Sep 18, 2019

Study Ranks Airline Drinking Water Quality

The new study ranked airline drinking water quality by factors including violations, monitoring and bacteria samples

The new study ranked airline drinking water quality by factors including violations, monitoring and bacteria samples

A new study ranked the safest drinking water by airline, considering factors such as fleet size, Aircraft Drinking Water Rule violations, positive E. coli and coliform water sample reports. 

The Airline Water Study was completed by DietDetective.com in collaboration with the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center and focused on airlines that fly out of Pittsburgh Intl. Airport. Overall, the study found that Alaska Airlines and Allegiant Airlines had the safest drinking water (with a health score of 3.5 out of 5) and Spirit Airlines had the least safe (with a health score of 1 out of 5), as reported by CBS Pittsburgh

According to the study, airline water quality can vary vastly from one carrier to another. While the 2011 Aircraft Drinking Water Rule (ADWR) requires the federal government to regulate airline water quality, the rule is difficult to enforce. It defines how often airlines needs to test water samples from airplane water tanks for coliform and E.coli bacteria, and it also specifies how often they need to disinfect the tanks, reported SF Gate

Factors such as drinking water violations, failure to conduct monitoring and corrective actions and levels of bacteria were considered in assigning the airlines scores. The study’s airline scores from dirtiest to cleanest drinking water is below.

Airline Drinking Water Quality Rankings:

  • Spirit Airlines- 1 out of 5
  • JetBlue- 1 out of 5
  • United Airlines- 1.2 out of 5
  • American Airlines- 1.5 out of 5
  • Delta Air Lines- 1.6 out of 5
  • Southwest Airlines- 2.4 out of 5
  • Frontier Airlines- 2.6 out of 5
  • Hawaiian Airlines- 3.1 out of 5
  • Allegiant- 3.3 out of 5
  • Alaska Airlines- 3.3 out of 5

View the complete report and the reasoning behind each score here.

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