Why airlines are dropping lime from drinks

Recent global shortage of limes has led to price rise

When ordering a mojito, vodka tonic or Diet Coke, airline passengers may be noticing a crucial missing ingredient.

A number of airlines are stopping the inclusion of the citrus fruit in their beverage service. The reason? A sharp rise in the cost. A recent global shortage of limes has led to the price rise.

“We temporarily pulled limes about two weeks ago, due to skyrocketing lime prices,” Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Halley Knigge explained, adding that the airline often gets through around 900 limes a day.

United Airlines is making do with lemons on some flights. But frequent fliers are annoyed. Ben Schlappig, author of the travel blog One Mile at a Time, said; “There are lots of cocktails where lemon simply isn’t a substitute for lime.” However, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have not yet made any changes.

Drought in California has cut the supply of limes in the US, as have heavy rains and intervention by drug cartels in the Mexican state of Michoacan.