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There are a lot of things that we take for granted when we travel. It’s primarily because they happen pretty seamlessly and without any hassle. If you ask someone what their primarily concern may be when they travel, most would say that their physical security would top the list. Airlines have evolved with time. With the advent of technology, we’ve seen new services and gadgets being offered. Whether you travel in economy or in premium cabins, one human need remains common. That’s the need for clean drinking water.

Research Study

CNN Travel recently published a study that was conducted by DietDetective.com and the Hunter College NYC food policy center. The study ranks airlines based on the quality of water they provide on board. The researchers gave each airline a ‘water health score’. In this case, 5 would be the highest, 0 the lowest. If an airline has a score of 3.0 or more, it means that it serves water that’s relatively clean and safe to drink.

Research Methodology

This research doesn’t include bottled water that was served while in flight. It is based on the analysis of water that is used to make tea and coffee. It also includes the water that’s used in the bathrooms.

Research Recommendations

Researchers warned air travelers against drinking water unless it is served from a sealed bottle. They also recommended avoiding tea and coffee on airlines that didn’t meet the passing score of 3.0. Researchers also recommended using a hand sanitizer instead of bathroom water in order to clean hands.


Here are the rankings of airlines.

Alaska Airlines: 3.3

Allegiant Air: 3.3

Hawaiian Airlines: 3.1

Frontier Airlines: 2.6
Southwest Airlines: 2.4
Delta Air Lines: 1.6
American Airlines: 1.5
United Airlines: 1.2
JetBlue: 1
Spirit Airlines: 1

The Pundit’s Mantra

I’m taken aback by these findings. Drinking water on a regular basis continues to be an integral part that keeps me going during all my travel. I always try to keep myself well hydrated for the duration of the flight. I’m surely going to skip in-flight caffeine and ensure that the water that’s served comes out of a sealed bottle.

Does this study change your choice of airline going forward? What do you think about the findings? Let us know in the comments section.

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