View Full Version : Wanna smoke in the toilets? Come to Italy! It's cheap!

20th Oct 2001, 21:10
Judges in Italy have sentenced that smoking in airplane toilets is an offence punishable only with a fine from 50K Lira (16$) to 300K (100), the same kind of offence as smoking in a restaurant or an hospital. They say that smoking in toilets is not dangerous, and answering to one of the pilot's unions, challenges them to demonstrate otherwise.
So, let's wait for an air disaster. It's gonna be the pilot's fault anyway...

20th Oct 2001, 21:42
Random naked flames in airborne aircraft controlled by SLF....perfectly safe, surely...!?



20th Oct 2001, 22:41
IThink, this doesn't only regard Alitalia, but ALL airlines flying to Italy! If a pax smokes on one of your flights to Italy, no more police at the gate! Just a fine and and an evil eye!

Deep Cover Gecko
21st Oct 2001, 00:17
flyblue, I was under the impression that if a pax was found smoking on my aircraft (English registered), then they would face prosecution under English law, rather than the country in which the offence took place. I thought that this was because - simply put - an English registered aircraft was a little bit of England flying around.

21st Oct 2001, 00:25
Have a look at this months Loaded Magazine. A friend of mine (I'd never read it myself ;) ) showed me an article on pg 105 about smoking, and included a guide on how to smoke on board an aircraft without being detected. Basically it involved cling wrap and a mentally retarded mindset.
I was annoyed enough to email the ******s a complaint.
Maybe you should too.

21st Oct 2001, 00:38
Dont despair yet! The above mentioned decision is recent and is likely to be reviewed rather than setting an unfortunate legal precedent. It is admittedly an unwelcome impediment to curtailing the Italian passenger propensity to smoke when airborne.However, my Milan based company has vigorously addressed the problem and we even have a three level disciplinary procedure for chastising offenders! All is far from lost.

21st Oct 2001, 00:57
Deep Cover Gecko,
you might be right, but let's don't discuss about legislation. Just think that by the time you arrive at an italian airport, what are you gonna do if the Police will not come to the Aircraft (as they said! they said they will not come again in those cases).
What is the Captain supposed to do? Put a ticket on the windshield?

21st Oct 2001, 04:56
Maybe they should be shown the video of the Air Canada DC-9 , - of what a fire in the toilet can REALLY do. :eek:

This summer we had a plane land in FCO with a passenger that had freaked out, spat at, and deeply bitten the crew punching and kicking at all on board - a real threat to
aircraft safety , and having requested police meet the aircraft on arrival . . . .

Well the police met the aircraft , took one look at the pax concerned, laughed and got off..


Only when the CSD shouted and screamed at the groundcrew was the slightest bit of action taken.

Makes you wonder about pan-EU legislation and its implementation . . .. . :(

21st Oct 2001, 17:23
So the judge asked for evidence in support of the alleged danger.
This is an international disgrace.
What's evidence got to do with it?
I can only think he was puzzled by the allegation becuase he was old enough to remember that aircraft flew for years SLF in charge of naked flames, and things only changed when the more militant non-smokers got the rules changed.
A non-militant, non-smoker.

21st Oct 2001, 21:00
Maybe they should be shown the video of the Air Canada DC-9 , - of what a fire in the toilet can REALLY do.
The misconception concerning this accident crops up regularly, although I'm surprised it would do so again on such an erudite board as PPRuNe.
The fire was not in the toilet.
The cause was not cigarette smoking.
See either http://www.ntsb.gov/NTSB/brief.asp?ev_id=20001214X43285&key=1 or http://aviation-safety.net/database/1983/830602-1.htm for the facts. Assuming you care.

21st Oct 2001, 21:23
Thanx for link Tiger.
Often use that case in our safety briefing, to impress upon all of us that communicating the facts to the cockpit crew is just as important as actual fire-fighting.
Usually follow that with a short discussion on differences in communication style & use of language between cockpit and cabin crew.

Mars & Venus type of stuff; never read the book but have noticed the fact that we, especially under stress, tend to communicate less well than we think we do.

21st Oct 2001, 21:37
My money goes on: walk down the back, carrying a fire extinguisher. If the passenger does not put the thing out, hose him down, as you are dealing with an in-flight fire according to your ops manual. Sort that one out, judge.

22nd Oct 2001, 00:10
Really gotta laught at the self rightouesness of " the absurdity of SLF's being in charge of uncontrolled flames " when airlines allow the same SLF's to take on board as hand baggage tens of gallons of highly inflammable liquid and some of whom will sell you the self same inflammable fuel in your seat. Anybody know..... the flash point of Alcohol
.......was it ever brought up at the Manchester enquiry. Get real . Rules are rules OK.......but get them into perspective. If you break the rules take the consequences but don't get supercilious when others refuse your logic .

22nd Oct 2001, 02:11
Point taken paper tiger - I was well aware this was caused by a faulty flush unit that burn't out , nevertheless it demonstrates how dangerous a fire in this part of the A/C can be .

Squawk 8888
22nd Oct 2001, 04:46
In-flight fires may be a nightmare, but I've never heard of an airline disaster caused by careless smoking, MOF the smoking ban has probably increased the risk of such an occurrence as SLF try to sneak one and don't have access to an ashtray. Not to mention the fact that every fatal fire in my hometown that is attributed to smoking also involved alcohol- the key here is not the smoking part, it's the carelessness.

Hoverman, it may be true that the militant non-smokers won the day but it wouldn't have happened without the huge bribe to the airlines in the form of dangerously reduced cabin ventilation standards. The air quality on board airliners now is actually worse than it was when smoking was allowed.

