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Vapes on a Plane! – Airline Travel with Your Electronic Cigarette

Vapor News

We get a lot of questions regarding flying on airplanes with electronic cigarettes. This is a topic that I can speak to from extensive experience. In the past year alone I have traveled all across the U.S. through upwards of twenty different airports with my e-Cig and e-Liquids.

I have not experienced any issues with the T.S.A. and security check in with any of the e-cigarette set-ups that I have traveled TSA Airline travel electronic cigarette Fort Myers Vapor airplanewith. I simply place my e-Cig in with my carry on, mostly my brief case. E-Liquids need to be treated as you would any other liquid. The T.S.A. encourages a 3.1.1 rule which translates into; 3.4 ounce (100ml) bottle or less (by volume); 1 quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in screening bin. The liquid contained in the actual e-Cigarette cartridge, tank or clearomizer has never become an issue, probably because it is such a small amount. Since airlines do not prohibit traveling with actual cigarettes or lighters, this is likely to hold up for some time.

I would recommend that when traveling take the most basic set-up with you onto the plane. Pack your MOD with your checked luggage, why give the T.S.A. something to focus in on.

Airports have also exhibited a very relaxed view towards vaping. I have personally vaped in every airport that I traveled through in the past two years. In the airports and bars; I have not had any requests to not use my e-cigarette. This also applied to the terminals and common areas.

Now to the big question, “Can I vape on a plane?” There is no finite answer to that question, except for the airlines that have come out and stated that you cannot. It would be advisable to follow any and all airline guidelines. I, personally would not openly vape in my seat. I would not want any other passenger to see any kind of vapor in the cabin that might cause fear or concern. That being said, I have vaped in airplane restrooms without a problem. It is important to know that the smoke detectors on planes are not like the ones in your home, they are particle detectors and can pick up the vapor from an eCig. The best course of action if you absolutely have to have a vape is to either not exhale or blow the vapor out quickly and well away from the detector.

There are some considerations regarding your e-Cig set up when traveling. I have traveled with DCT Tanks, Clearomizers, Cartos and Barrel Cartridges (Ego-W) type cartridges and most will leak when the cabin pressurizes. With the DCT or artemus tanks, I have discovered that when the holes in the carto are covered with liquid and the cabin pressurizes, they will leak, but when turned so that the holes are not covered they will not. This leak will most likely occur in your carry-on bag or pocket and trust me it can ruin a flight. The best set-up for flying that will eliminate any leaking problems would have to be a simple CE4 clearomizer. I recommend having your eCig within easy reach and just before take-off and landing, loosen the mouthpiece to relieve  the pressure inside of the tank. Remember to tighten the mouthpiece after the plane has reached altitude or landed.

The best advice would be to check the T.S.A. website as well as your airline site to be fully aware of any changes to regulation. This will prevent you having to surrender your vape should any unexpected changes be enacted.

Here is a U.S. Map of airports that are currently allowing or banning eCig use in the terminals and common areas. In some cases usage may depend on the terminal. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2013/12/04/airports-e-cigarettes-rules/3783347/

Travel Safely and Vape Happily,
Rob Fontano

 

39 comments

  1. Jeff M - July 15, 2013 12:10 am

    Heya,

    Im a flight attendant for a major US airline and a vaper! Wanted to let you know after reading your blog post about vaping in the aircraft lavatories. My airline does not permit vaping at all, but sometimes people do get away with it.

    Our fleet consists of mainly Airbus aircraft, who’s smoke detection system is built in to the aircraft. If you have a decent setup that creates a nice full vapor, and you get a decent cloud built up, it can and will activate the smoke detectors in the lavatories.

    This has happened to not only passengers of ours but also fellow flight attendants. It’s quite embarrassing for folks as there is no subtlety about it. It sets off a chain reaction of a repeating “dingdong” chime throughout the entire aircraft, flashes orange lights outside the lav and at every flight attendant seat, and notifies the flight deck.

    I have only encountered this on our Airbus aircraft, so I cannot attest to Boeing.

    Just wanted to update you to save anyone this horrible embarrassment! Great advice by the way!

    -A Vaping FA

    Reply
    • RobFontano - July 15, 2013 2:31 pm

      Jeff,
      Thanks for the update as I am sure that things will continue to evolve regarding eCigarettes and air travel. You point out a very valid point and the last thing anyone needs is to set off the alarm on a plane. I guess traveling with a bare minimum 510 battery and clearomizer would be the best course of action and to be as discrete as possible if you absolutely need to vape, don’t exhale ; )

      Reply
  2. david - July 19, 2013 9:51 pm

    just to say on easy jet and ryan air flights vaping is allowed and they will actually sell yo disposable e cigs to smoke on their flights

    Reply
    • RobFontano - July 20, 2013 1:30 pm

      David,
      Thank you for the great information. We would love to hear more about which airlines allow vaping electronic cigarettes as well as those who do not.

