• Living
  • Travel

Why Flight Attendants Don’t Really Want You to Stop Ordering Diet Coke on Your Flight

4 minute read

The whole “flight attendants hate when you order Diet Coke” discussion has been blown way out of proportion.

If many of the headlines on the topic are to be believed, you must stop ordering Diet Coke on flights immediately, lest you incur the wrath of your flight attendant.


To be fair, many of these articles quote flight attendants who explain that Diet Coke takes longer to pour.

“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,” Heather Poole, a flight attendant, wrote on her blog and was quoted in an INSIDER article saying.

Read More: A flight attendant shares 3 things most people don’t know about training school

“Pouring Diet Coke is one of the biggest slow downs in the bar service, and on the shorter flights those precious seconds count,” another flight attendant quoted in similar articles who goes by the name Jet writes on his These Gold Wings blog.

But does it really make flight attendants’ jobs so hard that you should quit the fizzy stuff entirely, or is this is all a bit of hyperbole? Before you reach for the regular soda, consider a few things:

Waiting longer isn’t THAT big a deal

As Poole wrote on her blog, while it may be annoying to wait a little longer to pour someone’s drink, flight attendants don’t expect you to stop ordering Diet Coke. They certainly won’t.

“For the record, I drink Diet Coke both as a flight attendant and as a passenger,” Poole writes.

Jet similarly addressed this issue on his blog: “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 wont have a second thought about it.”

And when we asked a couple of flight attendants specifically if ordering Diet Coke mid-flight is all that bothersome, we heard much the same.

Read More: Flight attendants share 25 things they wish passengers would stop doing — and one you can probably get away with

One flight attendant Business Insider talked to said he’s never even heard of this phenomenon before.

And another flight attendant Business Insider talked to echoed much of Poole’s sentiments:

“It takes a while to pour because of the fizz. It’s just a few extra seconds, but when you’re in the aisle trying to do a bunch of things it feels a lot longer. It happens with any of the diet sodas, I think. But Diet Coke is all I drink, so I can’t get too annoyed.”

There are ways to remediate the Diet Coke fizz

Jet offers an efficient method: Simply place a cup on top of an open can of soda, quickly flip the two over in unison, slowly lift the can straight up as the soda pours out of the can (keeping the soda level almost flush with the can), and add the ice last.

Flight attendants are very capable people

To say that ordering Diet Coke makes flight attendants’ jobs much harder is pretty insulting when you think about it.

Ask any flight attendant and they’ll tell you one of the biggest misconceptions about their job is that handing out drinks is their primary role. It isn’t.

Their first job is to keep you alive and well, and doing this requires a great deal of training and hard work. The amount of training they receive on how to pour soda, on the other hand, is minimal to none.

There are a lot worse things you could do as a passenger

Flight attendants are privy to all kinds of terrible human behavior.

If you’re going to adjust your flying habits, you’d be doing everyone a favor by keeping your feet in your shoes and off people’s armrests, walls, headrests, ceiling control panels — you get the gist.

Read More: A former HR exec who reviewed over 40,000 résumés says these 7 résumé mistakes annoy her

At the end of the day, if you’re still concerned about holding things up for other passengers and your flight attendants, consider asking for the can and pouring your soda yourself. Your flight attendant will probably be happy to oblige.

As for never ordering Diet Coke on your next flight, we think you can let yourself off the hook on this one.

This article originally appeared on BusinessInsider.com.


More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com