The One Drink Flight Attendants Never Want You to Order
Think all airplane drinks are created equal? Think again.
When you’ve served enough overpriced wine and cans of V8 at 30,000 feet, one would expect that all of those on-board drinks start to look the same. However, according to industry insiders, there’s one drink flight attendants absolutely hate pouring for airplane passengers—and no, it’s not even alcoholic. It’s none other than Diet Coke.
Why? Well, it’s because Diet Coke has a tendency to fizz more than its sugary counterparts and takes longer to pour.
Some quick chemistry: the sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup) used in regular soda increases the liquid’s viscosity ever-so-slightly, and causes larger bubbles to form. The larger the bubble, the more rapidly it will pop—which means there’s actually less fizz. Diet soda is less-viscous and sugar-free, which means that it actually fizzes more.
There are other reasons to avoid diet soda on aircraft. One investigation suggests that bacteria from pseudomonas aeruginosa to staphylococcus are commonly found on the top of soda cans. Worse yet, a 2015 study revealed that there’s a shocking amount of bacteria in airplane water supplies, meaning those ice cubes might not be the safe bet you’d hoped for either.
When in doubt, kill two birds with one stone and ask your flight attendant for the whole can—in most cases, they’ll happily hand it over—and give it a good wipe-down before pouring yourself a glass. Bottoms up!
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