Airplane Water Is So Dirty, Don’t Even Wash Your hands
A smiling young woman sits in the window seat of her aircraft. She holds a beverage in one hand and her smart phone in another as she enjoys the wifi. Her earbuds rest on a tray in front of her.

A shocking number of airlines don’t provide passengers with clean water, according to the 2019 Airline Water Study from the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center. The study evaluated 23 airlines by the quality of water provided on board its flights — using 10 criteria, including levels of coliform bacteria and E. coli — and gave each one a “water health score” on a 0-to-5 scale (Zero is worst and 5 best). JetBlue and Spirit Airlines performed the worst (each with a score of 1), while Allegiant, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines proved their agua is the best. In fact, the latter 3 were the only major carriers studied to nab scores above 3. Piedmont Airlines, which runs American Eagle flights, was the top regional carrier, with a score of 4.33. To avoid possible illness, never drink any water on board that isn’t in a sealed bottle and avoid coffee or tea. Don’t wash your hands in the airplane bathroom either; use hand sanitizer.

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