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Why Do People Drink Tomato Juice On Planes?

When was the last time you were at a restaurant and people you were with ordered tomato juice? Sunday brunch doesn’t count since those are typically ordered with vodka. It pretty much never happens.

I’m always intrigued by people’s behavior in airplanes. I previously discussed what people do with their feet in public spaces. Another odd thing: have you ever noticed how much tomato juice people drink while flying?

Tomato Juice

I usually only drink this with vodka.

Once you get yourself up in an aluminum tube that is 30,000 feet in the air, suddenly tomato juice becomes just as popular than beer. Seriously.

A friend recently passed along an article on this topic. Here’s a statistic that I found quite interesting:


A few years ago, Lufthansa realized they served about 53,000 gallons of tomato  juice annually. That’s just shy of the 59,000 gallons of beer they serve each year.

Really? Slightly more beer than tomato juice. But why? According to the article, the lower air pressure and lower relative humidity dumbs down the taste buds on your tongue, making the earthy-tasting tomato juice much more palatable.

Call me old fashioned, but if I am to have tomato juice, you better believe it is going to have vodka in it, regardless of whether I am in the air or on the ground.

To read the full article, check it out here: Why do we drink tomato juice on planes?

Are you a tomato juice drinker? What is your favorite in-flight drink of choice?

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3 comments so far.
  • EJ

    I think tomato juice is gross but my husband loves it and often asks for it on flights. His response to this article (which we both enjoyed reading) was that tomato juice isn’t offered everywhere so when it is offered, he’s gonna order it.

    • Tomato juice IS gross (unless of course it is diluted with vodka!) And I guess since your taste buds are desensitized in the air, vodka-less tomato juice can be tolerable.

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