      Reply
  3. Oliver - July 26, 2013 2:28 pm

    Hi There

    in regards to Davids comment about Easyjet and Ryanair, I hve flown with Ryanair nd the ecigs that they offer for sale are smokeless so i am unsure how they feel regarding regular ones.

    just thought i would mention i.

    Also i am traveling for a week with only hand luggage and i am planning on taking a pack of 5 refills and my ecig do you think i will have any problems?

    Thanks

    Oliver

    Reply
    • RobFontano - July 26, 2013 2:40 pm

      Oliver, Thank you for the information. I have traveled extensively within the US taking my eCig and various clearomizer and cartomizer cartridges via carry-on and have never had an issue. I cannot speak for Europe and abroad. If anyone has any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

      Reply
    • hc - September 19, 2013 4:49 pm

      Easy jet state in their back of seat magazine that e-cigs are not allowed for use in the cabin. I, of course, go stealthy all the time.

      Reply
  4. RobFontano - August 2, 2013 7:22 pm

    We recently had a customer come in who was planning to travel and had called Southwest Airlines to inquire about bringing her eCig along and she was told that she could not carry it on OR Check it. We contacted the TSA and were told that that information was incorrect. The TSA agent we spoke to told us that as long as the 3.1.1 rule was followed regarding carrying on liquid, that there would be no problem at all carrying on her eCig.

    Reply
  5. Mike B - August 5, 2013 9:56 pm

    I vape on planes all the time. I choose a window seat. And am inconspicuous about it. By tilting my ego-t towards the window, inhaling, holding my breath for 10 seconds, then exhaling slowly. Absolutely no vapor comes out of my mouth.

    I do not read the specifics about airlines so I retain plausible deniability. The main thing is the smoke-like vapor – if people see that on a plane they’ll freak. So hold it in. It’s odorless.

    I don’t even worry about it. Especially on long flights where there’s a long period where it’s dark, the attendants aren’t as active, and everyone’s just spacing out in their seats. I flew about a dozen legs in the last couple of months and vaped on each one.

    In airports, I just find a seat that’s not directly across from anyone else.

    It’s not about being sneaky, I just know folks don’t understand it, and may make a fuss. I feel ok, because the vape-less exhale is 100% harmless.

    Reply
  6. Erik H - August 23, 2013 3:18 pm

    I do vape on planes all the time. I’ve traveled US, Delta, Southwest. Of these three the only fuss I got was from US from a flight attendant who is a fellow vaper. I asked if I could stealth vape instead so that no one could see the exhaled vapor, she said it was fine. Stealth vaping is best, a device that doesn’t look conspicuous, and exhaling without visible vapor.

    Reply
    • RobFontano - August 23, 2013 4:39 pm

      Great info Erik. I agree stealth is best during a flight.

      Reply
  7. Jade - August 23, 2013 8:21 pm

    Has anyone had the problem of their e-cigs leaking on the plane? I have 2 Volt Spinners with bottom coil cartomizers, and one eGo T with bottom coil cartomizers and a Kamgt tank. On my recent flight I filled everyone up and got on the plane knowing I had a super long layover. Got to ATL from LAX and found there was liquid everywhere. My surplus heads that were in a little Baggie had to be fished out fnthe baggie as the baggie was half full of liquid, the two fully assembled units that were in my purse had leaked liquid all over my bag and much to my surprise the one around my neck began leaking liquid foe the front of my shirt.
    Now if it had been on or two I would have thought there was user error. If it had just been one brand, I wild have thought it was brand error, but for all of my stuff to go kurflewie at the same time means I did something wrong when flying these bastards.

    Anyone have any advise? I’d rather not have to empty my cartomizers for every flight.

    Reply
    • RobFontano - August 26, 2013 2:23 pm

      Jade, As I mentioned in the original post some tanks will leak as the cabin pressurizes during take off. I have found this to be common with Artemus or DCT Tanks. Your issue was probably due to having the tanks full and without anywhere for the liquid to go once the cabin pressurized. When flying it is best to just go with the basic CE4s and loosen the mouth piece before takeoff.

      Reply
  8. Emily - September 13, 2013 4:17 am

    Hi I have a eGo T e cig with a 5ml vapage tank was wondering if you knew anything about flying with southwest with it… do u think the airline or airport security will give me crap? I’m flying from LAX to DEN only for a weekend and really don’t want to have to check a bag…

    Reply
    • RobFontano - September 13, 2013 3:02 pm

      Emily, I have never had any issues with TSA regarding my eGo style battery and tank. I generally travel on planes with a simple CE4 Clearomizer just to keep it simple and not raise any red flags. I have flown through DEN with my vape and did not encounter any problems. I would suggest loosening the mouthpiece a bit during takeoff to avoid any leakage when the cabin pressurizes. Have a great trip!

