Broken coffeemakers are causing an 'inordinate number' of flight delays

Passenger slaps airline staffer because of flight delays

Anyone easily frustrated by airlines delaying flights for ludicrous reasons should take a few deep breaths now — it's maybe even worse than you thought: Industry insiders tell the New York Times that, for some reason, an "inordinate amount" of coffeemaker malfunctions are causing short delays on all three major U.S. airlines. Dumb as that sounds, it actually starts making sense in light of everything that has to go right for these clunky brewing devices, which cost up to $20,000, to operate successfully on planes. Per the Times:

Even the water "is complicated" and can "contribute to breakdowns," since cleaning chemicals and minerals in the water leave residue that clogs lines. And if a machine breaks down with no spare parts on hand, the plane apparently can't take off until a mechanic comes aboard and disables both the water and power going into it. American Airlines' chief of operations has gotten so fed up he's suggested upgrading "all the coffee makers," but as an airplane repairman explains to the Times: "You can't just put Mr. Coffee in an airline. You have to do all kinds of engineering and analysis and provide test results to the F.A.A. to get approval." Pour-over it is definitely not.

The alternative, though, is continuing to have embarrassing public Twitter exchanges like this with angry passengers stuck on the tarmac:

Of course, bad as this is, it could still get worse: Dutch airliner KLM just announced it's going to start serving draft beer on flights. Surely, the safety issues for pressurized kegs at 30,000 feet will present no troubles whatsoever.

RELATED: Coffee and espresso drinks explained
Coffee and espresso drinks explained
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Coffee and espresso drinks explained

A latte is espresso and steamed milk with a small amount of milk foam on top.

(Photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

A cappuccino should be equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk foam. 

(Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)

dry cappuccino features less of the traditional steamed milk and more milk foam in its place.

(Photo by Etienne Voss via Getty Images)

cafe au lait is traditional black coffee mixed with warmed milk.

(Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)

Espresso is specially brewed coffee, created with finely ground coffee beans brewed under pressure with nearly-boiling water. 

(Photo by Jeremy Piper/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

macchiato, traditionally, is a 'stained' espresso -- espresso with just a dot of milk.

(Photo by Nigel Noyes via Getty Images)

An Americano is espresso mixed with hot water. 

(Photo by Ben Monk via Getty Images)

cortado is espresso that is 'cut' with an equal amount of milk. 

(Photo by Anthony Collins via Getty Images)

red eye is for the severely under-caffeinated -- espresso shots mixed in with a regular black coffee

(Photo by Dima Sobko via Shutterstock)


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