With the holiday travel season coming up quickly, we have been answering some questions about our #10 place to use your electronic cigarette, on an Airplane. With more and more people becoming aware of this wonderful gadget, more and more places are getting their first taste of having to deal with electronic smokers.
The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) has, as of the date of this posting, is not listed the electronic cigarette on the list of items that cannot be used on a plane, however, they do warn that the individual airlines, captain and crew have the final say on what is acceptable in their cabins.
After a little bit of research, we have discovered that there are currently three airlines who have added the electronic cigarettes to their lists of unacceptable devices on planes. They all basically state that because the electronic cigarette looks so much like a real cigarette, they are worried that others might think someone is actually smoking and either freak out or start smoking a real cigarette themselves.
According to a thread on CabinCrew.com, regarding the electric cigarette, it appears that crew members have mixed emotions. Some believe it is a fun little gadget and totally harmless. Others believe that it is just easier to keep all patrons happy by not allowing anyone, anything.
As of this post, the airlines that have made definite decisions on the electronic cigarette and DO NOT allow their use while inflight are Virgin Atlantic, TUI and Thomson, and Thomas Crook (TCX). TUI and TCX are British airlines who primarily fly within Europe. None of these three have any mention of electric or electronic cigarettes anywhere on their websites. However, their cabin crew members have said they have been given the no-go. Please note that as of 1/10/2009, Continental has included the e-cig on non-usable in flight items.
So what does this mean for you? Can you smoke your electronic cigarette on an airplane? We strongly suggest that if you fly any of the above three airlines, since they do have policy, you respect their policy. If you are flying on an airline that has not taken a position, ask first. And since you are on a plane, one suggestion is to hold your electronic cigarette cusped in your hand, hold your vapor for a wee bit longer, and blow it towards your feet. Acting like you are in a bar will draw attention to you and anger your cabin crew. Even with permission it is best to avoid making a spectacle.
Act respectful. Heck. Even take an extra cartridge/mouthpiece with you so if a crew member wants they can play with it! If e-smokers make the cabin crew our friends, they might be more open to helping with policy in the future. And of course, if the cabin crew asks you to put your electronic cigarette away, it is their airplane, so do it.
Either way, the electronic cigarette will make your holiday traveling that much easier. You won’t have to go through security to sneak that last minute smoke. Our final say on using your electronic cigarette on an airplane is that on most airlines, there are no rules against it, so don’t ruin it for the rest of us by acting like a fool.