As electronic cigarettes and personal vaporisers have risen in popularity in recent years, more and more vapers have been left uncertain as to the rules with regards to flying with their ecigs and vaping gear. It is only recently that many airlines and airports have provided specific details regarding their policies. Let’s have a look at where things currently stand.
It is important to note that rules and regulations can change at any time, so it is always advisable to double check with your airport and airline before you travel to confirm their current stance.
UK Airports and Vaping
Vaping is currently banned at all but one UK airport, which is Heathrow. Heathrow airport made the news back in November 2013 when it became the first airport to create a dedicated vaping area, which is located in Terminal 4. Heathrow Airport currently states on its website that you can use electronic cigarettes on the premises but not beyond the gate areas.
All the other UK airports either ban the use of e-cigs or make no specific statements regarding vaping within their policies. Here’s a summary…
|Gatwick Airport||Smoking e-cigarettes is not permitted anywhere in the terminal building.|
|Heathrow Airport||Permitted on the premises but not beyond the gate area.|
|Stansted Airport||Use of e-cigarettes has not been permitted indoors since August 2014.|
|Exeter Airport||E-cigarettes can be taken through the Security Search Area but using them is not permitted inside the terminal.|
|Belfast Airport||E-cigarettes can only be used in the designated smoking areas outside the terminal.|
|Birmingham Airport||E-cigarettes can be taken through security but they are treated in the same way as regular cigarettes in the terminal, meaning they can only be smoked in the outside smoking facility.|
|Bristol Airport||E-cigarettes can only be used in the designated smoking areas.|
|Cardiff Airport||No use of electronic cigarettes is permitted inside the terminal. They can only be used in the designated smoking areas outside the terminal next to Gate 2.|
|East Midlands Airport||Use of e-cigarettes has not been permitted inside the terminal since August 2014.|
|Humberside Airport||E-cigarettes cannot be used within the terminal or outside the terminal entrance. They can only be used in the smoking area.|
|Liverpool John Lennon Airport||E-cigarettes can only be used in the outdoor smoking areas.|
|London City Airport||E-cigarettes cannot be used in the terminal or once you pass through security.|
|Luton Airport||E-cigarettes cannot be used anywhere apart from the smoking area outside the terminal, located outside the front entrance.|
|Manchester Airport||No use of e-cigarettes allowed inside the terminal.|
|Newcastle Airport||Use of e-cigarettes only permitted in smoking shelters at the front of the terminal building and in two more designated areas after passing through security.|
|Southampton Airport||Use of e-cigarettes is not permitted inside the terminal building or while walking to or from the airplanes. They can only be used outside of the terminal building and before passing security.|
|Other Airports||Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Durham Tees Valley, Glasgow Prestwick, Leeds and Robin Hood airports do not provide any information about their policies regarding e-cigarettes.|
Going through Security with your Vaping equipment and juices
Going through security with e-cigarettes in your hand luggage is not generally considered a problem at UK airports. For example, Heathrow states on its website that you can carry ecigs with you through security.
The key thing to remember is when it comes to the e-liquid. This is because you can only carry containers no larger than 100 ml through security. You will also be required to place any e-liquid inside a clear plastic bag just like any other liquids. As a side note, if you want any of these clear bags, pop in the shop and see us, we’ve got loads of them.
As long as you stick to the general rules about what is and is not permitted to take through security, you should not encounter any difficulties.
Please note that some airlines do not permit you to pack equipment that contain lithium iron batteries in the hold luggage, and you may therefore have to carry the batteries in your carry-on luggage.
Carrying and Using Electronic Cigarettes on Planes
It is normally fine to carry your e-cig with you when boarding a plane. That said, you are advised to check with your airline if you are unsure.
Generally vaping on the plane is not currently permitted by any airline, even though some are more than willing to sell you their own outdated cigalike pens, which is a little ironic.
Here are some of the policies from the UK and Ireland’s largest airlines:
- Ryanair does not allow you to use your e-cigarettes on the plane, but you can buy smokeless cigarettes during the flight and use them on board.
- EasyJet states that you can take e-cigarettes in your hand luggage or in the hold, but that you cannot use them on the plane.
- British Airways sells e-cigarettes on many of its flights, depending on the destination. It does not say anything about using them on the planes, but do not expect to be allowed to do so.
- Aer Lingus does not allow the use of e-cigarettes on the plane.
- Virgin Atlantic states that you can carry them on board but that you are not permitted to use them.
There are no blanket rules regarding vapes on planes. If an airline does not make its policy on vaping clear, you can contact them to ask in advance. However, it is safest to assume that you are not permitted to use your vape kit on the plane.
With regards to travelling with e cigarettes, there are a number of things to be aware of. Despite the fact that vaping devices are very popular in the UK, different countries have very different rules on their importation and use. You are always advised to check the relevant countries rules in advance to avoid any potential issues.
To give an example, in Qatar it is strictly illegal to import them. After a British Airways crew member was detained when arriving in the country, British Airways stopped selling e-cigarettes on its flights to certain destinations like this.
Also other countries such as Singapore have banned the use of electronic cigarettes, and in some places like New York you cannot use them in places where smoking is also prohibited.
If you are allowed to use your ecig at your destination, it is always a good idea to check whether you can buy refills, e-liquids and spares while you are overseas. If e-cigarettes are not on sale in the country you are visiting, you will want to ensure that you have enough e-liquid with you to last until your return. Also it maybe an idea to have a backup device in case of loss or damage to your main vape.
It is also wise to carry your vaping equipment in your carry-on luggage wherever possible. In some countries they are not very common, and if a customs official opens your hold luggage and does not recognise the device, it may well end up being confiscated. If, however, you carry it with you in your hand luggage, you can explain what it is when you arrive.
The main problem with e-cigarettes and vaping is that there are currently no specific laws or regulations that prevent you from using them in airports and on aeroplanes. This leaves us travellers feeling uncertain as to where they can actually use our devices. If you are unsure, the best advice is to always contact the airport and your airline before you travel. In addition to this we also recommend researching the specific rules that may apply in your destination country, to avoid any possible problems.