Looking to travel and wondering what the rules are for bringing your vapes along? Well, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that you can bring them; the bad news is that you have to jump through a few hoops. Fortunately, they’re not too painful and you should get to your destination with few hiccups and be back vaping again in no time. Here are all of the laws, details, and some tips about traveling with vapes.
The Hard Rules About Taking Vapes On Planes
Can You Take Vapes On The Plane?
Yes, you can take vapes with you on the plane, either on your body or in your carry-on bag. E-liquid can also be carried with you on the plane, as well as extra pods. You can even bring your lithium batteries.
However, you cannot store any of these things–vape, e-liquid, or lithium batteries–in your checked luggage.
Furthermore, while it is absolutely legal to do these things in the United States, there are some countries where vaping is illegal, and you need to be mindful when traveling to these countries. In many of these countries it is legal to use, but illegal to sell or buy. In other countries (like Singapore, where fines for possession are $1500), you are better off checking first. And be careful, because just because some countries may seem okay with vapes, they’re actually illegal. (Mexico is one such case: it is technically illegal, though seldom if ever enforced, but you don’t want to get on the bad side of the Mexican police.)
It’s best to Google the individual countries’ regulations before traveling there.
How Much Vape Juice Can You Take On The Plane?
As with any other liquid, you can only bring 100ml with you as e-juice. It’s advised to not bring the juice in glass bottles, and the container it’s in should be placed in a clear plastic bag as you go through security.
You can technically bring several 100ml bottles with you, packaged correctly and in plastic bags, though you might run into a persnickety TSA agent who makes you get rid of some of it. Even though the law is on your side, it’s hard to argue in the security line.
Can You Take Batteries On The Plane?
Yes, you can take vape batteries on the plane, and it’s a good idea to keep them in a battery case for the length of the trip (as opposed to keeping them in the vape pen). There have been cases where vape batteries have burst into flames during flights, such as on a 2016 American Airlines flight in which the vape pen malfunctioned due to “thermal runaway”. Although the fire was extinguished and no one was hurt, it’s still a good idea to be careful.
Vape Tips When Traveling
What To Expect From the TSA
As mentioned above, make sure that you put your vape juice in plastic bags, and that you put your lithium batteries in cases. Put yourself in the shoes of the TSA security people: any electronic device is viewed with suspicion, as will be your vape pen. And while a suspicious TSA agent might have you turn on a laptop or tablet to prove it’s a working device, they can’t ask the same thing of a vape pen (as you can’t vape in an airport). Be aware that the pen will put them on alert, and comply with their requests.
Also, if you carry a coil-building kit, you’re going to get questions about why you’re carrying wire, screwdrivers and wire cutters. That stuff, unlike the pen and batteries, can be safely stowed in your checked bags (or you can patiently explain their use to the TSA).
While there are a few remaining smoking lounges left in airports, they are few and far between, and they are the only place in the airport to vape. All other vaping in the airport and on the plane is illegal, including in the bathroom. If you need the nicotine fix on the flight, consider tobacco-free nicotine pouches, nicotine gum or lozenges.
Bring Extra Coils
This isn’t an airport tip, but a traveling one: if you know you’re going to need new coils, bring some with you. It can save you the trouble of tracking down a vape shop in the city or country you’re traveling to.
Empty Your Vape Tank
Due to pressure changes inside the cabin of the aircraft, vape juice can leak. Emptying the vape tank ahead of time can save you a lot of mess.
Can You Take CBD Vapes On a Plane?
Taking CBD or cannabis vape devices through the airport is the same procedure as taking regular vaping products, but the CBD or cannabis products may not be–especially THC oil cartridges.
The TSA changed its policy in 2018 with the legalized hemp production bill, but it can still be risky to travel with CBD oil, even if it’s below the legal 0.3% THC limit. State laws on CBD still vary, and while most CBD below 0.3% THC is legal nearly in all US states, there can be confusion and you can be held up in security while they try to determine whether or not you are trafficking drugs. The TSA doesn’t specifically search for drugs in their screenings, but they can pass off suspicious passengers to airport security, and CBD arrests at airports have been known to happen. (This includes the detention of a 71-year-old grandmother in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport in 2019.)
Until the law is more explicitly clear and all TSA, airport security, and police are aware of the legality of CBD, you’re at risk carrying it on a plane. (The exception is Epidiolex, a CBD-based drug used for treating seizures that has been approved by the FDA.)
Flying With Marijuana on a Plane
Likewise, flying with marijuana or THC vaping products on a plane is very risky. After passing through security, while you’re on the airplane, and until you exit the arriving airport, you are under federal jurisdiction and can be charged with possession of a drug, even if where you are flying from and flying to both have legal THC laws.
If you use dry herb vaporizers and use them to vape cannabis products, make sure that they are completely cleaned with isopropyl alcohol so that a drug-sniffing dog won’t get the wrong idea.