- A 30-year-old man from St. Petersburg, Florida, vaped at his seat and exhaled into a bag during a Spirit Airlines flight, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and CNN reported.
- A flight attendant saw and told him off, then later saw him going into the bathroom, the outlets said.
- A smoke alarm then went off, and the pilot had to descend the plane to switch it off, the Times-Picayune reported.
- The man was not arrested but has been banned from taking all Spirit Airlines flights for life, the New Orleans newspaper said.
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A 30-year-old man has been banned from taking Spirit Airlines flights for life after he took a drag from his vape, exhaled into a bag, went into the plane bathroom, and set off the smoke alarm during a journey last week, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and CNN reported.
The unnamed passenger, from St. Petersburg, Florida, had been travelling from Detroit to New Orleans last Tuesday on Flight NK 985.
A flight attendant saw the man take a drag from his e-cigarette at his seat and exhale into a bag, the Times-Picayune and CNN reported, both citing the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office.
The attendant told the passenger that smoking wasn’t allowed on flights, the reports said, but later saw him going toward the bathroom. It’s not entirely clear if he took the bag or the vape pen with him.
After the man went to the bathroom, the plane’s smoke alarm went off in the cockpit, the Sheriff’s Office told the Times-Picayune. The pilots then had to descend to 35,000 feet to turn off the alarm, the newspaper reported.
In-flight smoking – including from e-cigarettes – is banned by the vast majority of airlines around the world.
The two-hour flight was not ultimately delayed, according to plane-tracking site FlightRadar24.
Another passenger told a flight attendant that the man had been “hiding under his jacket” and drinking from several bottles of alcohol he had brought on board, CNN and the Times-Picayune reported.
Passengers are not allowed to drink any alcoholic beverage on any flight unless it was served by the airline, according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules.
A law-enforcement official met the unruly passenger after the plane landed at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong airport, the Times-Picayune and CNN said, citing the sheriff’s office.
The deputy who met the man said he was “highly intoxicated,” according to the Times-Picayune.
The man reportedly said he didn’t know smoking was forbidden on flights, and denied smoking in the bathroom. He did not get arrested, the Times-Picayune said.
Spirit Airlines has since banned him from its planes for life, CNN and Times-Picayune reported. Business Insider has contacted Spirit Airlines for comment.
Last summer China revoked the piloting licenses of two Air China pilots after one of them smoked an e-cigarette in the cockpit and caused the plane to drop more than 22,000 feet due to the sudden loss of cabin pressure, Business Insider’s Benjamin Zhang reported.
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