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Why you should never drink water on a plane, according to a flight attendant

Looking for an excuse to have a glass of wine mid-flight? This could be it

Sarah Young
Thursday 08 June 2017 10:01 BST
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There's a reason flight attendants won't drink tap water during a flight
There's a reason flight attendants won't drink tap water during a flight (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Drinking plenty of fluids during a flight might seem like a sensible thing to do but there’s one beverage that cabin crew say you should never order onboard – water.

Considered the worst drink you can ask for while flying, a flight attendant revealed to Business Insider that you should never drink tap water mid-flight because the dirty little secret is that it can be pretty dirty.

“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 while the water tanks do get cleaned, they’re never informed when or how often.

As a result, they’re not sure how clean the water is at any given time and stay away from water, hot or cold, altogether unless it’s bottled.

Why you need to watch the in-flight safety briefing

It’s a claim supported by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA in the US, who said, “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.“

Similarly, a recent EPA study found that 12 per cent, or one out of every 10 of commercial planes in the U.S. had at least one positive test for coliform – a bacteria found in human faeces.

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