Man allegedly tries to sneak e-cigarette on plane, sets off smoke alarm in bathroom

A passenger on an airplane found out the hard way that e-cigarettes can still set off smoke alarms.

The man reportedly triggered the smoke detector on a Spirit Airlines flight while trying to use his e-cigarette in the plane’s bathroom. He had reportedly been caught trying to use the device in the main cabin only moments before.

The passenger was reportedly caught trying to use the device in his seat and exhale into a bag.
(The passenger was reportedly caught trying to use the device in his seat and exhale into a bag.)

The incident occurred on a flight from Detroit to New Orleans, Fox 12 reports. According to an attendant on the flight, the passenger used the e-cigarette in his seat and attempted to exhale into a bag. She confronted the man and told him he was not allowed to use the device on the plane.

A few moments later, he reportedly got up and went into the plane’s bathroom. While he was still in the lavatory, the plane’s smoke alarm activated.

It is possible to set off a smoke detector with an e-cigarette in certain circumstances.

E-cigarettes and other similar devices are unlikely to trigger a smoke alarm but can activate one if the vapor is blown into it, especially in a small, enclosed space like an airplane bathroom.

The pilot was forced to descend to 35,000 feet to deactivate the alarm, reports. When the plane landed at Louis Armstrong International Airport, a deputy sheriff was waiting. According to him, the passenger smelled of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated. Another passenger on the flight claimed that the man had been sneaking drinks from “several bottles of alcohol” that he had been “hiding under his jacket.”


The passenger was not arrested when the plane landed, FOX 12 reports. He reportedly denied smoking in the bathroom and claimed that he was unaware that it wasn't allowed on planes. Spirit Airlines apparently had a harsher response, however, and banned him from the airline for life.


Spirit Airlines did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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