The Lufthansa flight had to make an unscheduled landing in Geneva soon afterwards to allow four people to be taken to hospital for treatment, while the rest of the passengers continued their journey on a different plane.
The Airbus A321 hit the turbulence while crossing Switzerland on the way to Portugal, while meals were reportedly being served and the seatbelt lights were switched off.
Many passengers had their belts fastened anyway, as is recommended when not moving about in the plane, and it seems those most seriously hurt were the two air crew who were not sitting down.
A Lufthansa spokeswoman emphasised that most of the injuries were slight.
Speaker of the Portugese parliament, Jaime Gama, was on board.
“The seat belt light was not on, but many people had their seat belts fastened anyway. But some didn’t. It was them, and the crew who were serving meals, who suffered the most,” he said.