Please note: This article is a guide only, not a legal opinion.
Electronic vaporisers, also known as vapes, have been around for almost a century, but they've only recently become popular. The government is only just catching up to what vapes are and how to use them correctly.
That means the line between regulation for vapes and traditional tobacco products can be blurry.
Are you barred from vaping in all the places that traditionally bar people from using tobacco products, such as restaurants and workplaces? What about aeroplanes?
This guide overviews the guidelines around when and how to take vapes on planes and questions concerning usage. Keep reading to make sure your next trip with a vape is within legal airline guidelines.
Can You Take Vapes on Planes?
The short answer is yes—but with a caveat.
On most airlines, whether or not you can bring your vape on a plane comes down to where you store it. The approved place to store and bring your vape onto a plane is in your hand luggage.
One might think that passengers would be required to store electronic vaporisers in their checked luggage, out of sight and reach. However, that is not the case. Most airlines will not allow vapes in checked luggage.
The fear is that at certain altitudes, the batteries within vapes may catch fire. Though no significant statistical data attests to this possibility, the preferred place for vapes to be stored is within the plane’s cabin in case of emergency.
Out of an abundance of caution, airlines will ban anything that poses a fire risk from being stored in the cargo hold, where checked baggage goes. Most vapes take a lithium battery, which poses a threat of fire risk if it interacts with the wrong metallic substances.
Try and remember it this way: you need to carry on your vape so that no one has to check on it in case of emergency.
Vape Pens and Vape Mods
The same basic rules for vapes also apply to vape pens and vape mods, even pod mods and tanks. Keep them in hand luggage and keep them out of checked bags.
Some airlines may allow passengers to carry vapes and vape pens on their person, say in their pockets. But because of the bulkiness and number of complex mechanical parts that go into mods, pod mods, and tanks, it's best to keep those stored out of sight in hand luggage.
Can You Take Vape Juice on Planes?
There's no real point in taking a vape on a plane if you can't take refillable juice cartridges. But are they allowed on planes?
Like vapes, they're allowed if you stow them in your hand luggage instead of your checked luggage.
Every airline is different, with different restrictions on where vapes are allowed and where they aren't. So before you board any flight, check with your airline on the desired way to fly with your vape and vape juice.
Passengers aren't allowed to carry on an unlimited amount of juice, however. If you've been through security before, you've probably encountered or at least know someone who's encountered the issue of being asked to throw away liquids. Nationwide, the rule is that liquids must be in containers 100ml or less. Otherwise, it belongs in your checked baggage.
It's for the safety of other passengers and the security of the airline staff that combustible or otherwise dangerous liquids in high quantities stay off planes. That does include vape liquid.
Exceptionally few tanks will exceed 100 ml, but make sure you don't carry on several juice tanks that add up to more than 100 ml, or 3.4 ounces.
Can You Smoke Vapes on Planes?
This question is the only one in this guide to which the answer is a resounding no.
Back 50, 60, 70 years ago, aeroplanes were practically mobile smoking lounges. Passengers could use any of the traditional tobacco products they enjoyed mid-flight.
Now we understand the dangers of smoking while flying. That’s why airlines have banned it for almost 30 years. Though vaping differs significantly from that kind of activity, it's still not allowed on any airline.
Vaping can set off fire alarms and smoke detectors and incite the rage of other passengers. Neither thing flight attendants want to deal with on a flight.
In terms of batteries and lithium battery chargers, the same rules apply to vapes and vape juice. You must stow them in your hand luggage as opposed to your checked luggage to fly with them.
For batteries and battery chargers, you can on many airlines also carry them on your person. You must show the security agent ahead of time that you are carrying them.
If you are an experienced vape user or have multiple vapes, you might use a power bank. Power banks are heavy-duty portable chargers and can charge any number of electronic devices, not just vapes.
For this reason, you can carry them straight on the flight, on your person, or stow them in checked luggage.
Alert Security to Your Vape
Be upfront with security about it whenever you're carrying vapes, vape mods, e-juice, batteries, and battery chargers onto flights.
At the security stage, make sure to disclose to those helping you that you're carrying some kind of vape paraphernalia and alert them to where it is.
They'll appreciate you alerting them, and it'll speed up the overall time everyone spends in security.
Research Before You Fly
It’s hard to emphasise enough that each airline is different. It's always a brilliant idea to proactively research the airline of your choice's policy around vapes and other electronic vaporiser devices.
Knowing how to fly with your vape is crucial for every vape user. So do your research before you're standing in the security line.