Travel Tips

5 min read

Vaping and Flying: Navigate Airplane Rules Like a Pro

Ever wondered if your vape can soar the skies with you? Let's unpack the do's and don'ts of flying high with your trusty side-puff.

Tobi Miles
July 31, 2022

These days, vaping is a far more common practice than smoking a cigarette. Despite that, airline passengers can bring cigarettes in both a carry-on and checked luggage. That’s not the case for vapes, so how can you bring vapes on a plane?

It’s legal to bring vapes and e-cigarettes in your carry-on bag, but not in your checked luggage. That is because the lithium-ion batteries in vapes pose a fire risk. Pack your vapes in a baggie to make them easily accessible. Smoking and vaping are prohibited on a plane and considered a federal offense. You also cannot charge your vape while on a plane. 

Even though vapes are allowed on a plane, there are many rules and restrictions regarding their use and storage. There are specific ways you must store the parts of your vape to keep others on the plane safe. 

A Quick Look at the TSA’s Rules for Vapes 2022

Vapes may be allowed on planes, but it’s essential to understand the rules and regulations. Here are a few guidelines to follow to ensure you get through TSA smoothly. 

  • Pack your vape separately. For easy passage through TSA, separate your vape from the rest of your luggage. Place it in a baggie or case so you can show the contents to TSA agents if asked. 
  • Keep your batteries separate. Store your vape in a protective case or remove its batteries. Storing the vape’s batteries separately helps prevent a fire from starting. 
  • Only bring what you need. Don’t overdo it. Packing too many vapes and e-liquid refills will make TSA suspicious. Going through the TSA line with excess materials is more likely to get you flagged and pulled out of line. 

Can I Bring My Vape In My Carry-On Bag?

You can bring vapes on a plane in your carry-on bag, but with some restrictions. TSA wants to prevent the heating element inside the vape from accidentally catching fire, so there are rules in place for vapes. 

To prevent your vape from catching fire, remove the batteries. You can also separate the battery from the vape’s heating coil. Storing your vape in a protective case will also do the trick to prevent a fire. 

There are also regulations on the kind of batteries you can bring along for your vape. Batteries cannot exceed a Watt-hour rating of 100 Wh for lithium-ion batteries or 2 grams for lithium metal batteries. 

Related Read: Can You Bring Puff Bars on a Plane?

Does It Matter What Kind Of Vape It Is?

You’re not limited to what kind of vape you can bring on a plane. However, you are limited to the size of your batteries and e-liquids for your vape. 

TSA only allows you to bring vapes on a plane in carry-on bags due to concerns about catching fire. Vapes must be transported safely inside a protective cover or with the batteries removed. These batteries must not exceed 100 Wh for lithium-ion batteries. So, if your vape requires batteries larger than this, expect to travel without it. 

When bringing refills for your vape, the liquid in your cartridges can’t exceed more than 3.4 oz. This is the standard for all liquids in carry-on bags. But, you can bring more should you decide to pack your e-liquids separately in your checked bag. 

Will A Vape Set Off A Metal Detector?

You'll definitely set off the metal detector if you forget to take your vape out of your pocket while in the TSA line. Vape pens made of metal will sound the alarm. However, some pens these days are made of plastic and are less likely to set off the detector. 

To prevent a pat-down by TSA, remove your vape from your person. Stash it in your carry-on or a bin. Most refill cartridges are small and made of plastic, so they are not as likely to set off a metal detector. 

Will The TSA Seize My Vape If I’m Under 18?

TSA is less concerned with minors vaping than a vape catching fire on board the plane. You must be 21 years or older to purchase vaping materials, but carrying a vape is not a problem. 

You will need to put your vape in a carry-on bag to take it on the plane. If it’s on your person, remove it and place it in the bag or a bin. This step will prevent the metal detector from going off as you pass through.

Regardless of whether you’re under or over 21, do not try to use your vape on the plane. Smoking on an aircraft is dangerous as well as a federal offense. 

