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Once upon a time, all airplane seats came with a handy ashtray you could use on those long international flights. You could smoke while you anxiously read all the material you brought with you: paperbacks, newspapers, safety guidelines. It's hard to imagine those times now, but the ubiquitous “no smoking” light still reminds us of it whenever we get on a plane.
If you’re a vaper and you fly regularly, you might be one of those people that stands outside the departures drop-off area, sucking on your vape and nervously checking the size of the security line to make sure you have enough time to get through and make it to your gate. You work to cram every last little bit of nicotine into your system to stave off the canned air of the plane for just a little bit longer. Then, when you get to your destination, you can't wait to get through the baggage claim to retrieve your vape and get out into the fresh air for a few puffs.
We know. We've been there.
But if you're not a regular flyer, you may not know the TSA regulations and guidelines about flying with a vape. So we've compiled this article to help you understand what you can and can't do on a plane and provide a few helpful tips to help you get from one end of your journey to the other.
Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?
If you vape, there's no need to be deprived of your mod for even a second. In fact, it's against TSA regulations to store it in your checked luggage because no lithium batteries are allowed in checked baggage. This rule reduces the chance of a sudden fire or possible battery explosion. If the airline forces you to check your bags for some reason (as sometimes happens when those who board before you carry on massive bags, stealing all the space in the overhead bins), you can keep your vape in your pocket or carry-on bags.
Another question that often comes up is: can you bring vape juice on a plane? The TSA website says:
You are allowed to bring a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in your carry-on bag and through the checkpoint. These are limited to travel-sized containers that are 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item. Placing these items in the small bag and separating from your carry-on baggage facilitates the screening process. Pack items that are in containers larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 milliliters in checked baggage.
This means you can bring vape juice on a plane, but they should be in a separate translucent plastic bag for easy screening. Most of the standard 60 ml bottles are perfectly fine for transport, which makes them very convenient for certain airports that have designated smoking areas like Helsinki or Reykjavik. If you find yourself with a layover or a delay in either of these places or several others, reload your mod and relax.
Can You Vape on a Plane?
Under no circumstances should you attempt to use e-cigs on airplanes. If you're looking for a fix, you can usually buy packs of nicotine gum at the airport, or purchase them at a pharmacy well before your flight for much lower prices.
Airport convenience stores, if you haven't experienced them, tend to gouge prices quite a bit, so you're likely to pay more for nicotine gum than you would elsewhere, but they're a lifesaver for those long flights and layovers. As we mentioned, several airports like Reykjavik and Helsinki do have smoking lounges, so check your layover airports for these facilities before you go. Try to get a map of the smoking area locations so you know where they are.
If you have enough time between connecting flights, you can also go through customs to get out of the airport if you're desperate. Keep in mind this might not always be an option considering how extensive the customs process is, and how busy the airport is. At busier airports, you should estimate at least an hour to get through customs, and even more to go through security again to get back inside.
Also, don't try to charge your vaping device on a plane. Most planes offer USB chargers these days, but due to the danger of exploding lithium batteries, you shouldn't use them to charge up your vape, even if you have a portable charger. Wait till you’re off the plane before recharging and keep the vape completely off while flying to preserve battery life.
Finally, you might want to make sure your vape is completely empty before boarding. The changes in pressure can cause it to leak, which makes an annoying mess.