Do you have a long flight coming up? Have you ever found yourself shivering on an extended flight? Airplanes can get very cold, especially on overnight flights. Being cold on a long airplane flight is one of the worst sensations you can feel during travel.
Taking a trip can be a stressful experience, especially when you don’t fly too often. There are so many rules and regulations around what you can bring and what you can’t bring, or what costs extra and what’s free (spoiler: there isn’t a lot).
We’ve all been there. No one wants to show up to the airport unprepared.
So, are blankets allowed on airplanes?
The short answer to this question is… yes.
You are allowed to bring your own personal blanket onto any airplane. TSA regulations say that you are allowed to pack it in your checked bag, carry-on bag, or even just keep it in your lap.
Now, it’s time to move on to the fine print. Here are some things to know when you want to comfort yourself on a long flight with a travel blanket.
How Do Airplane Companies Categorize Blankets?
You may be wondering if bringing a blanket with you will take up too much room in your luggage or travel bag. When it comes to traveling, every square inch in your suitcase is valuable real estate. You want to use it wisely, especially because airlines continue to limit what you can take with you on their planes.
Additionally, the limit for the size of carry-on bags has decreased. Because of this, passengers have to limit even further just how much they take with them onto the plane. Airlines see an opportunity to charge extra for oversized bags and will continue to take advantage of this.
No need to worry — blankets are an exception to the rule. They don’t count as a carry-on or personal item, so there is no need to try and stuff it into your already full suitcase or carry-on bag.
Most airlines allow passengers to bring a personal item onboard with them. This item could be something like a backpack, purse, or briefcase. Luckily, blankets don’t fall into this category, either.
So, if you want to bring a backpack on board and there isn’t enough room for your favorite blanket, simply carry the blanket in your arms with the knowledge that you won’t be charged extra (or stopped by the blanket police — we promise).
Most airlines will specify on their website what their patrons are allowed to bring in addition to their carry-on and personal item. These typically include belongings like books, jackets, hats, and blankets. To avoid last-minute headaches, double-check luggage restrictions before you pull up at the departure cure.
With that, there is no real downfall to bringing your own personal blanket other than possibly having to carry it around the airport, which is a small price to pay considering how cold some flights can get!
Why Bring a Blanket?
You may be thinking to yourself: “Why would I bring my own blanket? Don’t most airlines provide people with blankets if they need one?” This used to be true, but circumstances have changed in recent years.
If you are considering using an inflight blanket, there are a couple of considerations to keep in mind. Be sure to check out your flight’s supply and policy page on their website for specific information regarding what's available to you on your flight. You may be surprised by what you find depending on the length of your flight.
Your Airline May Not Have Blankets
With the rise in popularity of budget flights, many airlines have stopped offering blankets altogether. To give customers the option of cheap flights to any destination, airlines now offer flights with limited to no basic amenities.
This is great for those who need or want to travel on a budget. However, when it comes to being on a cold airplane, you may start wishing you had your own blanket–especially if there are none available onboard.
There is also the chance all of the blankets are already in use. When it comes to lengthy or overnight flights, people tend to secure the blankets as soon as they sit down or even before the flight if the airline offers blanket pre-purchase on its website or at the gate. When you finally get a chance to take your seat, there may be no blankets left to rent or buy.
With a bit of forethought, you can avoid a frosty flight.
Most airlines charge for blankets. The air travel industry has become extremely competitive in trying to get customers the cheapest flights possible. With this comes the demand to cut costs and increase fees. If airlines can upcharge you for something, they most definitely will.
Cleanliness and Environmental Impact
Airlines claim that flight attendants wash each blanket after every individual use. But the fact is that may not always be the case. The flight attendants cannot always take the blankets to the airport's laundering facility before taking off on the trip’s next leg. Your airplane rental blanket may not have been washed after the previous flight, and you would never know.
It is also more environmentally friendly to use your blanket since you do not wash it after every use (we hope that’s a safe assumption!). Washing a blanket after every flight uses a significant amount of energy and water. You can conserve these precious resources by bringing your own blanket aboard.
Lastly, many people have allergies to certain types of laundry detergent and fabric softeners. If you’re one of them, then a personal blanket is a better choice.
Living large is for vacation. Playing it safe is for traveling.
If you are a blanket connoisseur (you know who you are), you will probably want to bring yours from home. Depending on the airline, the quality of the blankets they offer can be less than satisfying.
Your own personal blanket will be much more comfortable and more effective at keeping you warm. Most airplane blankets tend to be thinner and smaller in length and width than the average household blanket or throw.
