Next time you're jet-setting around the globe, do us a favour and don't order this to drink onboard. According to a flight attendant, someone who knows a thing or two about plane food and drink, the worst beverage you can ask for while flying is water.
Shocking, we know, but when a flight attendant shared with Business Insider some tricks of the trade, one of them was to never drink a glass of tap water while flying the friendly skies because, apparently, the water isn't so friendly. "Flight attendants will not drink hot water on the plane," the attendant said. "They will not drink plain coffee, and they will not drink plain tea."
This is because they're not sure how clean the water is at any given time. While the water tanks do get cleaned, the flight attendants don't know when. Knowing it's better to be safe than sorry, they just stay away from water, whether it's hot or cold, all together. Bottled water, however, is still safe.
In a statement to Business Insider, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA seemed to confirm this particular flight attendant's story, writing, "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 regulation gives broad discretion to airlines on how often they must test the water and flush the tanks. AFA does not believe this regulation goes far enough or is sufficiently enforced."
If this didn't already convince you to just say no to H20, I would guess the findings of a recent EPA study would. In 2012, NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas reported that 12 percent, or one out of every 10 of commercial airplanes in the US had at least one positive test for coliform, a bacteria found in human faeces. While this bacteria is unlikely to make you sick, let's all agree it's still pretty gross.
It seems that there really aren't a lot of great culinary choices while flying. Gordon Ramsay recently warned us in a recent Refinery29 interview that airplane food is something he would we never, ever eat. "There’s no fucking way I eat on planes," he said. "I worked for airlines for ten years, so I know where this food’s been and where it goes, and how long it took before it got on board."
Our suggestion? Stick to drinking things that come out of a bottle or can. Your tummy will thank you.