Related Read: Can You Bring Cigarettes on a Plane?

Can You Pack Vapes In Checked Luggage?

While vapes are allowed in carry-on bags, they are not allowed in checked luggage. The lithium batteries that power vapes pose a fire hazard. This means you cannot pack spare batteries in your checked baggage either. 

Pack your vape and battery separately in your carry-on bag to prevent fire risk. You can also keep your vape in a protective case to prevent fire. It is simply important to do all you can to avoid that spark. 

You can, however, pack vape cartridges in your checked bags. While your liquids are limited to 3.4 oz or less for carry-on bags, your options are unlimited for checked baggage. 

If you need to bring more vape juice, pack it in your checked luggage. Just make sure to pack your actual vape separately in your carry-on. 

Can You Bring Vapes On An International Flight?

Flying internationally with a vape is no different than flying domestically. You can bring a vape, so long as you pack it in your carry-on bag. You cannot pack your vape in your checked luggage, but you can do so with vape cartridges.

Vapes are only allowed in carry-on bags due to the fire risk posed by lithium-ion batteries. When flying internationally, take the same precautions as you would for a domestic flight. Remove your batteries from the vape if you can. If not, stash it in a protective cover to prevent fire. 

Vape refills should be 3.4 oz or less unless packed in your checked bag. Never store vape batteries in your checked baggage, as this poses a significant fire risk. 

What Is The Best Way To Pack Vapes On A Plane?

Because vapes are allowed in carry-on luggage, it’s important to make sure to pack them as safely as possible. You’ll want to prevent the vape’s heating element from catching fire. 

You can remove the battery or separate it from its heating coil. You can also store it in a protective case or put a protective cover over the heating coil activation button. These tips all help to prevent the risk of fire. 

If you take spare batteries with you, pack them in a way that prevents short-circuiting. Leave batteries in their original packaging or cover terminals with tape. 

Try using a battery case or battery sleeve. You can also keep them in a plastic bag. These methods all work to prevent fire so long as the batteries are stored individually.

When bringing extra vape refills, keep them under 3.4 oz for carry-on bags. That’s the rule for all liquids not in checked luggage. Storing these refills in a plastic bag can protect your other luggage from potential leaks.

Related Read: Can You Bring A Lighter On A Plane?

Still Not Sure If You Can Bring Vapes On A Plane? Ask the TSA

If you’re still a little fuzzy on the details about bringing vapes on a plane, contact the TSA. Reach out to the helpline, 855-787-2227, 72 hours before travel to help solve potential problems. A TSA representative can answer any questions or concerns you have preceding your trip. 

The TSA website also goes into more detail and offers tips and tricks to make traveling with vapes easy. Use the search bar and reference tab to find the answer to your questions. The website also provides helpful information about what is prohibited and how to pack accordingly.

These are options before travel. But, when you arrive at the airport, you can also ask for assistance at the TSA security checkpoint. A TSA agent will be happy to help in any way possible and try to answer any questions you may have. Though TSA can be intimidating, they are only there to make traveling safe, secure, and straightforward.

Check out the website to contact the TSA to get information and all the answers you may need.


Travel can already be stressful, and you don’t want to make it even more so by traveling with prohibited items. If you want to bring a vape on a plane, packing a carry-on bag is necessary. 

Pack your vape separately from the rest of your items to make the trek through TSA a little easier. Make sure to store your battery separately from your vape or keep it in a protective case to prevent fire. Only pack vape refills up to 3.4 oz in your carry-on. In case of leaks, pack them in a plastic bag inside your carry-on. 

Your vape will likely set off the metal detector if it’s not entirely plastic, so keep it in the bin or your bag. Once through security, keep your vape in your bag. Smoking, even in the bathroom, is prohibited on airplanes. It is not only dangerous but illegal as well. 

If you’re still unsure of the dos and don’ts of bringing your vape on a plane, check the TSA website or ask a TSA agent for assistance. They’ll be happy to help answer any questions you may have.

Article updated:
January 5, 2024

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