Making your way through the airport security process probably isn’t even in the top 100 on a list of things you’d like to do, ever; with all of the worrying about whether your little plastic shampoo bottle is the right size and juggling your carry-on items as you try to put your shoes back on in three seconds or less, the last thing you want to have to think about is your electronic cigarette.
Can you take a quick puff while you wait in line? What about on the plane? Can you even get through security with it in your pocket? Here, we’ll answer all of your burning questions about electronic cigarettes and air travel so that you can take at least that off of your list of airport aggravations.
Different Airports, Different Rules
As with many things involving smoking and vaping, the lines as to where and when you can partake in a puff become a bit blurred between locations. Some airports, like Frankfurt Airport in Germany, feature dedicated smoking areas indoors where travelers are invited to smoke or vape as they please before, after and between flights.
Many of the airports that do not allow smoking are fine with e cigarette use as long as the person vaping isn’t bothering other patrons. Even if you do get permission from airport authorities to use your e cig inside, do beware of uninformed bystanders who think it’s their responsibility and moral duty to call absurd attention to your vapour. A quick demonstration of your e cig’s lack of combustion should help toward avoiding dirty looks and questioning glances from the people around you.
What’s the Best Way to Transport an E Cig?
It seems like there’s an endless number of rules and special processes to face when it comes to how to pack your carry-on bags before a flight. Bringing anything liquid or gel-based? Better stock up on 3.4 ounce containers (but not too many – they all have to be able to fit into a single quart-sized clear plastic bag). Fortunately, there’s not much to transporting e cigs. If you’re using a rechargeable model, it’s recommended that you disconnect the battery from the cartridge before stowing it in your bag. The battery can often be run through the scanner with all of the other metal objects you empty into the bin first, like your keys, phone, belt, etc.
Packing your e cig in your carry-on bag means that it doesn’t run the risk of being confiscated or tossed by the agents who investigate suspicious-looking items in checked bags after x-ray. Most staff these days are familiar with electronic cigarette products and won’t kick up any fuss over your having one in your purse or bag, but it’s always nice to be around when they find it so you can explain it if necessary.
The Bottom Line
According to the Transportation Security people, there are currently no rules governing electronic cigarettes in either carry-on bags or checked luggage. Regarding the actual use of an e cig either in the airport or on your flight, your best bet is to contact the airport in question before you start puffing away. As always, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Though the airport says there’s nothing wrong with carrying and packing e cigs, each individual airline has its own policies and restrictions.
Asking beforehand ensures that you won’t have to face the awkward embarrassment that often accompanies being pulled aside by an agent and reprimanded in front of everyone, not unlike a school kid caught throwing wet paper at the teacher in maths class. Just stick to these simple rules of thumb and your next trip with your e cig should go off without a hitch.