You’ve packed your suntan lotion, sandals and at least three books ready for your time on the beach. Or maybe you simply need a laptop, work attire and your thinking cap on for a reluctant business trip. Packing and getting ready for a flight can be stressful. But what about your vape juice? Is this even allowed on board your flight? With so many restrictions at not just UK airports but international ones too, the laws and etiquette surrounding vaping and whether you can take e-liquid on a plane is a delicate situation.
While you might think vaping e-cigarettes are safer than smoking (and you’re right on this front), based on no tobacco or combustion, different laws apply in the sky. We will cover whether you can take your e-cigarette on the plane in a future blog, but for now, let’s investigate everything about your vape juice. Is it safe to take this on a plane? How do the restrictions differ between airlines, or is there a general rule throughout the UK? Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, after all, so let’s investigate before you reach airport security.
What’s the General Rule About Taking E-Liquid on a Plane?
First of all, congratulations on two things - not only are you vaping, which is much better for your health than inhaling tobacco into your lungs, but you’re also considering a trip to a foreign land. Getting those air miles is great fun but equally important is ensuring you adhere to the UK and international laws.
Rest assured e-liquid is allowed on a plane. Typically, whether it’s a bottle of your favourite perfume or deodorant, the maximum you can carry on a flight is 100ml. Therefore, the same applies to your favourite e-liquids. Bear in mind you cannot under any circumstance vape e-liquids during the flight. Vaping is banned on any flight from any airline. If vapers want to inhale their vape juice while waiting to board, they need to go to a designated smoking area, away from passengers inside the airport. Vaping and smoking always get compared, although we know one is much healthier than the other.
Whatever e-juice you like to top up in your device, whether that’s a fruity shortfill high in VG for your Sub-Ohm device, or a simple e-liquid high in PG for minimal clouds, follow standard procedure.That means getting your bottles (remember you can take more than one in your carry on luggage providing it’s under 100ml) and popping them in a clear plastic bag. Bear in mind it’s one bag per handheld luggage, which must not measure more than one litre in total. Your e-liquid must be included in this weight, along with any other liquid necessities such as cosmetic products.
Another important rule to remember when boarding the flight, which is just good practice more than enforced - only keep the e-liquid in their original bottles! When at high altitudes, e-liquids can leak due to the pressure. Therefore, if you use pre-filled pods or e-liquids you top up yourself, it’s best to keep them stored in the bottle and leave nothing in your tank.That includes not just the e-liquids but your toothpaste, perfumes or any other liquids you wish to carry on, so choose wisely. In terms of dimensions, each bag must measure 20cm x 20cm. Generally, most people take the e-liquid as carry on because it’s easier to locate and scan at airport security when you check in. However, always ensure they are packed securely to avoid any spills inside your hand luggage during the flight from the UK or upon return.
How Much Liquid Can You Put in Checked Luggage
While each UK-based airline has to adhere to government regulations, they compete for your business and may have specific guidelines to stand out in a crowd. For instance, Ryanair might not necessarily have the same rules in place as Jet2. Before your flight, it’s always best to read their guidelines carefully, as policies continually change. You can find the key restrictions and permissions from each major UK airline listed below alphabetically, which is correct at the time of writing. The links provided will take you to the airlines' relevant page for further details should you require more information before booking.
British Airways: E-liquids are allowed on board the flight, but the website states to always check as regulations may vary based on country or changed depending on whether you connect via multiple flights with other airlines. Also as a side note, check the hand baggage requirements carefully and the local regulations of the country you’re visiting as e-cigarettes may be banned.
Eastern Airways: Although you’re able to take your vape device onboard the flight and not in the check-in luggage, refills are not permitted. This means no vape e-liquids or refills at all, so that’s something to consider.
EasyJet: Standard UK rules set by the UK government apply for e-liquids on a flight with this airline. No more than 1000ml overall in your hand luggage and do not exceed 100ml per bottle, clearly packaged inside one secure transparent bag. For further details, read here.
Emirates: The website states even if you have a bigger bottle than 100ml but only partially fill, it will still be refused. Present the clear bag containing e-liquids ‘comfortably’ sealed for visual examination at the security checkpoint.
Jet2: You must adhere to the regulations of this airline if you wish to keep your vaping products, such as e-liquids. Simply pack up the vape juice of no more than one litre (again 100ml max bottle size) tightly and present to security before boarding. If there is any other information required, you can visit their site here for more details about e-liquid restrictions.
Ryanair: Your favourite e-liquids are also allowed on the plane with Ryanair. Just keep to the same restrictions set out by all other airlines in line with government laws. If it’s secure and in the correct bag with the right dimensions, it’s permitted. For more information, read here.
TUI Airways: Standard rules apply - items of 100ml maximum must be stored in a clear plastic bag, with a maximum size of 20cm x 20cm. Must be no more than one litre total, anymore will need to go in the check-in bag (if applicable). For further details, read here.
Virgin Atlantic Airways: Only 100ml bottles (x10) of the standard one-litre maximum allowed on board the flight. For any further information required about your vape juice restrictions, visit here.
Wizz Air:This airline states on their website and social channels that providing the bottles are maximum 100ml, not over one litre or flammable, they’re allowed on board the flight. For more information, read here.
What’s a Good Amount of Vape Juice to Take Onboard?
How much you take depends on the duration of your trip and the destination. For trips within the EU where Tobacco Products Directive (TPD) rules apply, a couple of 100ml bottles should be more than enough vape juice on a holiday or a short business trip. With pre-mixed e-liquids containing nicotine, 10ml is the maximum allowed because of rules enforced by the TPD regulations set in 2017.
For those that like to mix their own, the most popular size for shortfill bottles is 50ml. If you need to take more, stay on the safe side and add them to your check-in luggage if you’re taking a bigger suitcase.
If you’re going internationally outside EU compliance, you might want to take more of your e-liquid. It’s nice to already have a good idea of what you’re vaping instead of searching in local vape shops abroad where you might not speak the language or understand the quality of the product. Plus, always check the restrictions on carrying e-liquids with international airlines before flying with them.