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FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Section - [3-4] Smoke-Free Flights

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The December 1992 EPA report on the health effects of environmental
tobacco smoke (so-called "second-hand smoke"), underscoring the
independent assessments in 1986 by the US Surgeon General and the
National Research Council, concluded that environmental tobacco smoke
is a carcinogen with significant health risks for non-smokers. The
lung cancer risks to non-smokers from environmental tobacco smoke are
ten times greater than the cancer risks which would normally elicit a
reaction from the EPA. It is therefore unthinkable that any airline
would continue to condone smoking on any of its flights, and any
airline that permits smoking is opening itself up to future lawsuits
from non-smoking passengers and crew.

Most domestic flights in the US are smoke-free, due to FAA regulations
that restrict smoking on short flights (under 6 hours), including
virtually all flights in the continental US. (Many flights to Hawaii
are also smoke free, even though they last longer than 6 hours.) No US
carrier operates completely smoke-free trans-oceanic service, with the
exception of "experiments" (e.g., United on some SFO-SYD and JFK-LHR
flights). As more passengers complain about smoking to the airlines,
more flights will become smoke-free, especially new flights.

Under US law, you are entitled to a non-smoking seat on a US carrier,
even if it means shrinking the smoking section, provided you checked
in on time.

FAA rules prohibit smokers from smoking while standing. On flights
that permit smoking, the smokers must be seated in the smoking
section. Standing in the aisles while smoking is prohibited. This rule
applies to all US carriers and to all commercial flights within the USA.

Delta announced on August 24, 1994 that it will ban smoking on all 256
of its weekly trans-Atlantic flights starting January 1, 1995. A
survey of Delta's trans-Atlantic passengers found that the airline
would risk losing up to 7% of them due to the ban. The airline expects
to more than make up the difference through new passengers attracted
to the airline because of the smoke-free policy. The new policy will
also apply to Delta flights within Europe and flights from JFK to
Mexico.  Delta decided on November 14 to extend the ban to
trans-Pacific flights, making the carrier completely smoke-free.
Smoking also will not be allowed in Delta's airport clubs. Delta code-share
flights on other airlines may, however, continue to permit smoking.
Thus Delta is the only US airline to be smoke-free on all its domestic
and international routes.

Northwest Airlines has banned smoking in all US domestic flights since
1988, and in first-class cabins worldwide since January 1994.
Northwest will ban smoking on its non-stop flights from Seattle to
Hong Kong starting November 1994.

American Airlines has banned smoking on some, but not all flights from
New York and Chicago to London, as of October 1, 1994.

When United announced that international flights to London (from New
York) and the South Pacific (LA-Auckland) will be smoke-free, they got
such favorable response that they're now testing smoke-free service on
some, but not all, of the flights between London and San Francisco,
Los Angeles, and Washington (Dulles). As of October 30, 1994, United
flights from San Francisco to Sydney and Hong Kong are also smoke

Note that code-share flights operated by another airline may permit
smoking even when they carry a flight number of a smoke-free airline.
Air Canada, Air New Zealand, Canadian Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and China
Airlines all participate in code-shares with smoking carriers on some

The smoke status of other international carriers is as follows:

Air Canada: 		Flights between Canada and the USA and Europe
                        are all non-smoking. 

Air France:             Non-smoking because of a change in French law.

Air New Zealand: 	All flights to the USA and within New Zealand.
                        All flights to/from Australia and most flights
                        within the South Pacific.
                        Smoking is permitted on pool flights operated
                        by Qantas, of which there are many. 

Asiana:                 OZ is smoke-free on all its worldwide routes.
                        OZ flies between SEL and HNL, JFK, SFO, and
                        LAX, with onward connections from SEL to
                        Japan, China, and Southeast Asia.  OZ now has 
                        the only direct smoke-free flights to Asia
                        from New York and Honolulu, and offers the
                        best option for smoke-free travel from
                        anywhere in the U.S. to Japan (same-airport
                        connections in SEL are much simpler than
                        airport changes in Tokyo or Osaka for flights
                        to other japanese cities) and China. OZ may
                        raise prices as it gets better known, but for
                        now the service is great value for the price. 

