We left Mexico City and were ascending rapidly. After about 10 minutes at 15,000 feet there was what sounded like a huge explosion and a bright light outside the left side of the plane. The boom was so loud everyone shrieked. Some people sat quietly staring ahead while others panicked. The stewardess immediately came on the intercom and asked everyone to calm down and informed us the captain would make an “announcement as soon as we left the storm we were flying through.” 10 minutes later, the captain nonchalantly came on the intercom and welcomed us aboard AA flight 1156. He stated that the plane had experienced a static discharge as a result of flying through the clouds (meaning we were struck by lightning.) He said the plane was OK and that we were going to land in Dallas on our expected ETA. The event happened so fast that I really didn’t have time to be scared. When I got home, I did some research on the web and found out that the FAA “estimated that on average, each airplane in the US commercial fleet is struck [by lightning] slightly more than once per year; and that “nothing serious should happen because of the careful lightning protection engineered into the aircraft”; but that “passengers and crew may see a flash and hear a loud noise” (and this can be quite alarming.) After the flight, as we were passing through customs, everyone couldn’t stop talking about the event. Some people thought it was a bomb and everyone was relieved to be on the ground. It was a classic experience. In retrospect, I realize that I was struck by lightning and survived. Pretty cool. Someone later said that it seemed that these kind of thing only happened to me!