The real reason why drinks taste different on a plane

Sarah Carty
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer


One of our favourite times on a long-haul flight is when the drinks trolley clinks around and you get to sit back and relax with your beverage of choice in your hand and a movie on the screen.

However, it turns out that you might not have been drinking what you thought you were on those boring flights, as an astonishing number of flight attendants have admitted they water down alcoholic drinks.

Researchers, who conducted a study for private jet charter company Stratos Jets, which was seen by The Sun, interviewed 119 flight attendants to find out some of the worst things they’ve done while on a duty on a plane.

It turns out that you might not have been drinking what you thought you were on those boring flights. Photo: Getty Images

Interestingly, over 35% of cabin crew admitted that they had watered down passengers’ drinks.

74.8% of flight attendants also revealed that they had refused service to an intoxicated passenger on a flight.

It’s not the only thing passengers have been warned about when flying, as previously it was claimed that you shouldn’t drink the hot water on planes.

“Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane,” one flight attendant told Business Insider in June.

“They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea.”

Business Insider reported that one Environmental Protection Agency study in the US found one in every eight planes failed water safety standards.

It’s not the only thing passengers have been warned about when flying, as previously it was claimed that you shouldn’t drink the hot water on planes. Photo: Getty Images

It’s something other flight attendants have spoken out about in the past, too.

“I personally would not drink the potable water from the aircraft. So the tea, coffee… I would avoid,” ex-cabin crew member adrianne456 revealed on Reddit last year.

“The water isn’t so bad but how often do you really think those tanks are cleaned?”

Tank cleaning appears to be the main issue, with the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA in the US revealing it’s up to the discretion of the airlines how often they test the water.

“Water onboard is regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency to ensure safe drinking water on the aircraft. The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA pushed for this regulation over 15 years ago,” the Association told Business Insider in a statement.

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