Am I the Only One Excited About Airline Coffee? – Forbes

Woman drinking coffee on an airplane.


I’m not sure what to make of all the recent chatter about airline coffee.

According to reports, the water they use is potentially “dirty.”

But those reports are a little wishy washy, a little unclear, at least in terms of the hard data.

One flight attendant says this, another says that, etc.

Obviously, people aren’t dropping dead after having an in-flight coffee, and there has not been any string of illness.

But, there’s some indirect evidence to suggest there might be a few sanitary concerns when it comes to the water and its storage container.

When I started traveling ten years ago, I probably would have jumped on the opportunity to put down airline coffee, to receive justification about its horrid nature.

I used to wonder how it could be that bad – I mean, literally, how do you make a cup of coffee that bad, please, tell me! I would think.

Even a small suggestion that there was something wrong with the ingredients – in this case, the water – would have made me happy.

It would have solved a great mystery: How did they produce that watery, vile-tasting beverage they are calling “coffee?”

But these days, I’m taking a little more of a conservative approach with this information because, quite honestly, I don’t want to believe it.

To me, the state of airline coffee is better than ever, and it would be a shame to have to stop drinking it now, after all these years, after airlines have finally started to care about what they serve.

A look around the airline industry shows Starbucks (Delta/Alaska), Dunkin’ Donuts (JetBlue), Java City (American), illy (United), Kona (Hawaiian), Change Please (Virgin Atlantic) – heck, WestJet even serves McDonald’s coffee.

Now I suppose it’s possible I am grading on a curve as I sit here sipping a horrendous cup of hotel-room coffee – that’s another story for another day – and I suppose it’s possible I’m poisoning myself by drinking hot beverages brewed with bad water, but…

Bacteria or no bacteria, Starbucks tastes a lot better than whatever the heck they were serving ten years ago.

Drinking coffee on an airline used to look like this:

In-flight meal and coffee.


Now it feels more like this:

Couple relaxing on the sofa. They are cuddling and cozy in a luxury home. Both are casually dressed and drinking coffee. They ae sitting in front of a window. They are very happy and smiling.


And… as a traveler who loves his street food, and who continues to eat it everywhere he goes despite multiple cases of food poisoning over the years, airline coffee seems like a funny place to draw the line.

So until we get some hard evidence, or I wash these words down with a bacterial infection, I’m going to keep enjoying the coffee on my flights.

Otherwise, I’ll probably end up drinking Bloody Marys, or Screwdrivers, and no one wants that.

If you haven’t tried the coffee on a flight recently, if you’re one of those people living in the past, I suggest you give it a shot.

That is… if you dare.