Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Smoke 'Em If Ya Got 'Em

As I settled into my seat on Sunday evening for the short EasyJet hop over to London, the series of usual announcements blurred with other ambient noises of an aircraft in pre-flight preparation. I took pause at one: "We'd like to remind you that this is a non-smoking flight." Sure, of course it is. But that led me to wonder, are there any flights in this world nowadays which actually do permit smoking? I certainly haven't been on one, but then, I also haven't ever flown with some backwoods airline that still flies DC-3s on some domestic flight in Nepal. Or business class in southeast Asia, for that matter.

A query of "smoking airline" on The Google returned this prospective airline, Smoker's International Airline (Smintair), the brainchild of — you guessed it — a German businessman. As the name would suggest, their flights would not only allow for but cater to the needs of a smoking clientele — but, according to this CNN article, non-smokers would also be encouraged to fly. Ha. But why stop there? From the same article, quoting the company website: "Non-smokers will find the cabin air more refreshing than on any other flight with any other airline, as Smintair adds fresh outside air to the conditioning system."


As I sit outside at a sidewalk cafe on Islington High Street, inhaling the fumes from the jerk-off puffing away next to me, I think, man, you guys are really stretching. I got something for you to put in your pipe and smoke...

A spokesman from anti-smoking group ASH had this to say about the airline: "Hopefully it will hit the ground faster than a flightless turkey." Seeing as how the article dates from August 1, 2006, and here we are in February of 2008 with no Smintair flights crossing the skies, I'd say he was right.

But the initial question lingers... If I wanted to throw in the towel, start smoking again, and fly around the world with a butt depending incessantly from my lower lip, could I really live the fantasy!? Here is where the differentiation between "reporter" and "casual blogger" presents itself. The answer? I think I could, but I'd have to spend all of my time on flights that had absolutely nothing to do with the US of A, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Probably most of Western Europe too. Fair nuff, that still leaves a whole lot of interesting places to cover. I'm having a hard time dredging up current information, but each of these pages (page 1, page 2) from 2003 provide tables which show, by airline and region, where you can smoke and where you can't. I would assume that at least a few of those smoking-friendly flights are still around five years later, but the answer remains inconclusive. I'll see if I can find anything slightly more determinate; feel free to comment if you have any leads.


Blogger Ben said...

Maybe you can't smoke tobacco on a plane, but did anyone say you can't chew?? I think I see a loophole dribbling down your chin!

9:34 AM  
Blogger David said...

Yah, and I bet you can EAT it too... yumm.

6:41 AM  

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