Cloud Chasers: Air Travel Tips for Vapers

August 17, 2018

When you set out for a trip, whether on a weekend jet away to your mom’s place back east or a two month exploration of the most exotic reaches of the globe, follow these tips to keep your e-cig gear safe and legal.  Navigating the friendly skies doesn’t have to be stressful if you know what to expect.

Tickets, Passport…Oh, Yeah, E-cig!

There’s nothing worse that reaching your destination only to realize you left your favorite bottle of Afterglow on the nightstand next to your alarm clock.  Here’s a handy packing list to make sure you bring the essentials:

Charger
Extra batteries (make sure to charge them before your trip)
Extra cartomizers
Your vaping device
Enough e-liquid to last you the length of your trip
Quart sized zip top bag to bring e-liquids through TSA screening
Spare drip tip (if needed)
International plug adaptor (if traveling overseas)

TSA Regulations for Vapers: Plan for Delays

The more exotic your mod is, the more likely it will trigger alarms going through airport security and require additional screening.  Even a harmless hoard of half a dozen lithium ion batteries can look suspicious stacked up in your purse so don’t be surprised if you get pulled aside for some extra scrutiny.  Make sure to give yourself a little extra time so you don’t have to sweat it.

And remember, no matter how irritating or ridiculous TSA’s tizzy over your harmless vaporware may be, airports are humor-free zones when it comes to security so resist the urge to crack wise.


Can I bring E-liquid on the Plane?

Yes!  E-liquid is treated like any other liquid by TSA.  That means you just have to follow the 3-1-1 rule:

3 ounce containers or smaller (actually, the rule is 3.4 ounces but TSA cheated to make the rule sound more catchy)
1 quart-size, clear plastic bag
1 bag per traveler

Translation: you can bring as much e-liquid as you can stuff into a single quart-size clear plastic bag as long as each bottle is 3.4 ounces (which is equal to 100 mL) or less.  Remember, TSA goes by the size of the container so trying to argue that your jumbo 120 mL bottle of Death by Chocolate is only half full isn’t going to fly.  Stick to 30 or 60 mL bottles and go ahead and stuff your quart sized plastic bag with them.

Can I Bring E-liquid in My Checked Baggage?

Again, yes!  There are no restrictions on liquids in checked baggage.  Just make sure to pack them well in case of a leak.  Glass bottles can be broken by rough handling in transit and there’s always the risk of a loose cap popping off due to changes in pressure.  Sealing liquids inside two or more layers of zip top bags is always a good idea just in case.

Can I Bring My Electronic Cigarette on the Airplane?

Not only can you, but you MUST bring it with you, at least the battery component.  Lithium ion batteries may accidentally be turned on or could malfunction causing a fire in the hold of the plane.  Because of this, the Department of Transportation has mandated that all lithium ion batteries be carried with you in your hand carry or on your person.  They may not be packed in your checked baggage.    

Batteries in the cargo hold represents a serious safety hazard so make certain to always hand carry your batteries and save that suitcase space for your back up e-liquid stash.

Don’t Check It At the Gate

Smaller flights frequently run out of space in the overhead bins before all passengers have had a chance to board.  When this happens, personnel at the gate will ask you to check your bag free of charge before boarding.  Don’t forget your e-cig!  Remember, lithium ion batteries?  That’s right, they’re not allowed in checked baggage so be sure to grab your e-cig travel case and hand carry that with you onto the plane before grudgingly surrendering your carry on.  If you forget, you may have your batteries confiscated!

No Charging Your E-Cig on the Plane

OK, this one is not widely known but you actually are not allowed to charge your electronic cigarette while on the airplane, no matter how tempting that in-seat outlet might be.  Again, if something goes wrong, this could get you in real trouble.  And it has.  The electronic cigarette of a passenger on an American Airlines flight experienced a malfunction causing the device to overheat.  The ensuing fire had to be extinguished by the crew.  Not the way you want to start your vacation!

Empty Your Device Before Boarding!

Changes in cabin pressure will cause e-liquid in your tank to ooze out of any available gap.  The ensuing mess will serve as a reminder next time.  Always dump your tank before bringing it onto a plane!

Vapes on a Plane!

While it might be tempting to sneak a puff while your fellow passenger is snoring loudly and drooling on your shoulder, resist the temptation.  Even if done discreetly, “stealth vaping” on an airplane could trigger alarms and, if discovered, could easily lead to an arrest.  Don’t be tempted to joint the vape mile high club.  The risk isn’t worth it!

Secret Nicotine

If you’re really having a nicotine fit, consider this strange trick one of our customers relayed to us.  As we know from all the training and safety precautions we practice in our lab, nicotine is absorbed through the skin.  Capitalizing on this fact, one of our customers told us how he would dab a little e-liquid on his wrists during flight if he was having a hard time resisting the urge to vape under the nose of the Department of Transportation.  We haven’t tried it, but, based on what we know about nicotine, it should work!

Know Your Regulations when Traveling Internationally

Some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, have banned electronic cigarettes outright.  While trying to bring a device into the country may not get you thrown in jail, it can result in having your e-cig confiscated.  It’s not a bad idea to bring a large self-addressed envelope with you so that you can mail your e-cig home to yourself should it be barred entry.  In some countries, however, even if customs lets your vaping hoard slide through, you may risk fines or even imprisonment for vaping once you’re inside the country.  Know before you go!

Can I Vape in the Airport?

Did you know that you can vape on your layover in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Internationl Airport in Georgia?  Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog post where we investigate the airports of the world to bring you an up-to-date list of vaper friendly terminals, both in the United States and internationally.

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