Now that I've taken a few internal flights in the USA I've started to spot a pattern. The passengers like to reward the pilot with a round of applause for a successful landing once they bring the old bird down safely. The level of applause seems to be inversely correlated to the bumpiness of the landing.
I find it all very strange. The pilot is payed top dollar to get that hunk of tin up and down in the right place, and in reality computers probably control most of it.
These people don't applaud the train driver on their daily commute, the newscaster, or the out-of-work actor who takes their order in the local restaurant.
I wonder why planes are different?