17 Million Views in 24 Hours: Delta Passenger Ejected for Brazenly Vaping on

17 Million Views in 24 Hours: Delta Passenger Ejected for Brazenly Vaping on Board

A Delta Air Lines passenger was kicked off a flight prior to departure for vaping. She was doing it right out in the open, in full view of passengers and crew. And from her interactions when confronted, she doesn’t sound sober either. Video of the incident was viewed over 17 million times in the first day that it was posted online.


How to get booted off a plane

♬ original sound – TipsyTalk

@tipsytalk Replying to @jpg mafia ♬ original sound – TipsyTalk

In the U.S., vaping inflight is banned because the FAA considers the statutory prohibition on smoking on scheduled passenger flights to apply to e-cigarettes. They simply treat e-cigarettes as cigarette smoking. According to the rulemaking,

The NPRM stated our position that the reasons supporting the statutory and regulatory ban on smoking also apply to a ban on e-cigarettes

And by the way the FAA rule explicitly allows a passenger to emit vapor if it is from a “medically beneficial substance.” So it’s not about banning vapor. The regulation simply extends the ban on cigarettes to include e-cigarettes, which weren’t contemplated when the law against on board smoking was passed.

The concern isn’t batteries, as some people mistakenly believe. Laptops, cell phones, tablets, and noise cancelling headphones are permitted. And airlines have procedures – and burn bags – for dealing with outlier issues inflight. Instead the decision largely came about because

  1. there’s a stigma against it because it’s ‘like’ cigarette smoking and
  2. other passengers might think vapers are smoking a cigarette even though they aren’t.

Over the summer a United Airlines passenger was caught on video surreptitiously vaping during a flight, and then exhaling water vapor. A first class passenger on my flight from London to Abu Dhabi in the fall did this, too, but I didn’t pull out my phone.

The first airline to create a nonsmoking section was United back in 1971. No U.S. airline fully banned smoking worldwide until Delta in 1994. U.S. airlines were still allowed to offer on board smoking up until 2000.

Yet planes still have ashtrays! You’ll usually find them in or near the lavatory, because customers may smoke even though it’s illegal to do so – and they need a place to put out their cigarettes. Without ashtrays they’d be most likely to put out their cigarettes in the lavatory trash.. and light the paper tossed away inside on fire.

One passenger who lit her cigarette inflight says police beat her after flight attendants spiked her drink. And in 2020 a passenger lit up a cigarette after refusing to wear a mask on board.

Before the pandemic another passenger downed 4 bottles of beer, vaped an e-cigarette, and punched a flight attendant all before his honeymoon. Another lit a cigarette, drank his own booze, and bit a flight attendant’s ear. While a man who burned himself with his own e-cigarette on board had the temerity to sue the airline.

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