Passenger Sprawls Across Row Of Seats Smoking A Cigarette, Only Gets 15 Day Airline Ban

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.

Recently a passenger on SpiceJet in India was banned for 15 days – that’s seriously all that happened – after being videotaped smoking a cigarette while sprawled out across a row of seats. Given the way this was videotaped, making a clear point of showing the brand of the man’s pants, it seems likely this was staged for brand publicity.

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.

(HT: Paul H)

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. Making him fly on another SpiceJet flight is greater punishment.

    They are the Spirit of the Indian market, except without the profits

  2. I regret clicking on this article and giving an idiot the publicity he was looking for. Thanks to my stupidity, Mr. Kataria and Gary have both profited

  3. Lighters aren’t allowed on flights in India.

    Balvinder “Bobby” Kataria claims this smoking scene was staged in Dubai on a prop plane.

    But the SpiceJet seems to act as if it was on a real flight and has blacklisted him from being on SpiceJet flights.

  4. @ Gary. Actually MuseAir (Operational July 1981) was the nations only Part 121 non smoking airline . . . until Southwest purchased MC in 1985. It really was quite nice to board a new MD-80 that didn’t smell like a full ashtray (we did have some pilots and flight attendants that smoked in the cockpit until FAA banned all smoking)

    I agree with Sean M. I’ll Never Do It Again

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