Bad news if you’re planning to sneak a quick puff to get through the day on your marathon flight to Amsterdam – vaping in an airline lavatory can set off the plane’s smoke detectors. A Spirit Airlines passenger just found out the hard way. According to the New Orleans police report, the Florida man had been caught trying to vape in the cabin. CBS Miami reported that the flight attendant on Flight NK 985 said “she saw him take a drag from an e-cigarette and exhale into a bag while he was sitting in his seat.” When the flight attendant shut him down (airplane vaping is generally against the rules on major carriers), he snuck off to grab a puff in the plane’s bathroom, triggering the smoke detector. The incident occurred on a flight traveling from Detroit, MI to New Orleans, LA.
Generally speaking, e-cigarettes are unlikely to trigger a traditional smoke alarm, but in a small, tightly enclosed space like an airplane lavatory, vapor can set off the device – especially if the vapor is blown directly into the smoke detector.
The Spirit Airlines pilot had to descend to 35,000 feet to deactivate the smoke alarm. When the plane landed in New Orleans, the police were waiting for him. The passenger reportedly appeared to be intoxicated, and smelled stringly of alcohol.
While the man denied he had engaged in airplane vaping in the plane’s bathroom, he also stated to police that he was not aware that e-cigarette use was prohibited on planes.
The passenger was not arrested by the New Orleans deputy, however Spirit Airlines did ban the man from flying on the airline for life.
If you want to know more about airport and airplane vaping, check out this great article from Soupwire clears up a lot of the confusion – from where you can vape at the airport, which airports are e-cigarette-friendly, to whether of not it’s safe to bring your vape onboard a flight.
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