As part of U.S. federal authority's crackdown on dangerous items on flights, e-cigarettes are now banned from your checked baggage. This is the latest in a string of rule changes involving e-cigarettes on flights as a result of the potential fire risk. Dating back to June, airlines around the world have begun to ban the packing of e-cigarettes in checked luggage.
"The International Civil Aviation Organization says it has amended rules governing the transportation of dangerous goods to prohibit both passengers and crew from putting e-cigarettes and other battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices in checked bags. The change also bars recharging the devices in aircraft cabins," according to the Canadian Press.
The ban is expected to go into effect in early November.
Why the Ban on E-Cigs?
There have been a number of issues with e-cigarettes and vaporizers causing fires on flights, enough for airlines to impose the ban. "There have been at least 26 incidents since 2009 in which e-cigarettes have caused explosions or fires, including several in which the devices were packed in luggage, according to the Department of Transportation. Usually, they have been accidentally left on or the battery short-circuits," says Jessica Plautz on Mashable.
What causes the fires?
- People forgetting to turn off their e-cig
- Luggage shifting, causing e-cigs to turn on during flights
- Batteries shorting out
"We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a statement. "Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure."
Rules for Flying with E-Cigs in Canada
According to the Government of Canada, here are the rules for travelling with e-cigarettes on flights:
"You can bring e-cigarettes for your personal use in your carry-on baggage or on your person. Spare batteries must be protected so they won't short-circuit. You are not allowed to recharge the e-cigarettes and/or batteries while you are on board the aircraft."
Air Canada and WestJet have banned e-cigarettes in checked bags for some time, so the changes in the U.S. is nothing new to Canadian travellers. However, it is a good reminder to be extra diligent and make sure your e-cig batteries are disconnected and your device is turned off, even when in your carry-on luggage. Bags can shift in overhead compartments, and your e-cig could turn on accidentally.
It's better to be safe than sorry. Plus, your e-cig will only be an arm's length away and easily accessible once you get off the flight.