Vapes on a Plane: What Are The Regulations For Flying With E Cigarettes?

Holiday season is upon us!

In the majority of cases, travelling to your chosen holiday destination goes without a hitch. Yes, there are the queues to contend with, and the terrifying potential of being called to one side to have your bag checked. But aside from these minor glitches, all is usually well.

Unless you are unaware of the rules and regulations surrounding E Cigarettes and then your travel plans have the potential of descending into complete chaos as you worry about curbing those cravings at 30,000 ft.


Airports have joined a long list of organisations and have banned vaping inside their premises. It now stands with big name restaurants and coffee shops, high street shops, sport stadiums and some hospitals on their anti-vaping stance. The argument for the ban is pretty controversial and are not usually made on the grounds of health or legality’s; but to avoid any confusion between whether people are smoking or not as well as the comfort of others.

In the majority of airport terminals, vaping is expressively banned, except for the designated smoking areas. This includes;

  • Gatwick
  • Manchester
  • Stansted
  • Luton
  • Edinburgh
  • Birmingham
  • Glasgow
  • Bristol
  • Newcastle

The only airport that allows vaping is Heathrow (Terminal 4) where you can vape until you are at the flight gate.


E Cigarettes are explicitly not allowed in checked luggage. The International Civil Aviation Organization has amended the 2015-2016 edition of its ‘Technical Instructions for the Safe Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air (ICAO Doc 9284) which prohibits any vape devices in checked-in luggage. This is reportedly due to safety concerns related to e cigarettes over heating in the highly pressured atmosphere in checked luggage; there have apparently been over 26 incidents of this nature that has occurred since 2009 (although the quality of these items could come in question in this argument).

So, therefore the only way to travel with your E Cigarette is to have it in your hand luggage. However, the liquid will be restricted to ensure that it confirms with the 100ml restrictions. The great news here is that the majority of E Liquid is sold in individual volumes of 30 ml. If you have an E liquid in a larger volume, make sure it is packed into your checked luggage. And ensure that each container is packed in a way that protects the rest of your checked and hand luggage in case the pressure in the aircraft leads to a leak. It’s wise to separate the atomizer from the cartridge to avoid any confusion about what the device is.

Where batteries are concerned it is good practice to check with the airline with whom you are flying. While most allow you to take them on board, there are varying regulations for how many batteries and the way in which they are stored.


Are you allowed to vape in the air? Absolutely not. Despite not being officially banned by any governing bodies, almost all airlines forbid the use of E Cigarettes whilst flying under their ‘no smoking’ policies. Some airlines such as Ryan Air sell their own brand of smokeless cigarettes throughout the flight, but they still do not allow the use of personal E Cigarettes.

There are some extremely strict airlines such as Qatar Airways who have had people arrested for vaping during a flight.

Attempting to vape on board may result in the fire alarms being triggered, especially in the toilets on board. There are a number of penalties that you might find yourself landed with ranging from fines, to being arrested!

It may be a tough flight, but at least it will be one without dire consequences!

When Abroad

Regulations regarding vaping differ all over the world, and many countries are not as liberal in their approach so it may be worth doing some research into the country you are travelling too. In most European countries, vaping is legal. However moving into Eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries you may only use E liquid that does not contain nicotine. And there are of course some countries (Columbia, Singapore and Brazil to name a few) that have made the practice illegal.

So with this in mind, plan your travels well and make sure that you are well educated to ensure you have the best possible holiday!