Traveling with electronic cigarettes? Here's what you should know

Be careful when flying with c-cigarettes. Photo: www.ecigclick.co.uk./Flickr/Creative Commons

Be careful when flying with c-cigarettes. Photo: www.ecigclick.co.uk./Flickr/Creative Commons

Do you travel with electronic cigarettes? If you do, U.S airlines warn you to be careful about how you pack them. 

In a recent blog post, Southwest Airlines told customers not to pack e-cigarettes in checked baggage. "E-cigarettes are designed to operate by creating heat, and if the power source is not guarded, it could cause it to inadvertently ignite causing a fire," Southwest said.  The FAA warned airlines of the danger back in January, not long after a checked bag on the ground at LAX caught fire, according to USA Today.  There was also an incident in April with a US Airways Express fought operated by Air Wisconsin.

According to the post, Southwest has seen an increase this year in "events and incidents involving ... lithium batteries."

Here is Southwest's policy for all lithium batteries:

  • The battery can remain installed but must be placed in carryon baggage or carried on your person only. The item cannot be used onboard the aircraft.
  • Spare batteries must be protected from short circuit and carried in carryon baggage or on your person only.