Woman Loses It: She Was Told To “Pipe Down” After Defending Passenger’s Right To Vape Inflight

Earlier in the week I boarded a seven hour flight where a passenger in row 1 was visibly vaping in his suite even before takeoff. Every time I caught him vaping he bashfully hid it like, “what? who, me?” Flight attendants never said anything. Meh, no big deal to be honest. Vaping just isn’t the same as smoking tobacco for second hand smoke. I wasn’t worried about the water vapor.

Things didn’t go so well on a Ryanair flight from Tenerife to Bristol, where two inebriated women caused chaos. One, caught vaping in her seat, denied it despite holding the vape pen. Her friend’s loud defense turned into a profanity-laden tirade – she lost it after being told to “pipe down” – even after a passenger asked them to stop due to children nearby.

She then began defending her parenting.. using explicit language. Crew members attempted to escort her off the aircraft, but she responded with a vulgar insult towards a flight attendant.

Video of the incident contains very not safe for work (and not safe for work from home) language:

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.

I’ve written about passengers and crew alike vaping – usually with little consequence. That wasn’t the case here.

On the other hand, 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: Live and Let’s Fly)

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Imagine being one of those ignorant adults that believes indicating a child is nearby will stop a psycho from cussing.

  2. A common experiment conducted in the 50s was to see how many rats you can add to a confined cage until they started killing and eating each other. This is the point at which air travel is at and Ryanair fills the cage on every flight.

  3. Vaping, the “cooler” cousin of smoking, has its own set of dubious honors, especially concerning the second-hand aerosol that vapers generously share with everyone around. If you’re curious about this misty menace, Healthline has an enlightening piece on the effects of second-hand vaping: https://www.healthline.com/health/second-hand-vape#effects

    Now, airlines turning a blind eye to this vapor spectacle? That’s hardly a shocker in today’s world. As we watch the threads of societal standards come undone, it’s almost expected that airlines would just shrug at the cloud of chemicals floating down the aisles. It’s just another scene in the ongoing tragicomedy of societal norms taking a nosedive.

  4. The passenger behavior illustrated in this post is appalling. I couldn’t even decipher half of her diatribe but clearly her volume and language was highly inappropriate and disrespectful. Another side of the coin of not caring about others, only Me Me Me Me Me Me Meeeeeee.

    And Gary, another entreaty to please, please stop using these AI images, This kind of AI is straight up theft (not on your part, but your use supports/encourages it). Let me know if you wish more information, but I’m sure your readers will appreciate me not going down that rabbit hole here.

  5. Why I avoid ULCC (especially from/to ‘popular’ European sunspots the ULC British regard as mini British colonies.

  6. @cheeseburger. OK. I’ll go down that rabbit hole out of curiosity. What AI images did Gary use? I just see a little clip from X Files.

  7. @cheeseburger, quit being an idiot. It’s an actual video clip, not AI. Even if it was, AI isn’t theft. Just stop being an idiot.

  8. @GL Perhaps you are viewing on your phone? These images (NOT videos) are visible to me on desktop browser; on the main VFTW page(s). There’s one and only one image for each post until one clicks the post to read it. Not every post has an AI image but they started appearing recently and all share the same visual style. Other readers have also commented in the past weeks, so you might enjoy telling them to not be idiots also.

  9. @Thing 1
    Thank you for your civility. Please see my response to @GL for the location of the images.

  10. Ahhh…. You’re on the main VFTW page, not the sub-page for the article. Interesting — I actually rarely ever go to the VFTW site other than clicking on the links for individual articles I get via email. Now I see to what you are referring.

    Again, serious question, how would it be theft to use AI to generate images based on a prompt such as “Man standing in a plane holding a paper with the words “Survey Form” on the top. The man has a shocked look on his face. Behind stands a female flight attendant smiling”?

    I’m asking as someone who is genuinely interested in AI tools and how people are using them.

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