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What Happens If You Put a Vape in Checked Luggage: Everything You Should Know

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the critical aspects of traveling with vapes, particularly focusing on the consequences and regulations surrounding placing vapes in checked luggage. As vaping devices and e-cigarettes have become increasingly popular, understanding the nuances of airline policies and safety concerns is essential for every traveler. We explore the specific guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the varying international regulations. The guide addresses the potential risks associated with storing vapes in checked baggage, including the hazards posed by lithium-ion batteries and the possibility of theft or damage during transit. To aid travelers, we offer alternative solutions and best practices for securely and lawfully transporting vapes on planes. This guide is an indispensable resource for ensuring a safe and smooth travel experience with vaping devices.

Understanding Airport Security Regulations for Vapes

Learn What Happens If You Put a Vape in Checked Luggage in this video.

1. Overview of TSA Guidelines on Vaping Devices

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency responsible for ensuring the safety of airline travel, has set forth specific guidelines concerning the transport of electronic smoking devices on aircraft. These devices, which include vapes, e-cigarettes, and related products, are subject to stringent rules primarily due to the inherent risks associated with their batteries.

Under TSA regulations, passengers are generally permitted to carry such devices in their carry-on bags. This allowance is made with the understanding that the close proximity of these items to the passenger and the cabin crew ensures quick response in case of any malfunction or emergency. It’s crucial for passengers to declare these items during the security screening process, ensuring compliance with TSA guidelines.

The prohibition of vapes in checked luggage is primarily due to safety concerns surrounding their lithium-ion batteries. These batteries, while generally safe, have the potential to overheat and, in rare cases, catch fire or explode. Such incidents in the cargo hold of an aircraft, where immediate intervention is not possible, can pose severe risks to flight safety. In the enclosed space of an aircraft, even a small fire can have catastrophic consequences.

To mitigate these risks, the TSA advises travelers to always remove batteries from their vaping devices when possible and to carry them separately in carry-on luggage. They also recommend using battery cases to prevent short circuits, which can occur when the metal parts of loose batteries come into contact with other metal objects like coins or keys.

These guidelines are part of the TSA’s broader efforts to ensure the safety of air travel while accommodating the needs of passengers who use electronic smoking devices. By following these rules, travelers can contribute to a safer flying experience for themselves and others, while also avoiding potential delays or legal complications during their journey.

2. International Variations in Vape Transport Rules

The regulations regarding the transportation of vaping devices can vary significantly across different countries and airlines, making it vital for travelers to be well-informed about these differences to ensure a hassle-free journey. While the TSA provides guidelines for flights within and departing from the United States, international regulations can diverge considerably.

Different countries may have specific rules based on their own safety assessments and legal frameworks. For instance, some countries might have more stringent regulations, completely banning vapes on flights, while others might allow them with certain restrictions. This variance can extend not only to the devices themselves but also to the e-liquids and associated accessories.

Airlines, too, often have their own set of policies that may be more restrictive than the regulations of the departure or arrival countries. These policies are usually outlined in the airline’s conditions of carriage and can vary widely. Some airlines might allow vapes in carry-on luggage but not in checked bags, similar to TSA guidelines, while others might have additional restrictions on the quantity or type of device allowed.

It’s also important to consider layovers and transits when traveling internationally. The regulations of the transit country can affect what is permissible on board, even if the passenger does not leave the airport. Thus, when planning a trip involving multiple destinations or airlines, it’s crucial to research and understand the regulations of each sector.

To ensure compliance, travelers should check the official websites of the aviation authorities of both the departing and arriving countries, as well as the specific airline’s policies, prior to travel. In some cases, it might also be helpful to contact the airline directly for clarification. Being aware of and adhering to these varying regulations not only helps in avoiding legal issues but also ensures the safety and comfort of all passengers on board.

The Risks of Placing Vapes in Checked Luggage

1. Battery Hazards: Exploding Lithium-ion Concerns

Lithium-ion batteries, which power most vaping devices, are known for their efficiency and capacity, but they also pose significant risks under certain conditions. The primary concern with these batteries, especially when placed in checked luggage, is their potential to catch fire or explode. This risk is amplified due to the nature of air travel, where changes in air pressure and temperature are common.

In the confined space of an aircraft’s cargo hold, a malfunctioning battery can lead to a thermal runaway – a situation where an increase in temperature causes progressively hotter conditions, potentially leading to an explosion or fire. This is especially dangerous in an aircraft, where such an incident could be catastrophic. The risk is further heightened by the fact that cargo holds, although equipped with fire suppression systems, might not be as immediately accessible during flight for emergency interventions compared to the cabin.

