Flying Your Vape
You can smell it. Summer is right about the corner and that makes us all want to be out and about, seeing the world. I cannot tell you how often I sit here looking out of the window and thinking, “I could be on a plane to some island.” Probably as many times as my neighbors wish I’d put clothes on before I sit in front of the window! But I digress.
Back in the good old days, the vaping revolution was in its infancy and yes, the industry enjoyed virtually total freedom. That didn’t last long, of course, but back then, the general population did not know what e-cig devices were, therefore, no roadblocks were put in place to hinder their use.
During that short, but exciting period of time, e-cigarettes could be used inside buildings, restaurants, trains, busses, and even airplanes. Can you believe it? It’s true. So many of us that had felt like lepers when we smoked had a brief respite. In fact, many recall bystanders commenting on how delicious the smell of the vapor was. We soon had to bid those days farewell, sadly. The vaping industry was quickly hit with an unrelenting series of rules, regulations, and restrictions regarding their use, sale, manufacture, and nearly every aspect related to vaping. You can always check with our staff at Medusa Juice to find out the latest regulations and preparations related to air travel.
Which also includes using and carrying the devices onto an airplane. Nearly all characteristics of vaping, from taking your vape gear on an airplane to using e-cigs within the aircraft, had been wholly unrestricted and unregulated until fairly recently. For example, currently, vaping in an airplane is illegal and can be punishable by a fine of up to $3,000. Although due to the fact that vapor is virtually odorless and dissipates very rapidly, many people have gotten away with vaping in the airplane lavatory, or sneaking a hit or two when no one is looking. However, most modern lavatory smoke detectors can now sense vapor and may alert airline personnel. And is it really worth the risk? Especially when it damages our credibility both individually and as a community. So, if you’re thinking about it, try to wait until you’re absolutely sure that it is legal and permitted to vape before hitting your tank.
Taking Gear Onto A Plane
The transportation of your vape gear is regulated to some extent, and although, it has not been banned as of yet, we need to keep an eye open. At first, you could carry all of your vaping hardware either in your carry-on or check-in luggage without any problems of any sort. Then, suddenly, for a brief period of time, travelers were asked to pack their electronic cigarette devices within their checked baggage. I can only surmise that this was in an effort to deter people from vaping on the airplane secretly. Eventually, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, a division of the Department of Transportation, now requires travelers to store their electronic cigarette equipment in their carry-on bags rather their checked luggage.
It’s no great mystery as to why that is. The change in policy is due to the fact that the lithium-ion batteries used to power e-cig devices can overheat in checked bags, thereby risking combustion. There have been several cases of suitcases catching fire while in flight due to the battery’s vulnerability to excessive heat. I don’t know about you, but having a fire start on the plane I’m travelling on isn’t one of those experiences I dream about having. I mean, seriously, earlier in 2016, a Hawaiian Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing when an e-cigarette battery sparked a fire within the luggage compartment. In fact, the captain had to activate the aircraft’s fire-suppression system. When batteries are stored in the overhead compartment, however, they are kept substantially cooler, thereby dramatically reducing the chance of explosion or fire. That makes perfect sense, and it also makes your gear easier to get out, once you’re back on the ground. Small things matter! Medusa Juice wants to help your vaping experiences to be the best possible, so we’re here whenever you need us.
Vaping On A Plane
I suppose it follows that if there’s been instances of battery fires on planes that they’d want to regulate them being charged on planes. You can’t blame them, due to the same fear of explosion and/or potential fire, the Department of Transportation has also made it illegal to charge electronic cigarette batteries within the airplane as well. If you’re feeling persecuted, don’t because this threat is not limited to e-cigarette batteries. All devices powered by lithium-ion batteries cannot be charged while on a plane. In fact, the potential hazard has become so troublesome that Delta and Alaskan Airlines have both begun including fire containment bags, which can be used to contain a fire when a laptop, cell phone, battery pack, or any other lithium-ion battery overheats and catches fire. A sign of the times, eh?
While it isn’t currently a rule, responsible travelers should certainly consider storing their e-cigs in luggage when traveling on plane. Electronic cigarette devices, as well as their mobile phones and tablets, should be in charging bags, which are engineered to contain batteries that explode or are otherwise set aflame. While not super common, there are products such as the Efest Lipo Safety Charging Bag, which are available and represent an inexpensive way in which to travel with lithium-ion batteries sensibly. The bags are made from fiberglass woven fabric, which is the same material used to make firefighter’s uniforms. This material is designed to withstand the heat generated by a malfunctioning battery that melts, combusts, or is otherwise overheated. How fantastic is that? So, as you can see, it’s not that difficult to avoid fire problems with batteries, etc. while onboard a plane. Some common sense, pre-planning and responsibility goes a long way.
Vaping is a consistently fluctuating landscape, which often means that it is impossible to foresee what new rules and regulations will be put in place in the months and years to come. But for the moment, you can travel with all of your vaping gear, so long as it is properly stored within your carry-on luggage or on your person. Medusa Juice and the entire vaping community wholeheartedly hope that this will not change in the future. We just want to have a good time when we’re travelling.