Video footage shows a man lighting a cigarette and smoking it during a flight. What are the rules regarding smoking on an airplane?

Viral Video

It was on May 21 when a passenger on a Spirit Airlines flight to Minneapolis, Minnesota filmed a co-passenger smoking. In the video, a man in khaki shorts and a dark shirt can be seen lighting up the cigarette and casually smoking it before appearing to fall asleep.

On the other side of the man, another passenger can be seen calling a flight attendant who then woke the man up to inform him that what he was doing was illegal. He appeared to be shocked, and the flight attendant asked to see his boarding pass.

Even before they boarded, the passenger who filmed the smoking incident had noticed that the man appeared to be intoxicated. According to her, the man had outbursts throughout the flight, laying across two seats and aggressively flipping the tray open and shut.

It is unclear whether the man was charged for the offense, but he was escorted out by airport police as soon as the airplane landed.

Smoking Ban On Airplanes

According to The Federal Aviation Administration, smoking is prohibited on scheduled flights, whether it is an interstate, intrastate, or foreign passenger air transport. The smoking ban covers all parts of the aircraft including the flight deck, and applies to individual passengers as well as the crew.

It is applied from the moment that the aircraft begins enplaning passengers, until all the passengers have deplaned at the end of the trip. By 2016, the ban also covers the use of e-cigarettes on all flights where smoking is banned.

If a passenger is caught smoking on a flight, the action to be taken depends on the passenger’s course of action. For example, a passenger may be unaware of the ban or lights a cigarette as a reflex action. If he or she immediately stops, puts the cigarette out, and does not light another one during the duration of the flight, no further course of action will be taken.

However, if a passenger refuses to put it out even after being told about the ban, that is that time when further action will be taken.

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