What In The World Is 'Raw Dogging' A Flight And Why Is It Trending?

Say what you want about TikTok, but amid the Gen-Z dance challenges and cooking videos featuring ingredients no one's ever heard of, it has undeniably become a goldmine of travel tips. Whether it's hacks about helping your toddler fall asleep much easier on flights or a PSA about why you should be cautious of water bottles in cruise cabins, it seems like TikTok has no shortage of nifty advice that could prove to be useful on your subsequent travels. Then again, there are also some travel trends on the platform that will leave you scratching your head. Case in point: 2024 saw the rise of a trend called "raw dogging" a flight. And no, it's not about joining the mile-high club (that trend took off decades ago).


"Raw dogging" a flight means boarding a plane, usually for a long-haul journey, and doing absolutely nothing for entertainment. No books, no in-flight movies, no music or podcasts, no games, and definitely no chatting with your seatmate. It's just you, sitting still, staring into the void (or the flight tracker map), with occasional trips to the restroom to stretch your legs. Some, like user @oiwudini, whose video on the trend racked up over 13.7 million views, take it up a notch and even forego drinking water. Interestingly, some people find this therapeutic, while others see it as a challenge of resilience. Whatever the case, it's arguably one of the weirdest trends in the travel space, yet a growing number of people are jumping on the bandwagon. Go figure.


Some people apparently 'raw dog' a flight to clear their heads

While many agree that "raw dogging" a flight is completely absurd, some treat it as a mental escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Since a flight forces you to stay in one spot for hours, some use it as an opportunity to clear their heads. "I was tired of the usual routine ... so I said, 'I'm just going to kind of stare off into space, and use it is a Zen meditation," California-based therapist Michael Ceely said of the trend in an interview with CNN, adding that some men also thrive in doing it as a challenge. "I think it might be more of a male psyche kind of thing: I like a challenge, let me see if I can get through this," he added. "It's an acetic practice, but branding it with bro-speak."


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Meanwhile, a writer named Luke Winkie, who regularly "raw dogs" flights before it even had a name, shared with GQ that the practice helps ease his flight anxiety. "I am a nervous flier and generally cannot focus on anything on a plane ... with any success," he explained. "For some reason I don't like processing new information when I'm in the air. I want to stick to things that are predictable and safe." So, while some are busy discovering hacks to make flights comfier, others are opting for self-imposed boredom. But hey, if staring into the void at 30,000 feet helps them find their inner peace, who are we to judge?

The environment inside of the plane is apparently conducive to 'raw dogging'

Because of how controversial the trend is, it naturally sparked some strong reactions. One user on Reddit said that there's nothing to gain from it and you're basically just inconveniencing yourself for nothing. "I've raw dogged many flights. There are no benefits to it. You're better off just taking an extended nap and catching up on aleep(sic) for actual benefits," they wrote. Others think it's ridiculous that this practice is even trending, with one user commenting, "If someone bragged to me about this, I would definitely think they're a bit of an idiot. If that's what you want to do then by all means but I'm not gonna be impressed."


Whatever your stance on "raw dogging" flights are, Dr. Ramani Durvasula, a clinical psychologist, told the Daily Mail that it actually makes sense for some people to choose this method of doing nothing and just ruminating on their thoughts. It has something to do with the white noise from the plane engines, which can help them find their Zen. "The white noise part really adds to that, and it can be frustrating sometimes to 'do' other things," he said. "So raw dogging can allow you to really do some quiet contemplation and not just distract yourself away from your thoughts or try to do impossible things like work in a cramped window seat."