Do flight attendants REALLY hate serving Diet Coke? (How the misconception began)

Is that my book drinking a Jack & Diet Coke in first class? Perhaps.

Flight attendants don’t hate serving Diet Coke.  Let me repeat, we do NOT hate serving Diet Coke.  Nor do we hate serving passengers.  Or even passengers in general.  For the record, I drink Diet Coke both as a flight attendant and as a passenger.  Hard to believe, I know, given all the recent articles and news reports circulating around about shocking flight attendant secrets.  The so-called secrets (AKA interesting facts) actually came from the article I wrote for Mental Floss last month.   The article I wrote was not about what flight attendants hate, and yet all I keep getting are interview requests to discuss just that.   The funny thing is there are so many more interesting things to discuss in the article, like why short people can’t become flight attendants and what we do with dead passengers when there isn’t a corpse cupboard on board, but  all anyone wants to talk about is Diet Coke.

“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. So even though giving cans to first-class passengers is a big no-no, you’ll occasionally spy 12 ounces of silver trimmed in red sitting up there.” That’s 1 of the “10 shocking secrets” I wrote for Mental Floss.

An excerpt from my book, Cruising Attitude: Tales of Crashpads, Crew Drama and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 feet

“Robert Redford and Mark Cuban have a few things in common.  Besides being extremely nice and maybe even a little shy, they both made me nervous because they were way too easy to please.  I’m not used to that.  Mark, like Robert, only wanted a Diet Coke.  That’s it.  Keep in mind that I have a lot of experience serving Diet Coke. You might find it interesting to learn that it’s the most annoying beverage a flight attendant can pour for a passenger in flight, because in the time it takes us to fill one cup, we could have served an entire row of passengers.  For some reason the fizz at 35,000 feet doesn’t go down as quickly as it does for other sodas, so flight attendants end up standing in the aisle just waiting to pour a little more…and a little more…and a little more…until passengers sitting nearby become impatient and begin shouting out drink orders I can never remember.  

“Just one second,” I’ll say, still pouring a little more…and a little more until finally I just hand them the can.  I’ve actually had nightmares about frantically trying to finish a never ending Diet Coke beverage service before landing.  Who would have guessed that working on a private jet and serving a single Diet Coke to one passenger would turn out to be even more difficult?