NEW YORK - Airline passengers might notice something missing these days from their vodka tonics or their Diet Cokes.
There's no lime.
A recent spike in the price of limes has caused some airlines, for now, to stop offering the fruit in their beverage service.
Alaska Airlines says it made the move about two weeks ago. It says it normally goes through about 900 limes a day.
In one lime-growing Mexican state, growers reduced their supply because of unrest caused by drug cartels, and because of flooding from heavy rains. Combined with a drought in California -- and with a growing demand for limes for margaritas and tacos -- it's driven up the price of limes to a three-year high. The Agriculture Department says the average advertised price of a lime in U.S. supermarkets was 56 cents last week. That's up from 37 cents a couple of weeks ago.
United Airlines says it's substituting lemons on some flights. But one frequent flier who writes a travel blog says that won't cut it. Ben Schlappig says there are some cocktails in which a lemon just isn't a substitute.