Plus, having your blanket for the rest of your trip will bring a sense of comfort that you can only get from home. Hug Sleep knows that even the most luxurious hotels might not have blankets that live up to your standards.
What Type of Blanket Should You Bring?
At this point, you’re now asking yourself: “Why have I never brought my blanket onto an airplane with me?” After all, it’s the cheapest and most comfortable option.
But as a blanket connoisseur, you may have trouble deciding which blanket to bring with you. You want it to travel easily, but you also want it to be luxuriously comfortable. You’ve measured out your liquids and folded all your clothes – now it’s time to pick the perfect blanket.
Consider these cozy contenders:
Fluffy Blankets: Probably Not
Everyone loves a big fluffy blanket they can curl up with on the couch. They are warm, feel nice on the skin, and typically cover the entire body. While these blankets are great for curling up at home and watching a good movie, they may not be the best choice for a plane trip.
For starters, they can be very difficult to fit into a carry-on bag and a nuisance to drag across an airport if you opt to carry it in your arms. It might be best to leave this one at home.
Weighted Blankets: Not Quite
For some, their weighted blanket is by far their favorite blanket. It provides the perfect amount of pressure needed to feel comforted and relaxed. If you have one, it may seem like the perfect option – until you consider the practicality of bringing it on an airplane.
Carrying one of these blankets with you across an airport either in your hands or in your bag can prove to be much more effort than it's worth. If your blanket falls into a greater weight category between 15-25 lbs., it’ll be beyond downright frustrating to lug it around with you.
Unless you have an easily removed cover, these blankets might also prove quite tricky to wash when you reach your destination, meaning you get to have your weighted blanket with you, along with all the germs and gunk it’s picked up along the way. Bringing a weighted blanket on an airplane sounds like a fun idea until you actually try it.
The Perfect Travel Blanket? The Sleep Pod
There is one type of blanket rising through the ranks: the adult swaddle blanket from Hug Sleep that is changing the sleep game.
The Sleep Pod from Hug Sleep is the perfect blanket for all of your at-home and travel needs. The Sleep Pod is a cocoon-shaped blanket that applies gentle compression to your entire body.
This gentle pressure facilitates deep touch pressure therapy that relaxes you and relieves feelings of anxiety. If you find yourself stressed out by traveling and dealing with airport logistics, this may be the perfect blanket for you. It feels similar to a weighted blanket with none of the excessive weight and unwieldiness.
For the traveler on the go, the Sleep Pod Move might be your secret ingredient to a blissful travel experience. This blanket is smooth, silky, and allows for complete mobility.
Imagine it: You whip out your Sleep Pod Classic when you finally walk into your hotel room. You crawl into your luxurious hotel bed swaddled in a soft blanket that eases you to sleep. You get up, walk on over to answer the door — it’s room service. They roll in your food and you’re sitting on the bed, eating some steak, still wrapped up, comfy, in bliss.
Is there any better way to travel? We think not.
The Sleep Pod is made from a four-way stretch polyspan material that creates a perfectly stretchy and cozy blanket. This lightweight companion is the perfect blanket to stuff in your travel bag or tuck under your arm when walking through an airport. You can even wear it while you walk around if you want to — the Sleep Pod move is all about foot freedom.
Not only is The Sleep Pod lightweight, but it is also breathable and completely machine washable. You won’t have any issues tossing it in with the rest of your laundry if you spill something on it during your travels.
Flying in Style and Comfort
Bringing a blanket with you onto an airplane is completely allowed, and thousands of airline passengers do it every day. Whether you have it tucked inside your carry-on or draped over your arm, you are allowed to have a blanket with you.
This is great news because flights can be cold and almost unbearable if you don’t have something to keep you warm, especially when it comes to extended flights that last multiple hours.
Many of the budget-friendly airlines have stopped offering blankets for customer use during flights. Other airlines charge for blanket rental if you don’t have your own with you. This can be unnecessarily expensive and harmful to the environment.
That’s why we offer the Goldilocks of Blankets: The Sleep Pod. This blanket is compact but mighty. It will keep you warm during even the coldest flights and ease those travel jitters.
Flying can be a stressful experience. Getting all of your luggage together, going through security, figuring out airline logistics, and making sure you don’t overpay for the necessities can be a great cause of stress.
Be sure to read up on the airline’s individual website, grab your favorite blanket, and take on your travel day like a champ. It might not go as planned, but these struggles don’t loom quite as large when you travel with your favorite blanket.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy every moment of your trip with a blanket that makes you feel like you’re on a fluffy cloud instead of a cold airplane.