JetBlue Is Switching From Coke To Pepsi—And People Have Strong Feelings About It

Low fare airlines at Fort Lauderdale International Airport.
Getty Images | Joe Raedle

When it comes to cola, soda drinkers tend to fall into two distinct and passionate groups: Coke lovers vs. Pepsi devotees.

Just ask JetBlue.

The airline, which has gained fans with its free snacks and no-cost Wi-Fi, will be switching from Coca-Cola to Pepsi come June 2019, according to USA Today.

Let’s just say this news is tough to swallow for those firmly in the pro-Coke camp.

In fact, the soda switcheroo is so serious it’s a deal breaker for continuing to fly on JetBlue, say some Twitter users, like @MattG_21:

Meanwhile, others like @nspathfinder are pleading with JetBlue to bring back Coke:

But Pepsi has a few fans going to bat for its brand, including “American Idol” star Clay Aiken.

(And if you’re curious about the Carolinas hashtag, the birthplace of Pepsi is North Carolina, and Aiken is from Raleigh.)

Hey, I empathize with JetBlue! I bartended at a restaurant that had Pepsi products on the gun and guests would occasionally storm out upon learning this information.

“Is Diet Pepsi OK?” I asked a guy who ordered a Diet Coke.

“Is Monopoly money OK for your tip?” he retorted.



So, why did JetBlue make the change?

USA Today presented an interesting theory, suggesting that JetBlue wants to align itself with Pepsi because they both are blue brands.

pepsi photo
Getty Images | Justin Sullivan

Whatever the reason, JetBlue’s switch from Coke to Pepsi is bold as few airlines serve Pepsi products.

Travel and Leisure reported that of the world’s top 50 airlines, fewer than 10% serve predominantly Pepsi products.

And the airlines that did switch from Coke products to Pepsi faced some intense backlash.

According to The Points Guy, United switched to Pepsi in 2002 — and people were extremely displeased.


As Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA and a United flight attendant pointed out to The Points Guy, frequent flyers are particular about their routines, “and when you when you change anything for people it is really jarring — and especially in a place like air travel, where people sort of have to check their control at the door of the airplane.” That’s a good point!

“People were really upset,” Nelson added.

The airline switched back to Coke products a few years later, to everyone’s relief.

Casual cola drinkers may not pick up on the differences, but apparently Pepsi is a tad sweeter and has a citrusy burst compared to Coke’s notes of raisin-vanilla, according to Business Insider.


In addition to trading out Coke in favor of Pepsi, which will happen beginning June 3, JetBlue will also ditch its mini water bottles and instead pour water from larger bottles to lower costs and waste.

(Here’s an idea: ditch the cola drinks and get your jolt of sugar and caffeine from espresso drinks instead!)

Nevertheless, this switch to Pepsi prompted some Twitter users to take shots at JetBlue, like @Lellius who declared that JetBlue is the Pepsi of airlines … and that’s not a good thing.

So, do you have a preference between Pepsi and Coke?

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About the Author
Brittany Anas
Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure.

I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Visit Scripps News to see more of Brittany's work.

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