Smoke-free flying suddenly looks a lot more real. Beginning today, Delta Air Lines will be the first U.S. airline to ban smoking on all flights.
On the heels of Delta’s announcement in November, six other U.S. airlines and two foreign lines moved toward banning smoking on trans-Atlantic flights, petitioning the Department of Transportation to be exempted from antitrust prosecution if they jointly agreed to do this.
And, on March 1, an agreement by the United States, Australia and Canada will take effect, banning smoking on all scheduled nonstop flights between the countries.
The three-government agreement, unlike the 1990 U.S. regulation banning passenger smoking on domestic flights, forbids smoking by crew members in the cockpit.
Because of this, and because the agreement affects long flights over the Pacific, an enforcement expert at the Department of Transportation said the pact represented a key step toward the United Nations goal of eliminating airline smoking by July 1, 1996.