This Flight Attendant's Warning About Airplane Coffee Just Went Viral

It actually has nothing to do with how often the water tanks are cleaned.

If you've flown quite a few times, there are surely some airplane horror stories you lived through that still haunt your travels—people sticking their bare feet in socially unacceptable places, gross trash found in the seat's backpocket, you name it. There's always something that will make anyone's skin crawl.

And in light of the upcoming holiday travel flights, here I am to share with you yet another reason to be potentially grossed out on planes. Or actually, the way I see it, this is preventive advice to ensure you actually donot end up feeling like that on your next flight out.

To put it simply—it's best if you don't drink drip coffee on planes. Don't look at me—I'm simply the messenger. A flight attendant recently took to TikTok to share why airplane coffee, in their experience, is allegedly something to avoid. By going off of a Reddit thread that asked flight attendants to share their insider knowledge and secrets, the video poster expanded on one of the comments, in which an alleged airplane pilot claims that water tanks on planes never get cleaned, but the coffee onboard is made using that water.

The flight attendant TikToker, though, points to another issue with airplane coffee. "The fact that the [water] tanks rarely get cleaned should be the least of your concerns," they say in the video. "For me it's always been the way that flight attendants have to clean out coffee pots."

Apparently, in their experience, attendants are not allowed to empty coffee pots in drains, and they're instead supposed to dump them down the toilet. When they do that, though, things can get pretty nasty. "In order to not make a huge mess everywhere, you kinda have to get a little close to the toilet," they explain in the video. "And I imagine there's some kind of backsplash of particles, bacteria, [or] whatever that goes directly back into the coffee pot which is put right back into the coffee maker." It's either the plane you're flying on has an espresso maker or, according to the TikToker, you shouldn't be drinking coffee.

In the comments, among the many people expressing their collective disgust, some TikTokers are doubtful, signaling that, maybe, it's only the original poster's experience that is that terrible. "Ummmm we are not allowed to take coffee pots in the lavs at my airline," says one TikTok user. "I'm a [flight attendant] and we just dump out coffee in the trash," says another person.

Others, however, agree with the poster, and even offer further advice on beverages in general. "I don't take any drink from the cart, especially not with ice," says one user, who describes themselves as a former flight attendant. "Ice trays are at exact height of people's mouths for coughing/sneezing."

Airlines might have different rules on where and how to empty coffee pots, but if you want to stay in the clear, you have two options. It's either you don't drink coffee or, as the original poster suggests, you get yourself a nice cup of Joe from a coffee shop near the gate right before boarding the plane.

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She will beg you not to put pineapple on pizza. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.