Coffee is delicious. We yearn for it in the mornings and have become addicted to finding the best cup. But if you've ever had a long flight and needed a cup of that free coffee from the flight attendant's cart, then you know it can be a struggle to get to the bottom of the cup.
Something about it just tastes ... off. Right?
People who claimed to have worked for various airlines suggested on a recent Reddit thread called "People who work for airlines, what are your secrets?" that you should think twice about requesting that onboard coffee. They claim (alarmingly) that station agents aren't motivated enough to clean the coffee container every morning, don't have the "proper supplies" to clean it, and sometimes park the potable water vehicle next to the vehicle that carries the "blue juice" for the lavatories.
The system that major airlines use to refill potable water containers on airplanes came under fire in 2013 after a local Dallas news station released results of an investigation that found airports transport drinking water using dirty, mold-clogged hoses containing bacteria such as coliform and E. coli.
We asked Abbie Unger, a former flight attendant on international flights and current motivational speaker and flight attendant mentor, to verify the Redditors' claims.
"It is true that the potable water tanks are not cleaned," she told HuffPost. "But they are only filled with potable (drinkable) water, so it's not like there is old coffee in a big container somewhere. The water doesn't make for an excellent cup of coffee, but it's not unsafe."
Fortunately, the not-great-tasting water used to make coffee isn't the water you're served if you ask for a cup of it -- she added that you can rest assured the bottled water given out on planes is actually bottled. "The airline is usually under contract with the water company to represent the brand well by never refilling a bottle with potable water."
So there you have it -- when you're in the air, skip the coffee and stay hydrated with bottled water.
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