Several incidents in the past involving lithium-ion batteries in other devices have led to stricter regulations and awareness about their potential danger. As a result, airlines and regulatory bodies worldwide have established strict guidelines for transporting these batteries to minimize the risk of accidents.

2. Theft and Damage: The Vulnerability of Electronic Devices

Apart from the safety concerns posed by lithium-ion batteries, placing vapes in checked luggage exposes them to risks of theft and damage. The process of baggage handling involves multiple stages, during which luggage is often subjected to rough treatment. Vaping devices, with their intricate electronic components, are particularly susceptible to damage from such handling.

Moreover, the lack of supervision over checked luggage during transit makes electronic devices like vapes prime targets for theft. Unlike carry-on baggage, checked luggage is often out of the owner’s sight for extended periods, increasing the risk of theft. This risk is compounded in the case of expensive or high-end vaping devices, which can be quite valuable.

Given these risks, travelers are advised to carry their vaping devices and batteries in their carry-on luggage, where they can maintain control and supervision over them. Additionally, this allows for immediate action in the unlikely event of a battery malfunction, ensuring the safety of the device, the owner, and fellow passengers.

Alternative Solutions for Traveling with Vapes

1. Best Practices for Carrying Vapes on Planes

  • Hand Luggage Carriage: The safest and most recommended way to travel with vape devices is to carry them in your hand luggage. This allows for constant supervision and easy access in case any issues arise during the flight.
  • Battery Safety: Ensure that all batteries are removed from the vaping devices if possible. If the batteries are built-in, turn off the device to prevent accidental activation. Store the batteries in a battery case to prevent short circuits.
  • Leak Prevention: To prevent leakage due to changes in cabin pressure, it’s advisable to either empty the e-liquid from the device or store it in a clear, sealable plastic bag.
  • Quantity Limits: Be aware of the liquid limits for carry-on luggage. E-liquids should be stored in containers of 100ml or less and fit within a single quart-sized bag.
  • Quick Access for Security: Pack your vaping devices in a way that they can be easily removed for security screening. Keeping them in an easily accessible part of your carry-on bag can expedite the process.

2. Secure and Compliant Packing Tips for Vape Devices

  • Original Packaging or Specialized Cases: Using the original packaging or a specialized carrying case for your vaping device not only offers optimal protection against physical damage but also demonstrates a commitment to safety and compliance with airline regulations.
  • Organizing Components: Keep all parts of the vape kit (like coils, tanks, mods) organized and securely stored in your carry-on. This not only prevents damage but also makes it easier to show to security personnel if needed.
  • Documentation: If available, carry any documentation that came with your vaping device. This might include manuals or compliance certificates which can be useful if questioned by airport security or airline staff.
  • Avoiding Misunderstandings: Given the various shapes and sizes of vaping devices, some might be mistaken for prohibited items. Being transparent and ready to explain your device to security can help avoid misunderstandings.


Traveling with vapes requires awareness and adherence to various regulations and guidelines. By understanding and following the rules set by airport security and airlines, travelers can ensure a safe and hassle-free journey with their vaping devices.


1. Can I bring my vape on a plane?

Yes, you can bring your vape on a plane, but it must be carried in your hand luggage. Due to safety concerns associated with lithium-ion batteries, vapes are not allowed in checked luggage. Remember to follow liquid limits for any e-liquids and be prepared to show your device at security checkpoints.

2. How should I pack my vape batteries for air travel?

Vape batteries should be removed from the device, if possible, and carried in your hand luggage. Use a battery case to prevent short circuits. If your device has built-in batteries, ensure it is completely turned off before boarding. Do not charge your vape on the plane.

3. Are there any restrictions on carrying e-liquids in my carry-on?

Yes, e-liquids are subject to the same regulations as other liquids in your carry-on. They should be in containers of no more than 100ml each and all containers must fit comfortably in a single, clear, quart-sized, zip-top bag. This bag must be presented separately at security checkpoints.

4. Can I use my vape during the flight?

No, using vapes or any electronic smoking devices on a plane is strictly prohibited. This includes all areas of the aircraft, both in-flight and while on the ground. Violating this rule can lead to legal penalties and potentially being banned from the airline.

5. Will different countries have different regulations for traveling with vapes?

Yes, regulations on vapes can vary by country. It’s important to check the rules of both the departure and arrival countries, as well as any countries you may transit through. Additionally, individual airlines may have their own policies, so it’s advisable to check with your airline before traveling.

If you want to know more, please refer to the following article:

Vape Breaker Team

A professional team of 7 e-cigarette enthusiasts from all over the world. We are committed to providing e-cigarette users around the world with the most professional e-cigarette reviews, the latest information, and the most comprehensive guides, etc.

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