Air passengers are being urged not to pack e-cigarettes in their checked baggage.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued a directive to airlines advising them to ensure passengers don’t pack e-cigarettes in the hold baggage, due to a potential fire risk.
The FAA said the notice followed information from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) that “several incidents” had occurred with regards to e-cigarettes in aircraft baggage holds, including at least one that resulted in a fire.
“In several incidents both inside and outside the transportation industry, e-cigarettes have overheated or caught fire when the heating element was accidentally activated,” the FAA said.
“Last August, an e-cigarette in checked baggage stowed in an airliner’s cargo hold caused a fire that forced an evacuation of the aircraft. The danger may be increased when users modify and rebuild their reusable e-cigarette devices and interchange original and aftermarket batteries, heating elements, and vaporizing components,” it added.
Airlines are now being advised to tell passengers that e-cigarettes and related devices can only be transported in aircraft cabins, “where overheating or fire can be observed and handled more quickly”.
The FAA already bans flammables liquids from being transported in checked baggage.