      Reply
    • Dave - February 26, 2014 1:04 am

      I just took my eGot with the 3 ml tank on southwest and had it in my carry on and used it on the plane with the stealth method no problems.

      Reply
  9. Ange - September 18, 2013 10:19 pm

    I recently flew to the US from the UK and also flew domestically within the US and had no problems whatsoever with my e-cig both in the UK and US.

    I took just an evod clearo and battery in my carry-on, put the clearo in a ziploc bag and went through screening with ease. I didn’t experience any leaking from the evod on the plane which was great.

    When I landed in the US, my checked bag – which was full of batteries, coil heads and e-liquid – was searched because I’d brought in some prohibited food items (oops). When the agent saw all my vaping gear he just asked were they “those e-cig things” lol.

    I was able to vape at a bar in Chicago airport, of which I asked the barman first if it was ok and he was totally fine with it.

    Reply
    • RobFontano - September 18, 2013 10:25 pm

      Ange, We appreciate you providing such great insight. I am certain this will be helpful to many who fly internationally and wish to carry their eCig on board the plane. I too have vaped in Chicago as well as many other U.S. airports with no trouble at all.

      Reply
  10. Jose - September 19, 2013 6:09 pm

    I know electronic cigarettes are prohibited on United flights. United has published this on their site: http://www.united.com/web/en-US/content/travel/baggage/dangerous.aspx. Check under the section “Lighters and matches”

    I also read a post from someone who works with smoke detectors and he said he uses his ecig to test the smoke detectors to verify they are working. He takes a big hit, blows it into the detector and if the detector goes off – the detector is working. So, smoke detectors will detect the output from electornic cigarettes.

    Reply
    • Jose - September 19, 2013 6:10 pm

      One more addition – use of electronic cigarettes in the Denver International airport is allowed. I called the Information desk at the airport and asked about smoking areas – they told me where they are but also informed me that they allow the use of eCigs within the concourse areas.

      Reply
    • RobFontano - September 19, 2013 6:56 pm

      Jose, Thanks for the update. I have also heard the same thing recently about smoke detectors so it’s better to be stealthy.

      Reply
  11. kbaby - September 30, 2013 5:14 am

    I’m going to travel and I have a rebuild. Is it possible to bring my ohms reader in my carryon bag? Will they say anything about that?

    Reply
  12. Dustin - November 28, 2013 5:32 am

    My last job was 100% travel. I flew two to four flights a week for 2 years. I always had my e-cig with me in my pocket and refills, extra battery and tanks in my carry on. I have been to every major and a ton of small airports around the US and never once was asked to not use it. I was alway descret when using. I never blew a big cloud, even though the vaporizer I use will do it. I never had any problems using on a plane or in terminals or getting through security. Just don’t be blatant about it. The only problem I had was the pressure change during take off and landing. This would cause my tank to leak if I did not twist the mouth piece open just a little. Not fun when your pants are soaked with cappacino diablo. The FFA has no official stance on the use but most major airlines have a ban. I know on United it says it in their in-flight magazine. Just be descret you will be fine.

    Reply
    • RobFontano - November 28, 2013 1:14 pm

      Thanks for the updated information Dustin. It’s important to stay on top of this subject since many cities are proposing all sorts of eCig restrictions and bans. It’s good to know that airports are still a safe vape zone. I also agree with you that eCig users should be discrete when traveling.

      Reply
  13. Marie Johnson - December 1, 2013 6:49 am

    Traveling is stressful and sometimes just utter chaos. Therefore when I try to get through any airport security or when I am at an airport, I just to be as lowkey as possible. I recently bought a bunch of e-cigarette products from (xxxx). Naturally it was right around when I was getting ready to travel. I choose to pack them with the rest of my luggage, so it was not a carry-on. I had no problems at all. I then figured I would try taking my e-cigarette set up through security. I was pulled aside to be checked, but it was because my purse was stuffed with anything and everything. A quick look over of my ecigs – no problems. I think it’s just what airport you are at, and how much tension is in the air. Each airport seems to carry their own vibe in my opinion.

    Reply
  14. Mark - January 26, 2014 3:15 am

    Would they allow an RDA with a mechanical mod if I disassemble it?

