Off topic: Why airplane bathrooms still have ashtrays

no smoking

So why do airplanes stil have ashtrays in the bathroom?

Here’s a little history for you.  It’s been nearly 12 years since cigarette smoking was fully banned on all flights operated by U.S. airlines, and more than 22 years since it was banned on most domestic flights:

1979: Cigars and Pipes banned on aircraft
1988: Smoking banned on US Domestic flights under 2 hours
1990: Smoking banned on US Domestic flights under 6 hours
1998: Smoking banned on all US Domestic flights
2000: Federal law introduced banning smoking on all flights by US airlines.

I’ve noticed that even American’s new 737s still have an ashtray in the bathroom, and though I’ve often wondered the reason, I’ve never bothered to track down the answer.

Fortunately, Matt Simmons, of the always interesting Standalone Sysadmin blog, has the explanation.


I’m out on the road today so just a short post to announce the winner of my 2,000 AAdvantage Miles weekend giveaway and to point you to an interesting read.

Reader Giveaway

Last Friday I asked readers to share the name of the person they’d take to Tokyo if they won the @AmericanAir Tokyo Luxury Trip Pinterest contest.  Clay was reader with the 57th comment and the winner of the 2,000 AAdvantage Miles.  He said that if he won the Tokyo trip he’d take his mother.

Random Drawing for Blog Contest

No word yet on the winner of the AA contest, but hopefully Clay will be able to use the miles to take his mom someplace fun.

Thanks to American Airlines for providing the miles. I’ll have another giveaway this Friday (more AAdvantage miles and some airplane shaped paper clips in a cool AAdvantage logo tin)!

And thanks also to everyone that participated and congratulations to Clay!

Photo: no smoking
Credit: Martin Abegglen on Flickr


  1. Thank you! I love the information you provide. With that information, I am sure I will be able to make good use of these 2000 miles.

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