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Travel Tip: Why There are Still Ashtrays on Airplanes

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I was on a flight the other day and happened to look down at my armrest.

Much to my surprise, there was still an ashtray.

Smoking has been banned on U.S. airlines since 1990.

So why are there ashtrays?

They’re in place for the smokers who still violate the law.

The logic here is that the airline would rather you stub out your cigarette in the ashtray than try to hide it somewhere a fire could easily start.

That’s why you’ll still find ashtrays in some airline bathrooms, even though there are smoke detectors in the lavatories.

The irony is that the Federal Aviation Administration still legally requires airlines to have the ashtrays.

While it doesn’t encourage passengers to smoke (remember, it’s illegal), it doesn’t trust the willpower of passengers who smoke—not to smoke.

So there’s your explanation for the ashtrays.

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