Why Are Foreign Airline Carriers So Stingy on Ice?


I have flown to many places around the world, primarily to Latin/South America on carriers like LAN, TACA, and Aeromexico. I’ve flown on ANA and Thai to Asia. I have also flown Lufthansa, KLM, Turkish Airlines, and most recently Finnair and SWISS to Europe. During my flights on those aforementioned foreign carriers, I noticed that not much ice is given at all when requested.

You actually need to request ice or else they will just give you that warm coke. I requested for ice on SWISS and was given 1 cube for my can of soda. That’s definitely not sufficient enough to make it iced cold (the way I like it).

In contrast, American carriers absolutely love to fill up your cup with ice to the brim and they do it with a smile. Here’s a Vine video on a flight attendant schooling me on how to crush ice:


I don’t know why foreign carriers are so stingy on ice.

Is there a real reason why ice is so sacred on foreign carriers?


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4 Comments on "Why Are Foreign Airline Carriers So Stingy on Ice?"

  1. It is not typical to get any ice with a beverage outside the US even in restaurants etc. I’ve occasionally asked servers in Europe and Asia about ice, and most actually say that they feel they would be cheating the customer if they gave them ice in a fountain drink since you would be getting less soda than the container would hold. In Europe, most people are used to drinking their soda or water at room temperature or just chilled in a fridge so that part of their culture transfers to their cabin service I guess…..

  2. Not to mention the extra weight of carrying ice on board….Airlines probably look at it as a cost saving to not carry hundreds of pounds of ice.

  3. I go with the theory that outside the states, there is limited ice in cocktails. Generally standard operating procedure to have one ice cube in a Gin and Tonic in the UK, for instance.

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