As a typical 'nervous flyer', I often find myself asking crew about a noise that they say is completely normal during flights. The thing is, I've flown a lot and still hear new sounds sometimes!

For example on a recent Easyjet Airbus flight, when the aircraft went into full throttle to take off, a loud whirring/buzzing sound started and lasted the whole flight (I was sat on the wing)... still no idea what that was.

So what is a general list of sounds that are to be expected vs a list that tells you that you are all but doomed :/

Let's keep this to an Airbus Easyjet might use to keep it a short(er) list.

  • $\begingroup$ considered by whom? $\endgroup$ Jan 16, 2018 at 13:36
  • 14
    $\begingroup$ No noise in a jet airliner is in general a bad omen $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Jan 16, 2018 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @user3528438 well... obviously someone with knowledge about aircraft, i.e. people on this site presumably. $\endgroup$
    – Cloud
    Jan 16, 2018 at 13:49
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ Hissing and slithering sounds from the overhead lockers. $\endgroup$
    – user12007
    Jan 16, 2018 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ That sound you heard was probably just the engine fans spinning and breaking the sound barrier, as normal. A320 engines are IMO the worst for noise if you are seated next to them, at other ends of the aircraft it's more tolerable. But trust me, as annoying as the buzz might be, your flight would be a lot worse if it went silent. $\endgroup$
    – Ben
    Jan 17, 2018 at 10:33

2 Answers 2


The only noise (other than a clear and obvious explosion) that gets my complete and immediate attention is "This is the captain..."

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What? Not the flight attendant telling you "please open that emergency exit door"? $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jan 16, 2018 at 22:40
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    $\begingroup$ Is that what they are saying? When I sat at the exit, the flight attendant told me that she would yell "Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate!" and that would be my cue. Although maybe on British Airways it is "Dear Sir, may I be so rude as to emplore you to open the emergency exit door at your earliest convenience, if you don't mind?" $\endgroup$ Jan 17, 2018 at 22:22
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    $\begingroup$ "BRACE BRACE" is usually a dead giveaway! (No pun intended) $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Jan 31, 2018 at 12:50

There is a news.com.au article just for that, they quote Quora, and the list of normal noises is pretty long.

EasyJet has one of the youngest fleets (new planes) and 0 accidents. And judging by their destination network and frequency (they fly a lot), you are in good hands. Generally you are in very good hands with any reputable airline. But statisticians would tell you the safest airline is one that just had an accident—they are funny that way.* It's a way of saying, if you chose an airline that had an accident in the past, it's also okay.

Consider checking Travel.SE, for example: Are there tips and tricks to overcome a fear of flying?

They are the go-to for the travel aspect of aviation, here we'll tell you planes are super safe, and they are (safer than taking a bath or getting out of bed, really).

* Following an accident, the airline typically undergoes major safety revamps, thereby improving its safety.


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