Can You Bring a Vape on a Plane?
Updated: Jun 11, 2020
One of the more frequently asked questions we get asked at La Dulce Vapor Lab is whether you can bring a vape and e-liquid on a plane.
In short, the answer is yes, but there are specific rules to follow in order to get through TSA.
I’ve personally flown with my vape gear multiple times and never had an issue with anything being confiscated by the TSA, so I’ve put together my check list to follow.
By following this simple guide, you too can get through your trip with all your vape gear unscathed.
Disclaimer: This post is written referencing the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations for traveling with vapes in the United States.
Some countries and airlines may have different or more specific rules.
If you’re flying from an airport in another country, please look up the rules for the authority in that country.
With constantly changing laws and airline regulations, you should always check your airport and airline for their most up to date policies.
For a list of specific rules from major US airlines, please reference the list below:
Before You Fly
Planning everything out when you’re packing is the most crucial step when flying with your vape.
There are huge differences between taking vape gear in your carry-on and bringing those items in checked luggage.
So let's get started by clarifying where vape devices, extra batteries, and vape juice should be packed in order to avoid confiscation of your gear.
1.) Vape Devices
Checked Bags: No
Carry-on Bags: Yes
Due to concerns over explosions and fires caused by lithium batteries in the cargo hold, airlines require electronic vape devices to be on the plane in your carry-on, or on your person, even if you removed the batteries.
Placing your vape in checked baggage is strictly prohibited.
To play it safe, I always disassemble and turn off my vape as well.
If there are removable batteries, I take those out and also disconnect my tank, or pod.
That way there is no chance anything could go off unexpectedly, and TSA has no business confiscating my vape.
Checked Bags: No
Carry-on Bags: Yes
For the same reason as your vape device, vape batteries are also strictly prohibited from checked baggage.
This is mandated worldwide by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
If you forget and your checked luggage is x-rayed, you’re liable to have your batteries confiscated, and as an added bonus, all your belongings in the bag tossed around in the search.
TSA could even pull your suitcase off the plane and leave it at the departure airport.
So, take vape batteries in your carry-on luggage.
For safety, I also highly recommend placing batteries in a plastic battery case whenever transporting them.
For more information on vape battery safety, click here.
Checked Bags: Yes
Carry-on Bags: Yes*
Since vape juice is in fact a liquid, you must follow normal TSA rules regarding liquids.
You can take vaping liquid in both checked bags and carry-on bags depending on their size.
If you want to bring them in carry on, they must be no larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml) and stored in a 1 quart clear zip top bag with the rest of your liquids, gels, and pastes.
You will have to remove this bag from your luggage when passing through the TSA checkpoint.
However, an advantage of keeping e-liquid in checked bags is there’s no size limit for the bottles.
Any liquids larger than 100ml must be taken in your checked bags, but I still suggest putting them in a zip top bag due to leaking that can occur from the pressure changes when flying.
After all, you don’t want you clothes to be stained with vape juice as soon as you get to your destination.
Another thing I always pack when flying are smokeless tobacco products.
My personal favorites are the Velo pouches or the Revel lozenges, as they don’t contain actual tobacco, but any brand of lozenge, pouch, or gum will do.
The reason for this will be explained in more detail in a little bit, but trust me, it’s a life saver.
Passing Through Security
Passing through the TSA checkpoint is pretty straight forward, although if you haven’t flown before it can be pretty intimidating.
When you make it to the bins, take your zip top bag out and place it in a bin along with anything metal you’re wearing, the contents of your pockets, and your shoes.
I always leave my vape and batteries in my carry-on bag, as it’s going to get x-rayed as it goes along the conveyer belt anyways.
After you pass through the body scanner, collect your items from the conveyer belt, place everything back in your bag and pockets, put on your shoes, and you’re on your way to your terminal!
Waiting to Fly
Sitting in the terminal, waiting to board your flight, boredom begins to set in and the craving for nicotine can be strong.
