Is it safe to drink tea and coffee on a plane?

Drinking coffee/tea on a plain

It’s the age-old question. And by age-old, we mean its something people have been worrying about since planes started offering food and beverage service.

Is it safe to drink tap water, tea, or coffee on a plane?

Most concerns come from a) the weird taste of most beverages we consume on flights or b) horror stories about gruesome, bacteria-filled water tanks on panes.

Well, now we have some reassuring answers from the travel-savvy folk over at Lonely Planet.

So will you get sick from enjoying your midflight bevvy? The answer is a resounding ‘probably not’.

Though airlines are reluctant to speak on the matter, Lonely Planet was able to deduce the following from a range of industry experts: even though tanks are cleaned regularly, there are probably some germs in them, like many public fountains.

Male passenger holding a cup of coffee in aircraft

Having said this, if you think about how many people fly each day, we’d probably know if people were getting sick from drinking the water.

But what about the funky taste? Even bottled water tastes different on planes, and that’s because our taste buds react differently to certain tastes at high altitudes or if the air is very dry.

As for tea and coffee, the water is heated to a level that would more than likely kill off most bacteria or viruses.

And the bad taste is probably not just your tastebuds freaking out on this one, because there’s a high chance the tea or coffee you’re drinking on your flight is bought in bulk at a much cheaper price and is probably not the best quality.

Lonely Planet also pointe out that a lot of the water served for consumption on planes, boiled or otherwise may also be bottled anyway, seeing as some planes don’t even have water tanks.

So, you know, stop worrying about contaminated water and focus on staying hydrated on your next flight! We promise midflight dehydration feels a lot worse than the water tastes.

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