An article was recently posted on The Telegraph about “things that annoy flight attendants”. The highlight of the article was based on this post I wrote in 2013 about pouring diet coke. The article quotes a few lines from my blog post and a video demonstration I did at the time.
However it takes my post out of context. It implies that I find it irritating when passengers order diet coke. It also implies I was interviewed for the article so I want to make this clear:
I was not contacted by The Telegraph, this is evident in that they refer to me as “she” in their article. They never asked my permission to use my content, and I’m annoyed by the context in which they used my material.
Here is my official stance on passengers ordering Diet Coke, not that anyone should actually care: I don’t care what you want to drink. I’ll pour it, and I won’t have a second thought about it.
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 effects 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. 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. As the infomercials say, “There’s GOT to be a better way!”
In fact there is! In the video below you can see me first pouring a diet coke the “normal” way, then pouring it the “smart” way.
As you can see, the can gets in the way and prevents the foam from forming. This saves so much time that I can pour a complete glass with ice the “smart” way before the foam even finishes falling when pouring the standard method. (That little cup full of melty ice was all we had left on the plane that day, normally with proper big cubes the effect of the foam is even bigger)
What you can’t see is that the diet coke doesn’t come out of the can when flipped upside down until you lift it up and tilt it slightly. This is because the air pressure is keeping the coke in the can. It makes pouring the diet coke very controllable and reduces the chances of spilling or overflow.
I know this seems like a minor detail, but at my airline we offer a full inflight service including hot towels, meals, bar, tea/coffee and more on flights over 3 hours. Pouring diet coke is one of the biggest slow downs in the bar service and on the shorter flights those precious seconds count!