British Airways:     	Riding the fence; no firm policies as yet.
                        There is a completely non-smoking SFO-LHR nonstop.
                        Complete smoking ban on all flights to
                        Australia and New Zealand.
                        Many European flights are non-smoking (71%
                        of domestic flights, 22% of international flights).
                        No smoking on flights within Europe of
                        duration less than 1.5 hours.

Canadian Airlines It'l: All flights to Euope, TPE, HKG, and BKK, and
 			pool flights YVR-HNL-AKL operated by either
			Canadian Airlines International or Air New
			Zealand. Smoking is permitted on the YVR-FRA 
			flight, and pressure from Japan forced smoking
			on flights to Japan (TYO and NGO). (The US
			seems to export lawyers and tobacco to Japan. :-) 

Cathay Pacific: 	Daily nonstop LAX-HKG is smoke-free as is all
			flights within Asia, and to Australia and New
			Zealand. New non-smoking flights between FRA
			and HKG. Smoking is allowed on flights to
			Europe, the Mideast, and Africa.
                        Cathay Pacific has announced its intention to
                        become a totally smoke-free airline, on all
                        its routes worldwide, by the end of 1995. 

China Airlines: 	SFO-TPE and all flights within Asia. Three weekly
			smoke-free nonstop flights LAX-TPE; smoking is
			permited on the daily afternoon departure from
			LAX to TPE, as well as all flights to HNL,
			NYC, and ANC. They also permit smoking on
			flights to Europe and Africa. Most inter-Asia
                        and many trans-Pacific flights are smoke-free.
                        Most CRS don't indicate which China Airlines
                        flights are smoke-free, so call the airline to
                        check specific flights. Domestic flights
                        within China (CAAC) are smoke-free.

Qantas:		     	Riding the fence; no firm policies as yet.
                        Smoking is banned on some flights to the South Pacific.

Singapore Airlines:	All SQ flights from SFO and LAX (SFO-HKG-SIN,
                        LAX-TPE-SIN, and LAX-NRT-SIN) are smoke-free 
			since 1-JUL-94. All flights to Europe and
                        North America will be smoke-free as of 30-OCT-94.
                        Only flights originating or terminating in Japan
                        will permit smoking.

                        (Singapore has banned tobacco advertisements
                        since 1970 and does not sell duty-free cigarettes
                        in the airport. Smoking is prohibited in all
                        public buildings and government offices,
                        buses, subways, and taxis.)

Virgin Atlantic:        All flights worldwide except flights to Tokyo
                        will be smoke-free as of May 1, 1995.

KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, Lufthansa, and Scandinavian Airlines Systems
(SAS) have reinstated smoking sections on some international flights
after trial bans. The stated reasons were economic.

The US House of Representatives Public Works and Transportation
aviation subcommittee voted on 31-AUG-94 to ban smoking on all
international flights that begin or end in the US. Only the US leg of a
multipart flight would be affected. All airlines would be affected,
including foreign airlines. Airline flight attendants who work
international routes are strongly supporting the measure. The bill
passed the full House on 5-OCT-94, and is now under consideration by
the Senate.

The International Civil Aviation Organization has urged all carriers
to ban smoking by July 1, 1996. Toward that goal, the Unites States,
Canada, and Australia signed an agreement on 1-NOV-94 banning smoking
on all commercial flights between their countries. Only applies to
flights operated by US, Canadian, and Australian airlines, and takes
effect in 120 days.

The New York Times reported on 13-DEC-94 that a Miami judge has ruled
that airline flight attendants can sue tobacco companies for
smoking-related problems caused by environmental tobacco smoke. This
is the first class-action suit concerned with second-hand smoke. The
suit is seeking over $1 billion in damages on behalf of the up to
60,000 current and former flight attendants affected by environmental
tobacco smoke.

If you have a condition which is affected by smoke, such as asthma,
allergy to tobacco smoke, etc., be sure to mention this to a flight
attendant, especially if you wind up "by accident" in the smoking section.

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Top Document: FAQ: Air Traveler's Handbook 3/4 [Monthly posting]
Previous Document: [3-3] Air Quality
Next Document: [3-4a] Air Pressure Problems (Colds)

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