    Reply
    • RobFontano - January 26, 2014 4:22 pm

      Mark, I always suggest carrying the most minimal set up possible. Anything that looks more elaborate than a common eCig will draw the TSA’s attention and who knows what the reaction will be. I have traveled pretty extensively and gotten through one airport with a can of hair gel and then had it taken away in another. The TSA seems to have a tolerance for eCigarettes, but I’m not sure I would risk losing an expensive rig. Also bear in mind that the TSA does not allow rechargeable Lithium Ion Batteries in your checked luggage, only in carry on bags. http://safetravel.dot.gov/whats_new_batteries.html

      Reply
  15. Nick - March 8, 2014 1:57 am

    Hello. My flight from florida to providence is next week and I’m traveling with an adult who doesn’t know that I vape and would punish me harshly if he found out. I’m 16 and I vape just for the fun and flavor and do not use liquid with any nicotine. I want to bring my ecig with me but I am afraid that if it causes a disturbance of any sort, not only would I have trouble with the TSA but also get in deep trouble with my dad. I am debating whether or not I want to bring my ecig and fluid or if it is too risky. I was thinking I would store it in a checked bag rather than a carry on so that if there was a problem it would be less likely for my parents to find out. Please give me your thoughts on the situation and if I should bring my ecig.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • RobFontano - March 8, 2014 2:53 pm

      Nick,
      Fort Myers Vapor has a strict policy of not selling any vape e-liquid and accessories to anyone under the age of 18 regardless of the presence of nicotine. We would not feel comfortable commenting in any way that would compromise that policy. This will soon become a federal law as well as a moral and ethical issue. We wish you the best of luck in your travels.

      Reply
  16. Roni - March 18, 2014 2:12 am

    I am traveling to Italy in a week and I will be taking my vapor. Do you know if I can use it on the plane? I have never be on a plane before and it is going to be a long flight. Thank you

    Reply
    • RobFontano - March 18, 2014 2:52 pm

      Roni,
      As we have stated in the article, most airlines do not allow vaping on the plane. There are ways of sneaking an occasional puff by not expelling the entire cloud of vape or by blowing it into a blanket. This is known as stealth vaping. I will tell you that vaping in the bathroom can be sketchy since the smoke detectors on planes are actually particle detectors and if you blow out a cloud of vapor near it, it may go off. Have a great trip.

      Reply
  17. Justin - May 7, 2014 1:31 am

    I have taken my vaping gear on planes for years and always in my carry-on. My process is simple. 3 zip locks of the quart size. Liquids go in one, with your other liquids. Follow the 3:3:1 rule. If you need more liquid, check it. Second zip lock all batteries and atomizers. Third ziplock your devices. When partitioned in this way I have rarely been asked any questions, when I am I simply say it’s e cig stuff and never an issue. Traveling internationally too, I take a simple e-go on the plane and put it in the “bowl” going through TSA with the other stuff from my pockets. Keep that simple. I would not check your high end devices, as I have heard other vapers having them taken from the checked bags!! I carry RDAs, Kayfuns, a mech mod and a variable voltage box mod in my carry on, never checked bag. As long as organized in this way you are always good to go. I would not be too concerned about the TSA taking a high end mod from you, and if you are really worried, have a self addressed box ready to ship it back to yourself in that event. If you vape, be considerate and discrete. I would advise you to not do so unless you simply can’t stand it, and hit the lavatory. And as stated be careful of the smoke detectors!

    And when pressure in cabin changes, do as instructed above…all set. Happy travels!

    Reply
  18. Gizza - July 6, 2014 11:42 pm

    Hi,

    I’m travelling from the UK to Hong Kong via Dubai with Emirates in about 11 hours, and i have been vaping for 3 days.

    I am going for a while, so packing several bottles of e-liquid in my case, and thinking of taking my ego Ctwist vaporiser half loaded in my hand luggage.

    Aside from stealth vaping, can anyone offer any other advice (except loosening the mouth piece on take off and landing)?

    Cheers,

    G

    Reply
    • RobFontano - July 7, 2014 10:28 pm

      I would suggest checking with the airports in those countries to see if they all allow you to bring them in.

      Reply
  19. Robert - July 9, 2014 3:41 am

    Im 18 years old and like nick the person i am traveling with doesnt know i vape and i want to keep it secret, how would i bring it through checked bagging?

    Reply
    • RobFontano - July 9, 2014 1:43 pm

      Robert, Your eCig or Vaping device can be stowed away in your carry-on easily. The trouble is that your e-liquid 10ml Bottle (or larger) according to TSA regulation must be placed in a 1 quart zip lock bag and presented in the bin to be scanned. If you are afraid to reveal your e-liquid then find an alternate container.

      Reply
  20. CathyB - July 14, 2014 6:28 pm

    It is against airline policy to use e-cigs so why recommend going against this policy? The rest room is not there so you can get your fix, dont be selfish, someone might need it for the intended purpose, such as those with bowel or bladder problems!

    Reply
  21. Rodney - August 3, 2014 2:01 am

    I’m going to Europe soon and want to bring my Omicron w/2 cartridges which I’ll both put in my check-in . . . . can anyone comment that they’ve done this successfully?

    Reply
  22. John - August 22, 2014 10:06 am

    Blow the vapour through some cloth (or your clothing like a filter) when exhaling. This will significantly decrease the airborne PG/VG particles which can set off the smoke alarms in commercial aircraft.

    Reply

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