An Arizona-based dental assistant shared video from an American Airlines flight, where a passenger in the first class bulkhead lit up a cigarette. Sara Radosevich had kudos for the flight attendant hero who “snatched it out of his hands.”
— Sara Radosevich (@Sara_Radosevich) December 6, 2022
United Airlines was first to create a nonsmoking section on a plane back in 1971. It wasn’t until 1994 that a U.S. airline banned smoking on all flights worldwide – that was Delta. Air Canada, for its part, went completely non-smoking in 1990. U.S. airlines were still allowed to offer on board smoking up until 2000.
Nonetheless, planes still have ashtrays, generally 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.
I reached out to the passenger sharing this video for more details on the flight, and for what they saw happen to the passenger after the flight attendant snatched away the cigarette. I’ve also reached out to American Airlines for comment on their flight attendant’s quick action, and will update if they provide comment.
Last year a 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.