Flight attendant shares why you should never drink coffee offered on an airplane

@ichbinvin/TikTok YAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Say less please say less’: Flight attendant shares why you should never drink coffee offered on an airplane

'I always cringe when I see people order coffee on a plane.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Dec 1, 2023   Updated on Dec 1, 2023, 8:19 am CST

There are some things folks might not want to know about in-flight hospitality if they have weak stomachs.

It is not that there is anything wrong with the air or water on an airplane—but some folks might be put off by the idea of recirculated air, and water stored in tanks has shown some potential to be harmful.

One flight attendant took to TikTok to confirm or deny claims made in a separate Reddit post about the in-flight experience, telling viewers that coffee brewed on the plane is “disgusting.”

In a video that has now drawn over 153,000 views as of Friday, @ichbinvin advises viewers to arrive at the airport 10 minutes before they normally would to purchase a coffee in the terminal before boarding.

“The fact that the tanks rarely get cleaned that the water’s in should be the least of your concern,” he says in the video. “For me, it’s always been the way that flight attendants have to clean out coffee pots. For whatever reason, we’re not supposed to empty coffee pots in drains. We’re supposed to dump it down the toilet.”

To effectively empty the coffee pot, he says it often comes concerningly close to the toilet bowl.

“So, when you take a coffee pot, and dump it in the toilet, in order to not make a huge mess everywhere, you kind of have to get a little close to the toilet,” he says. “I imagine that there’s some kind of backsplash of particles, bacteria, whatever that goes directly back into the coffee pot which gets put right back into the coffee maker.

The Daily Dot has reached out to @ichbinvin via email regarding the video.

Other passengers and flight attendants alike agreed on not ordering any beverages that do not come in their own package, or with ice, and shared their recommendations for in-flight drinks.

@ichbinvin #flightattendant #travel #airline ♬ original sound – keVin

“Coffee, tea, it’s a no for me. ginger ale me up,” one commenter wrote.

“Former F/A I don’t take any drink from the cart especially not with ice – ice trays are at exact height of people’s mouths for coughing/sneezing,” another said.

“I think of airplane coffee as a little boost for the immune system,” a user said.

Some folks who have worked or currently work as flight attendants shared that they found the method of disposal questionable, as they emptied coffee pots in different ways while in the air.

“Ummmm I always put it in my ice bag and then into my main trash,” one commenter wrote. “Putting in toilet can damage it due to it being hot.”

“I empty mine in the drains after we pushback,” another commenter wrote. “Before push you run the risk of scalding ground crew.”

“16 years of flying and we always dumped coffee down the galley drains, just not while parked at the gate,” a commenter wrote. “So that seems a bit off.”

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*First Published: Dec 1, 2023, 7:53 am CST