22nd Oct 2001, 05:17
Not sure about continuing to participate as this discussion will doubtless degenerate into another rather tiresome display of polarised intransigence.

But... For the sake of balance, there are two (at least) crashes still unexplained except as a 'cabin fire of unknown origin'. United Viscount 9/64 Tennessee and Varig 707 11/73 Orly. Smoking has been suggested as the cause of one or both, but never demonstrated satisfactorily. Unless someone knows better.

Agree about cabin air BTW. You can't see stale air, you could see cigarette smoke making its removal a necessity.

Edited to add the word 'cabin'

[ 22 October 2001: Message edited by: PaperTiger ]

Squawk 8888
22nd Oct 2001, 05:34
Got me there Tiger, though I did say I never heard of such an incident, not that such an incident never. I'm man enough to admit that I don't quite know everything :D Still, given the rarity of such occurrences I think the safety people have bigger fish to fry.

You can't see stale air, you could see cigarette smoke making its removal a necessity.You've hit the nail on the head there- the smoking ban was all about optics. No different from the passenger screening that goes on in airports- it does nothing for our well-being but makes everybody believe that something is being done.

Hew Jampton
22nd Oct 2001, 19:28
As I recall, the report into the Varig 707 crash in northern France (all on board killed) gave the most probable cause as a fire in a lavatory compartment caused by smoking.

22nd Oct 2001, 19:47
Having recently lived in Italy and flown for an Itlaian carrier, this kind of nonsense does not surprise me.
The Italain Captain's after being told by cabin staff that a passenger was smoking, did nothing.
I found one fundamental element missing from most Italian Captain's with whom I was associated, backbone :eek:


1 forward gear, 10 reverse.

22nd Oct 2001, 22:34
I may be alone in this, but I don't criticise the Captain.
Perhaps he took the viewthat he had more important things to do than deal with this trivial matter. Sure it's against the rules, but no more. IMHO it's the rule which might cause danger because instead of smoking in the seats which used to be allowed, pax might be tempted to go off to the lats for a quick fag.
Smoking on board may cause discomfort to other pax, but it does not in my view endanger the a/c. People did it for years without problem.

I'm not Italian, and gave up smoking when I was 21, many many years ago!

[ 22 October 2001: Message edited by: virgin ]

22nd Oct 2001, 23:06
Back in June, I travelled on one of VS's new 744s (ex AZ - but many internal signs in Italian). I went into one of the downstairs toilets (on the right, nearest the stairway) AND - believe it or not - there was what looked to me very much like an ashtray.

DON'T FLAME ME - someone from VS take a look and tell me I'm wrong.

(ps - 440+ pax on the flight and service was still so far ahead of anyone else it was unreal!)

Ranger One
23rd Oct 2001, 00:40
akerosid, you're not wrong - I've flown in many aircraft with many carriers (inc. VS)which still have 'legacy' ashtrays in the lavs. I'm surprised this hasn't come up in defence submissions in lav-smoking prosecutions: 'but your honour, there was a servicable ashtray there, with a picture of a burning fag on it, so I thought I could smoke, I didn't notice the 'no smoking' sign...'. Seems as long as the things aren't plated over there's at least a chance of getting off on a technicality.

R1 (not a VS person BTW - I've only been SLF with them.)

23rd Oct 2001, 01:11
Maybe marketing departments could come up with a way to lure now precious customers back by providing smoker-friendly facilities on board. Make one of the aft lavs a smoking loge with jet pumps whisking away the smoke. We might even generate extra revenue by implementing a smoking access surcharge. We've made smokers endure long-haul deprivation long enough with no credible safety justification, and no effort to provide for their comfort. The anti-smoking juggernaut is an infringement on freedom.

Semaphore Sam
23rd Oct 2001, 01:56
Hi, BenThere
I'm remembering being in the aft end of SP's on 12 hour smoking flights; 1 pack shut down to save fuel...the 'air' was blue; people gagging hour after hour. No wonder things swung too much the other way. A little 'give' back then might have induced 'give' now, but, then, that's not human nature. When you have the hammer, Blast Away!...When the worm turns, beg for compromise. And, when it doesn't happen, wonder why. Should've happened before, should happen now. But, it won't.

23rd Oct 2001, 02:48
Many moons ago, when BA operated "some smoking and some not" flights across the Atlantic, I travelled on a supposed non-smoking flight - but the 747 had plainly just come back from service as a smoking flight. It stank, generating many complaints. Maybe this is part of the reason they discontinued this "alternate" approach?

Actually, what's worse IMHO, is the lack of smoking facilities in many US airports, forcing pax to go back outside. In these extra secure times, this policy needs revisiting. :confused:

[ 22 October 2001: Message edited by: sanjosebaz ]

tarjet fixated
24th Oct 2001, 18:08
Neapolitan joke:

A man jumps on a public bus, pulls out a pack of cigarettes and lights one up.
The bus driver turns back to the guy and says: "Excuse me sir, but this is a public bus and smoking is not allowed"
So the guy replies surprised: "Oh i'm sorry sir...but i just had my espresso."
The driver then says:"Oh in this case forgive me sir".

As far as CBavoidance's comment on italian Capt.s' let me disagree publicly.

25th Oct 2001, 13:28
I smoke but think its a great idea thats many flights are non-smoking, i remeber the smoking carriages on trains and the were awful. I am not surprised however that only a couple of accidents and a handful of incidents can be attributed to careless smoking, its seems when it comes to drugs and people aboard commercial aircraft its alcohol which causes the greatest problems not a smoker itching for a puff.
I smoke in moderation, i can manage 10 - 12 hours to LA without one.

tarjet - i bet that jokes funnier in italian?