and there—and maybe some coffee splashes on your shirt. In the worst, you're jostled around in a dangerous manner that puts you and other passengers at risk of injury. Plus, there's the fact that no matter how many times we hear it's safe to fly through turbulent skies, the experience is downright unnerving. However, one passenger recently took to TikTok to show how turbulence looks in first class. As you'll see, it's a lot less scary than what many of us are used to. Read on to learn more details about this ritzy flier's journey.

RELATED: Why Severe Turbulence Is Becoming More Common on Flights.

An influencer showed a bumpy turbulence video.

In a video from September, TikTok user Cameron Biafore (@catching.cameron) shared nine seconds of turbulence aboard an Emirates flight from Phuket, Thailand, to Dubai. She captioned it: "POV: You are flying first class on Emirates for the first time, and the whole flight experiences crazy turbulence, but you are living your best life drinking free-flowing Dom Perignon." The video shows a cozy Biafore cuddled up in her seat as the plane's movement splashes her champagne around in its glass.

According to The Points Guy, first-class tickets between Dubai and the U.S. on Emirates, an air airline founded by Dubai's royal family in 1985, cost more than $10,000 each way. The seats, which could more accurately be called suites since they're equipped with closing doors, include free WiFi, light controls, minibars, TVs, unlimited caviar, bottomless champagne, meals, moisturizing pajamas, and the option for an in-flight shower. If you'd like to sleep, the crew will convert your seat into a lay-flat bed with sheets and a pillow, according to Travel & Leisure.

RELATED: The Last U.S. Airline to Offer First Class Is Getting Rid of It.

Other fliers commented on their experiences.

aerophobias concept. plane shakes during turbulence
Melnikov Dmitriy / Shutterstock

Commenters on Biafore's video agreed that turbulence feels different in first class, especially when the booze is flowing and the seats are reclined. "Turbulence laying down just hits differently," said one person. "Been there. There was so much food and booze, we never slept," wrote a second.

Others commented that they were envious of the experience. "Looks fun tbh," wrote one person. "I would love laying down during turbulence," commented another.

However, some bouts of turbulence lead to hospitalizations.

ambulance on the road

Unfortunately, not all instances of turbulence are so peaceful. On a September flight from Ecuador to Florida, eight people were hospitalized upon landing. No details were released about their conditions, although JetBlue released a statement that said the flight experienced "sudden severe turbulence," according to NBC News.

On another flight to Florida in July, this one originating in North Carolina, four passengers and flight attendants were injured after turbulence dropped the flight from 18,000 feet to 13,000 feet in less than two minutes, according to The Hill. "There was a sudden burst of turbulence and then major, major turbulence," a passenger told NBC affiliate WFLA. "The plane felt like it dropped pretty considerably. Several people, including a lady in my row, hit the ceiling."

RELATED: 10 Secrets Flight Attendants Will Never Tell You.

Another flight turned around after severe turbulence.

A passenger plane landing at an airport

In addition, an October flight from Auckland to Queensland in New Zealand was rerouted after turbulence. According to The Australian, passengers were screaming and vomiting on the flight. The plane was beginning its descent when the turbulence hit, triggered by wind gusts of up to 93 miles per hour. It turned around and landed in Auckland.

A 2023 study published in Geophysical Research Letters found that turbulence became more prevalent in certain parts of the world between 1979 and 2020 due to climate change. So, these incidents will likely occur more often—regardless of whether you're sitting in first class or coach.

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Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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