Don’t Expect Lime On Your Next Flight

It has been pointed out to me once or twice before that I might have a slight addiction to Diet Coke with lime. Which, for the record, is far from being the same as Diet Pepsi with lemon. Eek!

The lime part is very important. Diet Coke without lime is like Ernie without Bert, Kermit without Miss Piggy, or Oscar the Grouch without his trash can.

So I was rather saddened earlier in the week when I flew Alaska and was informed they weren’t carrying limes for the time being. I didn’t think much of it till I did some research. It appears that the price of lime has gone up exponentially this year, from $14 per case to over $100 per case. Apparently we import 95% of our lime from Mexico, and there are two major issues causing the price increase.

Per the Daily News:

The cause can be traced across the border, to the central state of Michoacan, home to the world’s biggest supplier of limes and current site of a bloody war between citizen self-defense groups and the violent Knights Templar cartel.

Fighting and hijacking of lime trucks by cartel members have slowed exports to a crawl, coupled with farmers refusing to pay extortion fees to Knights Templar enforcers.

Heavy rains and a tree disease afflicting the area has not helped.

“Mexico received some heavy rains that destroyed a large amount of the lime crop, so with limited supplies we are seeing lime prices skyrocket,” said Bryan Black, spokesman for the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Lime buyers say prices have more than quadrupled this year, jumping from $14 a case to more than $100.

Based on reading a bit on FlyerTalk, it appears as if Alaska and United have stopped serving limes aboard for the time being.

Has anyone experienced the lime shortage aboard a flight, especially on airlines other than Alaska or United?

Filed Under: Travel
  1. I’m so old that I was already too old for Sesame Street when it started … but I don’t think Cookie Monster is the one in the trash can.

  2. Bummer! Bought some yesterday at the cheapest market for $0.50 a piece. Imagine the prices of ceviche from now on. Oh I’ll have a lemon with my taco….not.

  3. @ Brian L. @ Jeff R — Whoops, fixed. Guess I should be happy I don’t have a better understanding of Sesame Street. šŸ˜€

  4. I had lime in my drinks on my 1 Apr NRT-SFO B744 United flight. Hope they’ll have limes on Monday & Tuesday.

  5. I personally actually prefer diet coke with lemon. One day I was on board US Air shuttle first class, and they actually serve both lemon and lime. I requested for diet coke and lemon, and a lady sitting next to me rudely pointed finger at me and the FA and said: “How would any one drink soda with lemon? They are supposed to be paired with lime, you drink soda with LIME!!! ” How rude and how disgraceful!

  6. #FirstWorldProblems no doubt, but nonetheless a problem. I did notice the price of limes at my local Mexican grocery store, where I used to be able to score them at a good price, spike to an all time high.

  7. people are being killed and we worry about the price of limes.

    no wonder the people of the 3rd world dislike us.

  8. @ mikey — And I think I preface just about everything on this blog by saying it’s a first world problem. But ultimately people don’t read my blog to read about the real problems in the world, but rather to read about the first world problems in the airline industry. šŸ˜‰

    I agree with you, though…

  9. I’m with lucky on this one. I read Foreign Affairs and the economist for news on the horrible situation in Mexico,

  10. Sorry, computer failure. Finishing my last last comment……….involving the drug cartels and the struggle to maintain law and order. I read this blog when I don’t want to ponder the serious issues of the day.

  11. Pepsi Light Twist (Lemon Diet Pepsi) is one of my favorite beverages. I have been known to bring bottles of it back from Germany along with Diet Bitter Lemon each of which are no longer available in the US.

    I will take lemon over lime any day.However since I like your blog I sympathize with your plight.

  12. @lucky why are you happy you don’t have a better understanding of Sesame Street? It was, and still is, a great show.

  13. Obviously, Alaska airlines needs to start stocking their limes from the same place that Presidente Supermarkets do here in Miami, no joke, limes are 15/$1.

  14. Durnit! I was looking forward to a Zero and lime on my AS flight on Monday. I guess I’ll have to substitute rum instead. *sigh*

    @ u600213 – One of the things I really miss about Germany is Schweppes Bitter Lemon. It’s quite possibly the best beverage (and mixer) on the planet! I don’t understand why beverage manufacturers are so convinced Americans only want the sickly sweet crap they try to force feed us. That’s one of many, many reasons I’m ready to take up stakes and move to Europe.

  15. @mikey Ooh, ooh, let me try!

    * people are being killed and you’re leaving a comment on a blog about air travel

    * people are being killed and you’re reading blogs

    * people are being killed and you’re not doing anything to contribute to the solution

    You’re right, this is pretty fun!

  16. I just learned about this yesterday but not on a flight. The owner of a local ice cream shop near where I live has fantastic limeades, and she told me the same thing about $100 a case, and there so hard to get that even if you’ll pay $100 you may not be able to buy.

  17. It wasn’t aboard a flight, but I heard the whole thing about limes today at Buffalo Wild Wings. The bartender quizzed the servers each time they came for a drink, asking for lime. “Did the customer specifically ask for lime?” was her response. She had to explain to one person about the price of lime, and management told them not to give it unless a customer asked for it. Interesting!

  18. Time to start protecting that lime tree (or is it a scrub?) I have in my garden. Hundreds of limes in there, waiting for Diet Coke šŸ˜‰

  19. Putting sliced limes or lemons in drinks, etc. will simply spread the filth of harmful bacterias from their skin to you according to recent articles. I guess its difficult/unlikely limes are properly washed prior to use.

    Another topic for research on planes is how clean is the water used for coffee and tea? Are they using tap water or bottled?

  20. @Bill Some of us can live with that risk. I’m sure something other than a lime will get me in the end.

  21. Steven L.

    why don’t you come see me in person instead of hiding behind your keyboard and making insluts ?

    I am here m-sat

    I have seen plenty of suffering first hand

    American army 1968 to 1974

    RLI 1975-1978

  22. If I stop getting limes with my vodka tonic I’ll start bringing my own. I’m still scared of the scurvy.

    In central Florida limes are still dirt cheap. I’ll beat that $100 per case nonsense as long as they buy the limes with miles.

  23. @mikey – How is he insulting you? He’s turning your argument back on you. He didn’t say anything insulting. You’re being rather thin-skinned.

  24. My local grocery store had no limes yesterday. Gin & tonic with lemon is most definitely not the same!

  25. How many limes are in a case? Would be interesting to know how that translates to per lime costs.

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