So, the question arises; can you vape in the airport?
Honestly, it depends.
A handful of airports still have designated smoking rooms.
If you’re lucky enough to be waiting in an airport with a smoking lounge, such as Nashville, pop in and have a vape.
Some smoking lounges even have electrical outlets for charging your devices.
The thick smell of cigarette smoke might be overwhelming, but if you’re looking at several hours without vaping, it might be worth it.
Other airports, such as Chicago O’Hare, require you to completely exit the airport and go all the way back through the TSA check when you’re done.
I don’t know about you, but I’d rather suffer without nicotine than go through the TSA check again.
Situations like this are perfect for the smokeless tobacco options I told you to pack.
Just pop one in your mouth and sit in peace at your terminal.
Are smokeless tobacco options as satisfying as vaping?
Probably not, but they aren’t going to get you in trouble with the airport security staff either.
You should never attempt to vape at the airport when it’s not in a designated area.
As a general rule, vaping in common areas and restrooms is banned in all airports.
If anyone catches you vaping, you run the risk of a fine or even being ejected from the airport, which would mean missing your flight and defaulting on the price of your ticket.
So, if that seems like a good idea, you can roll the dice, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Take Off Time
If you live in Colorado, like our customers, then you’re all too familiar with altitude changes and leaky vapes.
Cabin pressure when flying causes the same thing.
When your tank undergoes pressure increases, the juice naturally feels the need to normalize the pressure.
Since there’s not a whole lot of places to go, it chooses the path of least resistance, and the vape juice gets forced through the coil’s cotton and out your airflow channels.
Your tank may feel better, but unfortunately this creates a huge mess and e-liquid ends up everywhere.
Your best bet to avoid leaky tanks is to leave them empty until you arrive at your destination.
Of course, that’s not always very practical.
This is where a zip top bag comes in super handy, and another reason I always disassemble my vape for flying.
Pop your tank off your mod and completely close off your airflow, if possible.
Then throw the tank in the zip top bag with the rest of your juice.
If anything leaks on you, at least it will be contained in the bag and not get on everything else in your carry-on.
If you want to avoid your bottles leaking while flying, avoid taking full, sealed bottles, and try keeping them as upright as possible during the flight.
Of course, that’s not the most practical option for me, so I always know I’m going to have a little bit of clean up when I land.
Can You Vape on a Plane?
Remember when we talked about vaping at the airport in common areas?
The same rules apply here; it’s strictly prohibited.
In the United States, you face the same penalties as you would for smoking on an airplane, which entails the possibility of being fined, arrested, or even jail time when you reach your destination.
You could even force an emergency landing, meaning the fire department and emergency responders meet the plane on the tarmac.
That’s one way to become the most liked person on the plane.
If you think you can slip into the airplane bathroom to sneak in a vape, think again.
The smoke detectors in the restrooms are extremely sensitive.
Instead of detecting actual smoke, they monitor for any particulate matter denser than air.
Let’s just say they’re as good as vape detectors.
Play it safe and never turn your vape on while in flight.
Don’t even pull it out to charge while on board the plane.
Are those smokeless tobacco options sounding good yet?
TLDR: Tips For Traveling Vapers
Check with your specific airline for any unusual policies
Keep your vape device and extra batteries in your carry-on luggage
Disassemble and turn off your vape before flying
Store extra batteries in a protective plastic battery case
Any e-liquid bottles larger than 3.4 ounces must be stored in checked baggage
Vape juice brought in carry-on must be stored in a quart size zip top bag
Bring smokeless tobacco options, such as lozenges
Don’t vape in airports or on planes
As you can see, with a little judicious planning you have nothing to worry about when flying with your vape device and vape gear.
The TSA has been dealing with vaping for a long time now, and as long as you respect their rules and procedures you will get through your trip with your vaping gear safe and sound.
If you have any further questions about bringing a vape on your flight, leave a comment below.
Have a safe flight!