What is the feeling after a flight?

  • Jul 10, 2024
What is the feeling after a flight?

The feeling after a flight

When one leaves an aircraft after a flight, there are general feelings that accompany the physical state. Whether it could be the feeling of getting to a particular place, a relief of getting off the aircraft safely, or even the tiredness of traveling, there is always something we can associate with when we are off an aircraft. In this article, we will uncover some of the emotions people experience when traveling by flight and why such feelings exist.


The most common feeling is the one that can be described as relief or contentment. Flying is much more safe but still when people go for a flight, there is always a certain degree of danger in their mind. Furthermore, being enclosed in a metal cylinder high up in the sky is also against our usual setting and being. But there is that sweet relief when it finally lands and one can let go of the stress that unconsciously was being endured. The relief can be rather pronounced when passengers feel distressed due to turbulence or other concerns associated with flying. Once our feet touch the ground of the new country, we almost get a sense of relief, as if all the tension that has built up is let go.


I was amazed by how much effort is necessary to make a plane trip. We get tired even on short journeys – at times, even more, more tired than on long ones. Shuffling through the crowded airport, noisy plane, sitting in tight spaces for hours, being exposed to high altitudes, experiencing huge differences in air pressure, inhaling dry air in the cabin, and irregular sleep/wake cycles take a toll on many of us. While plane seats do provide a reclining feature, it is very hard to get even slightly comfortable, let alone get a good night’s sleep. Disembarking the boat removes one from the rocking motion and for a moment the body can feel the weariness that has set in.


Just as no two airports may be the same, combined with mental fatigue and the effects of jet lag after a flight, one can feel a bit lost after a trip. Air travel quickly catapults us through time zones and in to entirely disparate climates and cultures. It is a lot that we as minds and our bodies can comprehend and prepare themselves for. The natural rhythm to which grounding can be anchored is severely lacking in such homogeneous, sterile, artificial airport environments. Thus, it is rather typical to experience disorientation to some extent, including confusion, distance from surroundings, and the feeling that you are lost after getting off the plane. The feeling usually disappears as soon as one steps outside and gets the light, air, smells and atmosphere that is typical for the place.


In cases that we are coming home from a fantastic holiday or reaching a place that we have been looking forward to getting to, there is nothing that can compare with the joy of getting there. In a way, same to relief, disembarking emerges as a sign that separates the planning and the travel on one side and the experience on the other side. They say the journey is what matters, yet the rush of getting there, whether into the arms of our family or into a tropical oasis, releases our souls and our happy hormones as we realize the reason for the stress.

Stiffness and Pain

Being confined in a small space for a long time is bound to result in sore muscles, especially the bones in the body after we touch down. Seats in airplanes together with the spaces found beneath the seats are designed for the average size and height making the tall and big feel quite uncomfortable. The cabin air is also usually somewhat cooler and drier than usual which can cause headaches occasionally. On long haul flights, another related danger, that of deep vein thrombosis, a condition whereby blood clots form in the legs, is possible. Hence it comes as no shock when people disembarking planes wince with backache, have swollen legs or tingling feet ready to leap up and stretch.


The food and beverages served by airline operators are often unappetizing. The processed, pre-packaged, commercial chips, biscuits, ready-to-eat meals and cereals do not seem to offer the required degree of satisfaction. Together with limited portion sizes, one can be almost certain that they have been left famished and thirsty as they disembark from a flight. The hunger can increase coming from red-eye redeyes because probably the last meals were taken hurriedly before evening prior to the trip. Whether the person has been starving or just feeling a little bit of hunger, having something palatable and satisfying is right next to the top of the list after leaving most planes.

Culture Shock

Such indignation is due to the fact that when you fly to totally different zones of the world, the shock is extremely strong. Jet lag makes one lethargic and susceptible to being stressed when on the wrong side of the deadline trying to find our way around an unfamiliar place, different language, and culture. Polar opposites are jarring and can elicit a sense of anxiety and depth, especially following the longest of flights. It could even feel like all the characteristics of the environment, including the climate, smells, driving behavior, fashion, and even the speed of walking might be different from what one is used to. The thing is to know that we are uncomfortable, we need some time to ‘warm up’ and be prepared for the fact that this state will disappear soon.


Yes, some places just feel like they breathe positive vibes to anyone who sets foot in them the moment one enters the place. Be it beautiful mountain ranges to look at or continents of oceans stretching out, the friendly weather and more friendly people, or the chance to get off the leash – some places can be refreshing the moment you spend a day in them. Traveling to our happy place whether it’s the land of palm trees, fresh snow, or just the comfort of our hometowns can turn any frown upside down with a buzz of positive energy that makes all the stresses of traveling worth it.


Traveling begins when one gets off the plane in a new and strange territory, and thus brings certain level of curiosity and expectation. This desire to learn, comprehend and get a feel of different terrains can be most strongly aroused after a long flight on some distant country far from every thing that is ordinary. People can be mesmerized by even the most trivial things like the view from the bus, the sound of the scraps or even smell on the airport shuttle. Despite the exhaustion and jet lag that may hinder the first few minutes of the experience, the enthralling notion of exploration can energize us as we attempt to comprehend our otherworldly environment, once bodily functions are back in order.

The emotions that the flight passengers may experience after the flight is over also differ based on the person, flight duration, destination and reason for the trip. But relief, exhaustion or stiffness or hunger or daze or pain or elation or shock or curiosity or euphoria or something like that generally emerge in us as we alight. The intensity and duration also vary depending on how experienced you are in the travel or whether you are an arriving or departing passenger. But one thing that stays the same is the twinge of feelings that most people get when grounding themselves after disembarking or exiting the plane after the strange rhythm of flying.