withGod/ShutterstockYou probably don’t think too hard about the drink you order on a plane (though there’s one drinks flight attendants say is gross). But making the wrong choice could slow the drink cart down for everyone.
Up in the air, things just don’t work the same as they do down below. The airplane’s cabin stays at the pressure of 8,000 feet above sea level—not as much pressure as you should feel at 30,000 feet, but more than you’d feel on the ground. You probably notice the pressure when your ears start popping, but another weird effect has to do with your on-flight drinks.
The pressure causes a lot of foam when pouring out sodas. Of course flight attendants can’t serve a cup of froth, so they have to fill part of the cup, wait for the bubbles to settle, then finish pouring. And one offender takes even longer than the rest: Diet Coke.
“I literally have to sit and wait for but bubbles to fall before I continue pouring,” writes a flight attendant on the blog These Gold Wings. “Pouring a [Diet Coke] is one of the biggest slow downs on the bar service.” If the health benefits of giving up diet soda aren’t enough to convince you to drink more water instead, the slow service might.
It might not sound like a huge deal, but flight attendants need to deal with hundreds of passengers. When they’re trying to squeeze in drinks, meals, and more into a three-hour flight, every second counts. So pouring a bunch of foamy sodas can become a pet peeve of flight attendants. With multiple orders of Diet Cokes, the flight attendant blogger will start pouring the drinks, then move on to other passengers while the foam dies down.
Luckily, this flight attendant has a trick to speed things along (and you can steal it on the ground, too). After opening the can, place the cup face-down over the can, then flip it quickly. If you move fast enough, the Diet Coke won’t pour out right away. Once you do tilt it a bit, the flow is easier to control, so you’ll get less foam.
If you do decide to order a Diet Coke (because who can blame you?), asking for a full can could actually be quicker. Flight attendants usually give out half a can, which of course requires that painfully slow pour. But if you request the full can, they’ll just hand you the can with a glass of ice and move on. So you get more soda and they get more time—win win!