Delta Passenger Removed for Vaping on Jet Bridge

By Ivan PetrenkoJun 24, 2024 14:36 PMNews
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Delta Air Lines plane at the airport
Delta enforces strict no-smoking policy. Source: unsplash

In March, a Delta Air Lines passenger was removed from a flight before departure after she was caught vaping on the jet bridge in plain view of passengers and crew. This incident highlights ongoing issues with passengers defying smoking regulations, which prohibit both smoking and vaping on aircraft.

Despite the clear prohibition, the passenger chose to vape openly, disregarding airline rules and the federal ban on in-flight smoking. Her defiant behavior led to her removal from the flight, emphasizing the strict enforcement of these regulations by both airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA categorizes vaping as equivalent to smoking traditional cigarettes. This regulatory stance extends the statutory ban on smoking to include e-cigarettes, ensuring the prohibition applies to all forms of smoking on scheduled passenger flights. The rule does allow for exceptions, such as emitting vapor from a medically beneficial substance, but general vaping is strictly forbidden.

The decision to ban vaping is not due to battery concerns, as laptops, phones, and other electronic devices are permitted on flights. Instead, the ban stems from the similarity of vaping to cigarette smoking and the potential confusion and discomfort it may cause other passengers. The stigma associated with vaping further supports the enforcement of these rules.

Historically, the first nonsmoking section on a flight was introduced by United Airlines in 1971, with Delta becoming the first U.S. airline to ban smoking entirely in 1994. Despite the ban, airplanes still have ashtrays, primarily in lavatories, to provide a safe place for passengers who might illegally smoke to extinguish their cigarettes, reducing the risk of fire.

Incidents involving passengers defying smoking regulations are not uncommon. Previous cases include passengers smoking and vaping on board, often leading to serious consequences, including fines and removal from flights. These actions underline the importance of adhering to smoking bans to ensure safety and comfort for all passengers.

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