If you are going on a long-haul overnight flight, and hope to get some sleep, then making sure you don’t get cold while asleep by taking your own blankets makes sense.
But can you take a blanket on a plane, such as a travel blanket or a picnic blanket, or do you have to rely on there being an airplane blanket available?
The Quick Answer: Can I take a blanket on a plane? You can take a blanket through airport security in your carry on bag and onto a plane with you without restriction.
We will cover all of these points related to taking a blanket on a plane and more below.
Can you take a blanket through airport security?
There are no TSA restrictions on taking a blanket through a security checkpoint at the airport. It can be left in your carry on when the bag goes through the x-ray machine so you do not need to remove it and place it separately in a tray.
This is an example response to a passenger’s question using the TSA’s #AskTSA service on Twitter regarding carrying a blanket:
Does my blanket have to be in my carry-on?
You can certainly take a blanket with you in your carry on bags without an issue.
But one of the biggest problems with taking your own blanket in your carry on luggage is its size. Blankets can be very bulky so can easily almost fill a carry on bag.
Can you carry a blanket on a plane? You may be able to wear a blanket as a shawl to walk onto the aircraft but it may count as your personal item with some airlines.
At most large airports there will be many stores after passing through the security checkpoint and some of these will sell lightweight travel blankets which you will be able to take on board with you.
Can you use a blanket while on board?
If you have taken a blanket with you then you can of course use it during the flight. Having a blanket to cover yourself with will definitely help you to sleep on a plane during a long overnight flight.
Although you might feel warm before you fall asleep, it is easy for your body to lose heat with the aircraft’s air conditioning running etc, also you tend to lose heat while asleep due to inactivity.
It is also worth mentioning that, ideally, you should avoid wearing tight clothing, not only when trying to sleep but just to make you more comfortable when flying generally.
Can you ask for a blanket on a plane?
Well you can always ask for an airline blanket!
If you are flying business class or even first class with any airline you will most likely be offered a blanket by the cabin crew as a matter of course, particularly on an overnight flight.
If you are flying on a long-haul flight in economy class on most airlines then there may be a small supply of blankets and pillows that the flight attendants can give out.
There is some debate online that these blankets are not cleaned after every use so may not be particularly hygienic. Perhaps you should only accept one if it is in a sealed plastic bag so you can be sure it has been cleaned.
This passenger on an Iberia flight wasn’t impressed with the blanket she was given:
While many airlines provide free blankets, it seems that some airlines charge a fee if you want to use one of their blankets. Some budget airlines charge for just about everything else so I guess that it is not quite that surprising if they also change for a blanket too.
Actually a typical airline blanket is usually so thin that it probably won’t keep you very warm anyway, but I suppose it would be better than nothing.
Not all airlines supply airline blankets, or carry enough to go around if they do, so it is worth making sure by taking one with you such as the World’s Best Cozy-Soft Micro-fleece Travel Blanket available on Amazon.
Can you take a blanket in your checked bag?
You can completely fill your suitcase with blankets if you wish as there are no rules regarding taking them in checked bags – good news for blanket salesmen.
Electric blankets can be packed in checked baggage too.
Can you bring blankets when flying with a child?
Not that there are any rules regarding taking blankets onboard, if you are traveling with a small child then most regulations are relaxed. So taking a blanket separately to cover your child will be acceptable to the crew of the airline you are flying with.
Does a blanket count as a personal item?
A personal item is something that most airlines allow you to carry on board in addition to, and separately from, your carry on items such as a purse, laptop bag, small backpack or another small bag.
All airlines have different rules regarding what constitutes a personal item. When researching this I discovered that most airlines will actually treat a blanket as a personal item if carried separately and not in your hand luggage.
You could of course wear the blanket as a shawl or wrap (call it a fashion statement) since a coat or jacket is allowed to be worn when embarking without them being counted separately.
The best advice would be to contact the airline or airlines you will be flying with to ask them before you travel whether a blanket counts as a personal item. Many airlines will have an online help service where you can ask this without resorting to telephoning them.
How big of a blanket can I bring on the plane?
There is no restriction on the size of blanket you can take, other than the rules above, but of course the larger the blanket the bulkier it is and the more space it will use up if it is in your carry on luggage.
In practice most people won’t need a blanket that will cover their entire body, just one large enough to cover their upper body.
Can you bring a pillow on a plane?
A pillow can be taken on a plane but may have to be carried in your carry on or if carried separately any pillows may be treated as your one personal item so you couldn’t take a purse or some other item in addition.
Does a blanket count as a carry-on item?
Some airlines will consider blankets as a carry-on or personal item if carried separately. If in doubt, try and fit it in your carry on.
Can I take a weighted blanket on a plane?
You can take a weighted blanket in either your carry on or checked luggage but they do tend to be quite bulky (and weighty of course) so they may use up much of your baggage space and weight allowance.
Transportation Security Administration rules allow you to take a blanket through airport security and onto a plane without restriction provided you have sufficient space in your carry on baggage. A blanket can also be packed in your checked bag.
You should have no problems taking a blanket with you when traveling on long flights in your carry on bag. Have a good and stress free flight.