February 25, 2024
Boston has 2 of the most turbulent plane routes in North America


Travel

Other New England routes made the list as well.

An American Airlines plane heads in for a landing at Boston Logan International Airport. Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Travelers on two Boston airline routes may be in for a bumpy ride, according to a new report.


  • A travel website picked this Boston airline route as one of its favorites of 2023

A report released by the turbulence tracking website Turbli named the 10 North American routes with the highest average turbulence in 2023 and included two Boston routes: Boston to Syracuse ranked No. 9 and Boston to Philadelphia ranked No. 10.

The most turbulent route in North America is Nashville to Raleigh/Durham, according to the report.

“Turbulence is air movement created by atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts or thunderstorms. It can be unexpected and can happen when the sky appears to be clear. Turbulence can give an airplane a sudden jolt that can injure passengers and flight crewmembers who aren’t buckled in,” according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The report analyzed the turbulence levels of 150,000 airline routes at their average cruising altitude by looking at their eddy dissipation rate (EDR), a measure of turbulence intensity. Only active routes as of December 2023 were ranked.

Both Boston routes have an EDR of 14.453, and the most turbulent route, between Nashville and Raleigh/Durham, has an EDR of 14.728, according to the report. Turbli deems an EDR of 0-20 as light, 20-40 as moderate, 40-80 as severe, and 80-100 as extreme.

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Two other New England routes made the list: Warwick, R.I. to Syracuse, N.Y. ranked No. 5 (with an EDR of 14.494) and New York to Portland, Maine ranked No. 8 (with an EDR of 14.457).

Between 2009 and 2022, 34 passengers and 129 crew members have been seriously injured by turbulence, according to the FAA. Passengers can best prevent turbulence injuries by staying in their seat with their seatbelt buckled at all times, the agency says.

In 2022, after passenger injuries from turbulence in other parts of the country made the news, Boston.com readers shared their turbulence stories.

Check out the list of 10 North American routes with the highest average turblence.

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