It is what it fizz

This story bubbled up through my timeline yesterday, and it falls under the general heading of “I should have known that, but…”:

At this point, experienced travelers (and germaphobes) know they should never ask for a cup of coffee or tea on an airplane, but this week, Travel + Leisure revealed that there’s another drink order that annoys flight attendants intensely: Diet Coke.

The reason for their displeasure with the low-cal cola? It takes too long to pour.

No, it’s not an issue of viscosity, either:

According to flight attendant blog These Gold Wings, pressure in the plane cabin affects all soda, but none so much as Diet Coke. “As you may know, the aircraft cabin is not pressurized to sea level, but rather to the equivalent of about 7 or 8 thousand feet. This means some passengers might feel a little light headed or that alcohol affects them almost twice as much as it would on the ground. It also means soft drinks foam up a lot more when poured out of a can,” explained the blog’s author, who goes by the pseudonym “Jet.”

“The worst culprit for this is Diet Coke. I literally have to sit and wait for the bubbles to fall before I can continue pouring. If all 3 passengers ask for Diet Coke I’ll often get them started, take another three drink orders, serve those, and then finish the Diet Cokes.”

For those who didn’t know — including me, until this writing — this is how it’s done:

Before you ask: I assume Pepsi is okay.

(Via Jeff Quinton.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    8 August 2017 · 5:44 pm

    I wonder if that’s the same property that makes the Diet Coke and Mentos trick work. (I’ve never heard of it being done with sugared soda)

  2. McG »

    8 August 2017 · 6:58 pm

    I would have been happy to be given the can and the empty (or ice-filled) cup and left to do my own pouring. And if the can were chilled, I might not even bother with the cup.

  3. McG »

    8 August 2017 · 7:01 pm

    I’ve found that my least favorite Diet Pepsi dispenser, at a certain local fast food place, can be made to behave if I hold the cup up closer to the spout rather than placing it on the drain grate. Having all of half an inch farther to fall seems to make the foam bubbles smaller and therefore slower to break down.

  4. ETat »

    9 August 2017 · 6:50 pm

    Oh, so that’s the reason for all those stories of drunken brawls in the air!
    Personally, I fall asleep after 1 or 2 mini-bottles of red [and probably miss all the fun]

RSS feed for comments on this post