Worried about the 787 and the one-butt ashtray

Boeing, the FAA, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), airlines and all manner of interested parties are worried about the fate of the 787 Dreamliner.

And I am too.  For all the reasons everyone else wants all the problems to be resolved but also because I’m worried about the fate of the one-butt ashtray.

LAN 787 lav

While smoking is prohibited on airplanes, there are still some knuckleheads who will go into an airplane bathroom and light up. And in an effort to keep these smoking scofflaws from disposing of a lit or still smoldering cigarette in a trash bin filled with paper towels, there are regulations in place requiring that there be ashtrays in airplane lavatories and other spots.

On most airplanes, you’ll spot the square metal ashtrays many of us are familiar with from the old days when there were ashtrays in every airplane armrest.

But for the 787 some smart designer has come up with a charming and elegant little ashtray that works just like a flip out coat hook and will hold no more than a single cigarette butt.

So for that reason, I say “Save the 787.” It may save some butts.

Complimentary ashtrays from Air France

Each year, more than 100,000 aviation fans make their way north from Seattle to Mukilteo to visit the Future of Flight Aviation Center and take a tour of the Boeing commercial jet assembly plant.


The tour is mighty impressive, and so is the Aviation Gallery, which features the nose section of a Boeing 727, airplane engines and other airplane parts, and lots of interactive exhibits.


Until April 20th, the Aviation Gallery is also home to an impressive exhibition of memorabilia from Air France, one of Boeing’s longtime customers.  On display are luxurious table settings, multi-course in-flight menus and examples of  gift items from the airline’s early years,  such as these complimentary ashtrays and this cool lunchbox set.