Dear Summit: Airplanes and Vaping

Hey there, vape fans! We’re back for another week’s installment of Dear Summit. This week, we answer some questions about air travel with electronic cigarettes and e-juice. There’s a good chance you fly on an airplane once or twice a year, and here are some tips to keep your trip conflict-free!

The TSA has vaping-specific rules for air travel. They have provided the following declaration:


Due to fire risks created by low quality ecig products, vaping devices/batteries are allowed in carry on baggage only! No ecig batteries allowed in checked bags. Do not attempt to travel with vaping devices fashioned to look like weapons or explosives.

Not only should you refrain from vaping on a plane, but be sure to keep your vaping supplies in your carry-on luggage. The “low quality ecig products” designation is not the TSA making a snooty judgment on the craftsmanship of your device, but rather a safety precaution against vapers with unsafe, damaged, and potentially incendiary batteries.

Here are a few tips for flying with vape gear:

1. Do NOT vape on the plane!

It may not seem like a big deal, but vaping on planes is prohibited by law. Vaping is treated exactly like cigarette-smoking on planes. Vaping on planes could be met with a $2,200-$3,300 fine. Trust me, even a heavenly inhale of Hawk Sauce is not worth a four-figure fine.

Since the terrorist hijackings of 9/11, folks are a bit anxious about safety on planes. A nervous passenger may mistake your vapor clouds for an indication of mechanical failure on the plane, or a hazardous miasma of terrorist chemical warfare. Some find the smell/clouds offensive, as well. Just don’t vape on planes.

If the flight attendants issue an in-flight disturbance report for an in-flight diversion, you could be fined up to $25,000.

2. Disassemble your vaping equipment

Some vaping devices look like weapons. Some mods malfunction and auto-fire. Some batteries are unsafe. To remove any risk of a horrific incident, take your mod apart and keep it in a case or air-tight ziplock baggie. Be sure to store the parts in a way that won’t damage your equipment, and use battery cases for your external batteries.

This will cut down on fire-hazards, alarm from TSA, and it will make it easier to explain what your device is.

3. Keep your juice in 3.4-ounce or smaller bottles

As a security measure, all fluid must be kept in bottles that hold 3.4 ounces or less. This rules out 236 mil bottles! If you have a 236 mil bottle of your must-have juice, consider buying some empty 30 mil bottles, and divide your rations. Once your bottles are all suitable sizes, store them in a 1-quart zip-lock bag. Keep in mind, all passengers have a limit of one 1-quart ziplock bag of liquid.

4. Once the plane has landed, vape in designated areas at the airport

The first thing on your mind after a long flight is a great draw from your vape. Not so fast! You should only vape in the designated “smoking” areas at the airport. These can usually be found in the most inconvenient corner of the airport, without adequate signage directing you there. Once the Lord of the Rings-esque trek is complete, reassemble your equipment, load the e-juice, and indulge in the delight of forbidden fruit.

You will likely see a fellow-vaper in the smoker circle. Take a deep draw, and give your comrade a tight, affirming nod of the head.

That’s it for this week’s Dear Summit blog. Be sure to post your comments, questions, or support in the comments section below. And, as ever, vape on!



Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Eric Zalla says:

    If you use tanks, the air pressure changes can cause them to leak. If you position your tank upsidedown, so the wick is not covered, it won’t.

  • Austin says:

    Thanks for the heads up! I was wondering about this since I’m going to Korea for a few months soon for work. Do you know if the liquid limits apply if I put a couple big bottles in zip lock bags for checked baggage? Because I go through about 400ml/month and that’s a lot of small bottles.

  • Kristi says:

    I have found several airports that allow vaping in areas where cigarettes are not. First thing I do when I deplane is find a security guard and ask. You’d be surprised, I was!

  • Beth says:

    First time I flew as a new vaper in 2009, I asked a steward if they had a policy yet. They did, but not in writing. I decided beforehand not to vape in the cabin to avoid people over reacting. The steward did tell me that I could vape in the bathroom and no one would see. As rare as I fly, that is what I do!

    • John Swanke says:

      Always a good rule of thumb to just ask before you vape! I’ve heard some airports will let you vape inside and others won’t. Common courtesy is probably the most important thing to remember when vaping in public.

  • E-Cig says:

    Thanks. Very Useful Tip. I am just going to fly to USA and it will help me to keep my vape safe.

  • Ken C says:

    Cool steward.

  • Mary says:

    I use a Kanger Subvod, should I take it apart before I put it in a case in my carry-on bag?

    • Josh Hanna says:

      For the Subvod, I would leave it together. If they ask about it, you can take it out and show them. If you have a box mod with batteries and a tank, I would take that apart by the parts. So I would leave the tank intact but off the box. This makes it easier to show them exactly what you have and your mod only has 2 parts.

  • Seth says:

    Thanks! Flying soon and this is helpful pretty recent information. As for translating the FAA rules on liquid, i found googles ml to oz conversion helpful. 3.4 oz is 100 ml. Think i will be bringing a bunch of filled 15ml and 30 ml unicorn bottles.

  • Eric P. Fuller says:

    Do you know if there has been amendments to the rules and regulations? I will be traveling to Japan early in 2017. Vaping is accepted in Japan, but nicotine ejuice is not sold but X amount is permitted for personal consumption.

    I’m still curious as to how to pack and handle the hardware and juice. I’m aware of the ounce limitation set forth by the FAA regarding liquids. Thanks!

  • Laurie says:

    Do you have to remove the e cig pen from your carry on or purse while going through TSA security check? I’m flying Jet Blue.

    • Kenny Spotz says:

      It does not have to be removed from your carry on or purse when going through security. Simply be prepared to identify that the device is an ecig should the TSA screening officers inquiry about it.

      • Mohammad Mohammad says:

        What if its a mech mod ? What if i just take out the batteries n the mech mod was just metal parts alone would you think it would be aloud on the checked baggage since its just metal parts or copper brass or whatever

  • Byron says:

    Im traveling from philippines to sri lanka via singapore..am i allowed to carry my rx2/3 mod in carry on luggage?

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