Why tomato juice is the drink of choice on a plane


United Airlines have found themselves under public fire once again, this time not for forcefully removing bleeding passengers, but for removing Bloody Marys! 

It was decided that tomato juice as a choice of beverage would be phased out on domestic flights that are less than four hours long, along with others such as Sprite Zero, Jim Beam and Courvoisier. 

One may assume this minor adjustment might go unnoticed, however this was not the case…

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This is just a snippet of the outrage that the public felt towards the retraction of the tomato juice. However, need not panic, the airline decided to make a speedy U-turn on their decision after reports of the backlash.

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In a statement, the airline added: “We want our customers to know that we value and appreciate them and that we’re listening. Our customers told us that they were not happy about the removal of tomato juice so we’re bringing it back onboard as part of our complimentary beverage offering.” 

This attachment to tomato juice is not as surprising as you may think, in fact tomato juice has long been identified as one of the few things that taste better on a plane and so is massively popular with passengers.

So popular that a study from the German airline, Lufthansa, revealed that they were serving 53,000 gallons of the juice a year. This could be explained by the mysterious fifth taste which is exposed at certain altitude levels. This is also common in wines, typically rich reds, chardonnay and champagne. Research has shown that the reason behind this is that our taste and smell receptors are less sensitive at altitude and so strong, apparent tastes are softer and more enjoyable.

There is also a psychological take on the topic – it seems like a healthy and extravagant alternative drink, the kind of adventurous choice you are more likely to choose when you are on your way to an exciting getaway. Also, because you have seen many others ordering it, it has become a sort of tradition – similar to popcorn at the cinema. Of course there is also the money-saving aspect. With many passengers peckish but reluctant to pay for a meal, tomato juice is more filling option than a drink and makes you feel fuller for longer.

Whatever the reason, the public can sleep a little easier knowing order has been restored with the United Airlines drinks menu.