Airplane Coffee: Why you should not drink it


Having a cup of coffee is one of the basic things that most people would take for granted when they travel on a plane. It’s such a basic concept as getting to their seat, browsing the in-flight magazine and asking for a cup of coffee to finally get the day started before reaching destination. The truth behind drinking that cup of coffee at 40,000 feet is way beyond imaginable.

  • Let’s start by the most obvious. The coffee you are being served is just crappy instant coffee. Probably the cheapest. If it is branded (Starbucks, Dunkin’Donuts, etc) is most probably the one that does not qualify to be sold at stores. If you want real brewed coffee, you may consider paying an extra thousand bucks to fly Business or First class.
  • The coffee pot used to serve that black elixir, has most certainly never been washed in the last decade. Coffee pots are part of the airplane equipment that not get to be offloaded that often at all. Pots remain onboard and are not cleaned or exchanged. Flight attendants will do their fair part by rinsing the pots after using them. However Flight attendants would never rinse the pots before using them, as they take for granted somebody did that on the previous flight. Did they?
  • After coffee is served to the passengers, flight attendants will flush away the leftover. Yes, flush away! Meaning that you will see the flight attendants gushing coffee directly into the toilet bowl as there is no other place to do so. Think about splashing coffee, hygiene levels, etc.
  • Finally, as if you really need more, coffee pots are stored in the plane in containers that get as little care and cleaning as the pots themselves. Still want to wake up?

Next time you travel, spend those extra bucks buying an overpriced cup of coffee at the gate before getting onboard. And when you get onboard, you may notice your Flight Attendants have done exactly the same!

Share your opinion

  1. With US carriers, the coffee pots and coffee servers are replaced each day by catering. Reg coffee is brewed, but decafe is instant Viva from Starbucks.