Why Airplanes Still Have Ashtrays in the Bathrooms?
Smoking has been made illegal on most flights throughout the world for decades, so why do they still accommodate for smokers? Well, it turns out airlines just don’t trust you. Plane toilets still have ashtrays for fear that a smoker will nip to the loo for a cheeky cigarette and then throw the butt in the bin, starting a fire.
And this isn’t just a bureaucratic box to tick – a British Airways flight destined for Mexico City was grounded in 2009 after it was discovered that there was no ashtray onboard.
Following this incident a BA spokesperson told MailOnline that ‘if someone were to light a cigarette on board there must be somewhere to safely extinguish it’. The ban on smoking on planes didn’t just come in for hygiene reasons either.
An onboard fire which caused a plane to crash in 1973, leading to the deaths of 123 people, was suspected to have been started by a cigarette. The cabin of the Varig plane, which was travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, quickly filled up with smoke, obscuring instruments and forcing the pilots to perform an emergency crash landing.