On top of all that, every time they roll out the drink cart, passenger after passenger orders Diet Coke.
As veteran flight attendant Heather Poole wrote in Mental Floss, “Of all the drinks we serve, Diet Coke takes the most time to pour — the fizz takes forever to settle at 35,000 feet. In the time it takes me to pour a single cup of Diet Coke, I can serve three passengers a different beverage.”
In her book Cruising Altitude, Poole added that Diet Coke has haunted her dreams. “I’ve actually had nightmares about frantically trying to finish a never ending Diet Coke beverage service before landing.”
A better way
An anonymous flight attendant who shares his experiences on Three Gold Wings has also written about the Diet Coke conundrum:
“We offer a full inflight service including hot towels, meals, bar, tea/coffee and more on flights over three hours. Pouring Diet Coke is one of the biggest slowdowns in the bar service and on the shorter flights those precious seconds count!”
(For the record, his official stance on the matter is “I don’t care what you want to drink. I’ll pour it, and I won’t have a second thought about it.”)
In this video, he demonstrates his workaround for speedier service:
So if you’re extra thirsty during beverage service, perhaps you should choose another drink. And be respectful of your flight attendants and fellow passengers alike. You don’t want to end up on the Passenger Shaming Instagram account.