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​Can You Take Vapes on a Plane in the UK?

3rd Aug 2023

As a smoker, packing your cigarettes when you travelled by air was never a major concern for you. You simply carried a pack of cigarettes in your pocket – along with a few extra packs in your hand luggage, perhaps – and you were all set. You didn’t need to worry about buying cigarettes after reaching your destination because cigarettes are available everywhere.

As you’ve probably guessed, though, taking vapes on a plane isn’t quite the same thing. A vaping device contains a lithium-ion battery, and that means special safety rules apply when you want to travel with a vape. In addition, airlines also have rules about flying with liquid items – and you probably have several liquid items in your vape kits. In this article, we’re going to explain everything you need to know.

So, can you take vapes on a plane in the UK? You absolutely can – you simply need to make sure that you’re packing your items according to all applicable safety regulations. Here’s what you need to do.

Man standing at airport window watching plane take off

How to Bring Vapes on a Plane

Always bring vaping devices in your carry-on bag and never in checked luggage unless they have removable batteries.

The reason why special rules apply when bringing vapes on a plane is because the devices have lithium-ion batteries. The rules apply to all battery-powered devices because lithium-ion batteries tend to be less stable at high altitudes, which creates a heightened risk of fire. If a fire occurs in the passenger cabin of a plane, the in-flight staff can deal with the issue before it becomes a major emergency. A fire in the luggage compartment, on the other hand, is a much larger problem.

  • When you pack a vaping device in your carry-on bag, you should always turn the device fully off. If the tank or pod has vape juice in it, you should remove it and pack it with your other liquid items as described in the section below this one.

  • If you’re bringing a vaping device with a removable battery on the plane, you can pack it in your checked luggage if the battery is removed and packed separately in your carry-on bag. We’ll discuss how to pack spare vape batteries shortly.

  • If you’re bringing disposable vapes on a plane, you should pack them in your carry-on bag with your other liquid items as described in the next section of this article. Disposable vapes have different requirements because you can’t remove the liquid from the devices.

  • In most cases, you can also travel with a vaping device in your pocket. However, this is at the discretion of the officer at the security checkpoint.

How to Bring Vape Juice and E-Cigarette Cartridges on a Plane

You can pack vape juice and e-cigarette cartridges in your carry-on bag or checked luggage. Special requirements apply to liquid items in a carry-on bag.

If you want to bring vape juice and pre-filled e-cigarette cartridges or vape pods on a plane in your carry-on bag, you need to pack those items – along with all of the other liquid items that you want to bring in your hand luggage – in a single one-quart resealable bag. You’ll need to remove the resealable bag and allow the officer to examine it when you go through the security checkpoint at the airport. This requirement also applies if you want to bring disposable vapes on a plane because there’s no way to remove the liquid from a disposable vape.

All of the liquid items in your bag must be 100 ml (3.4 oz) in size or smaller.

You’re also free to pack vape juice and vape cartridges or pods in your checked luggage. In this case, no special packing requirements apply. It’s still a good idea to place these items in plastic bags, though, because the change in air pressure can cause the liquid items to leak at high altitudes.

How to Bring Disposable Vapes on a Plane

Pack disposable vapes in the same resealable bag that you use for your other liquid items.

As we mentioned in the section above, you should pack disposable vapes in your carry-on bag and in the same resealable bag that you use for your other liquid items. In addition, you can generally carry a single disposable vape in your pocket without problems.

How to Bring Replacement Coils and Pods on a Plane

There are no restrictions for bringing replacement coils and pods on a plane.

You can pack replacement vape coils and empty vape pods in your carry-on bag or your checked luggage. Since these items don’t contain liquid and don’t have lithium-ion batteries, they have no special packing requirements.

How to Bring Vape Batteries on a Plane

Pack spare vape batteries in your carry-on bag. Place them in a dedicated battery carrier.

You should pack all lithium-ion batteries in your carry-on bag and not in your checked luggage. Because bare 18650 batteries have exposed terminals, you should place the batteries in a protective carrier that prevents the batteries from touching other metal items. Don’t ever place a bare lithium-ion battery in any bag or purse without protection. If a bare battery touches other metal objects, a dangerous short circuit could occur.

Yellow suitcase in airport

Summary: What Vape Gear Can You Bring in Your Hand Luggage and Checked Luggage?

As you’ve learned from reading this article, bringing your vapes on a plane is permitted by airlines and quite easy as long as you heed the requirements. Here’s a summary of the vape gear that you can bring in your hand luggage and your checked luggage.

What Can You Bring in Your Hand Luggage?

  • Vaping Device: YES
  • Disposable Vapes: YES, in a clear resealable bag
  • Vape Juice: YES, in a resealable bag
  • Pre-Filled Cartridges and Pods: YES, in a resealable bag
  • Empty Cartridges and Pods: YES
  • Replacement Coils: YES
  • Spare Batteries: YES, in a dedicated carrier

What Can You Bring in Your Checked Luggage?

  • Vaping Device: NO, unless the battery is removed
  • Disposable Vapes: NO
  • Vape Juice: YES
  • Pre-Filled Cartridges and Pods: YES
  • Empty Cartridges and Pods: YES
  • Replacement Coils: YES
  • Spare Batteries: NO

How to Cope with Nicotine Cravings on a Plane

As you’re probably aware, you are never allowed to vape on a plane – it’s forbidden by all major airlines. In most cases, you aren’t even allowed to charge a vaping device in flight. That means your vape needs to stay in your pocket or bag as long as you’re on the aircraft. So, how can you handle your nicotine cravings during the flight? The best option is to bring an alternative nicotine product that you can use when vaping isn’t an option. For example, you might consider bringing a package of nicotine gum.

How to Vape at an Airport During a Layover

If your flight has more than one leg, there’s a good chance that you’ll be hoping for an opportunity to vape at the airport during your layover. It’s important to remember, though, that airports only allow vaping in designated smoking areas – and in many cases, an airport’s smoking area won’t be within the security perimeter.

Ask an attendant for help if you can’t find an airside smoking area at the airport. In some cases, airports have smoking areas that they don’t actively advertise because they’re intended more for employees than for passengers.

If you’re unable to find a smoking area within the airport’s security perimeter, you’ll have to leave the airport terminal if you want to vape. If the airport is in a foreign country, using the smoking area will mean that you’ll need to go through customs and enter the country. You’ll also need to go through airport security again when you’re done vaping. Given the inconvenience of doing these things, you’ll probably find that it’s easier to bring an alternative form of nicotine and wait to vape until you arrive at your destination.

How to Plan for an International Trip as a Vaper

The last thing you need to remember about bringing your vapes on a plane is that knowing the vaping laws in your destination country is always your responsibility. Different nations have different vaping regulations, and you need to know what you’re allowed to bring and where you’re allowed to use it. You also need to know how many supplies you need to bring for the trip and whether you can expect to find more e-liquid, pods or cartridges where you’re going. These are some of the things that you need to know about travelling to a foreign country as a vaper.

  • Is vaping allowed at all in that nation?
  • If vaping is allowed, are vaping products legal for sale in that country, or are they legal for possession only?
  • Does the country allow the sale of e-liquid with nicotine, or are only nicotine-free e-liquids allowed? If the country only allows nicotine-free e-liquid, is it legal for you to import your nicotine products for personal use?
  • Is there a limit to how much e-liquid you’re allowed to bring into the country?
  • If vaping products are legal for sale in the country, are they extremely expensive due to high taxation?
  • Does the country have a ban on public vaping that could potentially subject you to a fine?