Maybe you woke up at 4am to journey to the airport for a 6:10am flight. Or perhaps you’re landing around lunch time and gearing up for a big presentation. Either way, you’ll need that jolt of java 30,000 feet in the air to help get you through the day, right?
Well, not so fast. As one flight attendant explained to Business Insider in a February article that’s recently caused a big ruffle on the internet: “Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane. They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea.” The reason? It’s made with tap water. And while many airlines have switched to serving bottled water for straight-up consumption, coffee and tea options may often be brewed with tap water. So our newest travel hack: Do what the flight attendants do and avoid ordering coffee or tea when you're in the air.
And according to a 2004 Environmental Protection Agency sample of 158 planes, 13 percent contained coliform, bacteria that could indicate that pathogens are in the water. Two of the airplanes were found to have dangerous E.coli in the water. And as Business Insider also stated, an additional study conducted by the EPA found that one in every eight planes fails the agency’s standards for water safety.
Meanwhile, according to NBC5, the EPA now requires airlines to test for coliform and E. coli on every airplane at least once per year. If a plane tests positive with either bacteria, they must proceed to the tanks. Afterwards, they have to re-test the water. (And while this is going on, the airline carrier also has to restrict access to the water on the plane until tests come up clean.)
If this isn’t a convincing reason to stick to tomato juice and opt for that makeshift low-budget bloody mary as your flight sipper of choice, we don’t know what is. Though, admittedly, that might zonk us out before our work presentation...Here’s to beelining for a shot of espresso when we land! But at least now you know a handy travel hack for more space in your economy seat.