Defiant Delta Passenger Vapes On Jet Bridge, Prioritizes Smoke Over Freedom

You can’t smoke on a plane. You can’t vape, either. Sometimes passengers sneak a drag in the lavatory – but disabling lavatory smoke detectors can cost you a fine up to $2,000.

Occasionally passengers just flat out smoke out in the open. One Delta Air Lines passenger decided to vape on the jet bridge prior to boarding. That’s not allowed, either. Do you think someone this brazen abstained for the rest of the flight?

Hit the vape right before the plane✅
byu/Great_Significance_8 indelta

A Delta Air Lines passenger was kicked off a flight prior to departure for vaping back in March. 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.


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.

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. “Defiant” isn’t how I’d describe the passenger. More like “conditioned to believe that they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no repercussions, and will cry racism if ever challenged.”

  2. Didn’t they have smoking sections on 737’s in the 1990’s?!? I remember ashtrays on armrests?!?

    Yes it’s a gross habit but I rather have the scent grape bubblegum vapes than have a jittery seatmate near me or a flight crew taking a power trip because she can’t get her nicotine fix

  3. Heh, Delta strikes again– anti-social airline attracts anti-social passengers.

    Well, and Tim Dunn.

  4. Laws against vaping are silly. I gave up smoking over a decade ago but treating smokers like lepers doesn’t help anyone and vaping is much less harmful to surrounding passengers. The person who took the video is a jerk IMO. What’s the followup, video of a person jaywalking?

  5. half the unruly people going berserk on flights are having nicotine fits, the other half are drunk. let people vape if it helps them, what’s the big deal.

  6. Yeah, 747, but the airlines don’t want smoking. So, they would ban it even if the government didn’t. Nice try, but you did a face plant.

  7. in the jetbridge o my way back from LGW to TPA, the women in front of me was vaping. I told her she could’nt do that…and I was ignored….by staff too…the whole plane smelt of vanilla vape all the way back across the pond and ignored by inflight crew…

  8. Maybe I should bring durian, which I readily eat, and start eating it when someone starts vaping.

  9. Glass smoking booths like they have in international airports but specifically in our domestic terminals that fly anywhere in Fl #Floridaman will reduce adults acting like kids taking a tantrum on our flights by half, I’m kidding of course but we mostly all agree it would work so maybe not so much of a joke?!?

    Edit: any terminal that has spirit flights must adds a Dunkin’ Donuts but only serve decaf to said passengers

  10. You know you can get nicotine gum and patches don’t you? It’s your lack of planning that forces you to feed your addiction on a plane.

  11. If you’re addicted, afraid to fly, looking for a reason to sue please take the bus.

  12. Ok….anyone opining on this a health professional here??
    If not, do your research :
    Vaping is LESS HARMFUL than cigarettes but still can cause health issues from various pollutants/carcinogens in the mix. Even second-hand vape mist carries the same pollutants/carcinogens.

  13. Alcohol should be banned on flights if smoking and vaping is. It is rude to drink alcohol in public and dangerous too. Plus the alcohol fumes are toxic as it evaporates. There, if I can’t be happy nobody else should be either.

  14. Mind your own business. It’s just vapor (hence the term “vaping”). There is no actual smoke and no reason to be alarmed. I’m much more embarrassed for the Karen taking this video than the person vaping.

  15. @jon — Oscar Wilde asked Sarah Bernhardt, “Mind if I smoke?” She replied, “I don’t care if you burn.”

  16. Vaping is equal to smoking.. everything in the vape is chemical.. dare I say smoking is safer?.. I say no to both on any confined/recirculated space. The only difference is that vaping has a nicer smell than smoking.. I’m unfortunately a smoker but I have never lit a cigarette on/in a non smoking designated area. I might risk my own health but I don’t go out of my way to take others with me.. this should be a finished topic and anyone found smoking/vaping should be banned from flying (on second offense because I do believe in second chances) because it’s not their direct actions that are the most concerning.. it’s their flagrant disregard for following the rules that should alarm the general public.

  17. Wow, it’s obvious from a lot of the comments that Americans think they can do whatever they want whenever they want without even one thought of the people around them or the rules. What have we become?

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