October 26, 2015
Travelers will no longer be permitted to carry battery-powered portable electronic smoking devices such as e-cigarettes in checked baggage on flights, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Monday.
The rule also prohibits passengers from charging such devices and their batteries aboard aircraft.
Passengers may, however, continue to carry e-cigarettes for personal use in carry-on baggage or in their pockets but may not use them on flights.
"We know from recent incidents that e-cigarettes in checked bags can catch fire during transport," Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said in a statement. "Fire hazards in flight are particularly dangerous. Banning e-cigarettes from checked bags is a prudent safety measure."
The DOT cited two recent incidents in which e-cigarettes caused fires inside packed bags:
On August 9, 2014, at Boston’s Logan Airport, an e-cigarette in a passenger’s checked bag in the cargo hold of a passenger aircraft caused a fire that forced an evacuation of the aircraft. On January 4, 2015, at Los Angeles International Airport, a checked bag was found to be on fire in a baggage area. Emergency responders attributed the fire to an overheated e-cigarette.
The rule does not apply to other devices containing batteries for personal use, such as laptop computers, cell phones and cameras, the DOT said.