After writing an article on some fine tea-related offerings on British Airways and a few Asian airlines I thought it might be interesting to revisit the issue of tea in high places. For starters, I thought I might see what some of the big name airlines offered. Not that I was expecting much, given that some of the world’s top airlines are American and Americans are not among the world’s great tea drinkers.
The first thing I noticed when looking for information about tea and airlines is that variations on the phrase “coffee, tea or me” come up a lot. In case you missed it, this was the title of a popular 1967 book that supposedly detailed the exploits of a pair of high-living stewardesses – as they were called back then.
But I digress. Back to the topic at hand – tea on major airlines. Depending on how you rank them, the world’s four biggest airlines are based in the United States. I’m sure you’ll recognize their names. Next on the list is the German-based Lufthansa.
At the top ranking airline in the world, as nearly as I can tell, the menu includes “tea” and that’s about the size of it. That’s Delta, if you’re wondering. At second-ranked United it’s more of the same, though they also have a special Japanese meal that comes with “Japanese tea” for those availing themselves of the better classes of travel.
A search for tea at Southwest’s web site turns up a bunch of results, including a number of places apparently in their destination cities where you can go for tea. As for finding out what kind of tea offerings they have on their flights, well they’ve got “tea.” At American Airlines, you can get “tea” from a certain well-known American tea company. At Lufthansa you’d have to be a more skilled web site navigator than I to determine exactly what they offer in the beverage department. But if I interpret this page correctly you’ll find actual tea plants growing at their home offices.
Which is about what I expected. I won’t say that there might not be some spectacular gourmet tea offerings on offer from these airlines that I might have missed. But I’d be willing to bet that if they had invested in coming up with something worth mentioning, they’d have mentioned something more than “tea.” Of course, perhaps if you fly on the world’s 7th and 13th largest airlines, whatever they may be, the tea will be out of this world. Who’s to say? Time and space didn’t permit me to turn this into an in-depth thesis.
See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.
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