Q. We are flying to Israel at 5;45 pm on the evening of December 25 - 2nd night Chanukah.
We need to arrive at the airport around 3 PM and our flight will arrive noon the next day.
Would those little battery candles be acceptable, in the unlikely event that we could get permission? otherwise, are there any other options that we have for the mitzvah?
A. Please see question 666 in this forum as follows: “Aruch Hashulchan (677: 5) and Maharsham (4: 146) permit lightning (with a brocho) when traveling in a train overnight or in a protected area of a boat, since by paying the ticket it will be considered tantamount to renting his space and having a “home,” albeit only a temporary and a moving one. Sheorim Hametzuyonim Behalacha (3 p.290) and Rivevos Ephraim (1: 344 and 8: 155) maintain that the same applies to flying in an airplane. The Poskim mentioned above suggest that since it is not be permitted to light a fire in an aircraft these days, one should better wait until he reaches his hotel accommodation. (See also question 418 in this forum, in regards to lighting inside a car) Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit”a rules similarly but points out how important it is to properly plan travel so it will not interfere with the lightning of the Chanuka menorah and hinder the compliance of an essential and salient mitzvah.”
(Question 669) “In regards to naming an agent or shaliach to light for him in his house, many Poskim regard this as a the best option (Shevet Halevy 8: 158). Rivavos Ephraim (O.H. 267: 3) also debates whether he would recite sheheheyanu latter on, when he arrives home.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s opinion is that he should indeed appoint a shaliach to light for him and give him access to his home, but he should also, as above light himself without a brocho, using a battery powered incandescent light that will last for at least a half an hour. In regards to the time of hadlaka, some Poskim maintain that the lighting of the shaliach should correspond to the actual real travelling time in the plane where the person he is lighting for is (see Moriah Year 26, 11-12, p. 73). However, Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that the agent should light at his own usual local time.”
The Rov stressed again to avoid travelling during Chanuka when possible. He also maintains that the best option is to name a shaliach to light in his house and also to light when possible an electric tungsten light in the plane without a brocho. A simple flashlight that can stay on for a half an hour would suffice. For shamash the overhead light on the airplane seat could be used.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as revised by Horav Shlomo Miller Shlit”a
Our Rabbi is emphatic that an airplane seat (especially these days) is not considered a home and thus one is absolved of nairos Chanukah during the flight. Anyway a flashlight is not comparable to a flame.