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Can You Bring a Blanket on a Plane? (Yes, With a Few Rules)

2022 is hopefully the year we get to start flying again and for the first time since our little girl was born.

Travelling with a child is certainly going to be a bit different for us, and one of the questions we had ahead of our flight to Adelaide that’s coming up is, can you take a blanket on a plane? So we did some research.

Yes, you can take a blanket on a plane, though the bigger question is what type of item does it count as. Most airlines agree that a blanket would count as your ‘personal item’ (usually a smaller item such as a laptop bag) so you are best if possible to fit it into your main carry on luggage.

The rest of this post covers all the research I did on this topic. Whilst it is a fairly simple subject, there are a few minor rules and complexities that are worth understanding so you don’t get caught out at check-in.

Can You Bring a Blanket on a Plane?

As we discussed in the introduction, yes you can and it is fine to come into the main cabin of the plane.

The big discussion is what type of item does it count as.

The bigger airlines usually allow three types of item per passenger on a flight:

  1. Your main carry on bag.
  2. A smaller bag known as a personal item. This is very much a bag that is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you. It is not luggage – so think a purse, laptop or nappy bag.
  3. A coat or something wearable.

It seems to be the consensus that a blanket does not count as a wearable item, therefore if you wanted to bring it on a plane not packed in your carry on it would count as your personal item and would mean you wouldn’t be able to bring a smaller bag such as a purse.

This blog post from Tortuga does an excellent job of describing exactly what counts as a personal item for the main airlines in the USA.

Please be conscious though that many airlines have different rules, so the best solution is to look up the specifications from your carrier or to send them a Tweet as the people below did.

Can You Bring a Weighted Blanket on a Plane?

Yes, you can, though the same rules apply as with a regular blanket, it would be best to pack it into your carry on bag.

Does the Blanket Have to Fit in Your Hand Luggage?

The blanket doesn’t have to fit in your hand luggage, though if you can’t it will be counted as your personal item (usually a smaller bag such as a purse).

In most situations, you will not be able to claim your blanket is a wearable such as a jacket, so you will need to either not take a personal item or fit your blanket in either your personal item or carry on.

READ NEXT: Can I Leave The Airport During a Layover?

Does a Blanket Count as Carry on or Is It Treated Like a Coat?

This will be down to the individual airline you are travelling with, not the security team, but generally, the answer is no, it will be counted as your personal item.

As we have already established, you can take a blanket on a plane so it will get through screening, the challenge will be how many items you are allowed to take with you on the plane.

The recommendation from the TSA is to check with your individual airline on their carry-on restrictions before you travel so you are clear whether or not the blanket has to fit in your bag.

Can I Take My Picnic Blanket Spikes in Hand Luggage?

Many picnic or beach blankets come with plastic spikes to hold them in the ground on windy days.

See an example of this in the image below:

Sand Free Compact Beach Blanket - Pocket Picnic Sheet for Outdoor Multiple Use | Best Mat for Travel & Festivals, Soft & Quick Drying with 4 Portable Tent Pegs and a Unique Gift Box
  • ✪ Light & Ultra - Thin Design That Makes Various Uses Possible! Outdoor Camping Gear, Table Map, Oversized Mat, Shade Tarp and Picnic Throw.
  • Made in USA or Imported
  • ✪ FASHION MEETS FUNCTION: Show off your style with our trend-setting pocket blanket! As chic as it is practical, it features a small bag, a 70”X55” blanket (LARGER THAN OTHERS! ! ) 4 stakes and...

These picnic blanket or beach blanket spikes are not allowed in carry-on luggage and would need to be put in your checked baggage to allow them onto a plane.

READ NEXT: What Happens If I Show Up Late For a Flight?

Are You Allowed to Knit a Blanket on a Plane?

Remarkably (especially when you consider those small plastic spikes for a picnic blanket are not allowed) knitting needles and crochet hooks ARE allowed in carry-on luggage, so you conceivably could knit yourself a blanket whilst on a plane.

Here are two examples from the @AskTSA Twitter account that show you I haven’t lost the plot completely…

Why Would You Want to Take a Blanket on a Plane?

There are a few reasons I can think of for taking your own planet on a plane(< this is clearly a typo, but I found it funny when proofreading, so thought I’d leave it in for the amusement of others too!):

  1. Many no frills airlines don’t have them, and even cheaper long haul flights often only carry a quota, not one per passenger.
  2. The quality of airline blankets isn’t always great, and there have been reports published suggesting they only get washed every 30 days!
  3. For a child who may get cold on the flight or have an attachment to a particular one.
  4. Weighted blankets have been shown to help with everything from anxiety to autism, so there may be a medical reason to bring one on a plane.

The Best Blankets to Take on a Plane

What you’re looking for on a plane is a blanket that is both warm and packs down to a small size.

The suggestions I give below tick both of those boxes and are perfect for your next flight.

E Marie Travel Limited Edition Boss Blanket Set (Black)
  • VERSATILE AND PORTABLE: This cozy combo features our all-new Boss Blanket and a matching eye mask that ensures restorative zzz’s. The Boss Blanket is an oversized spin on our best-selling Travel...
  • ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE: Perfect for everything from power naps and movie nights to running errands and traveling.
  • BLISSFULLY-SOFT FABRIC: The Travel Blanket is woven from an ultra-soft ribbed knit fabric blend containing 63% Polyester, 33% Rayon, and 4% Spandex. The Eye Mask is lined with a soft Jersey fabric...
Litume Travel Blanket Lightweight and Breathable, 67 x 48 Soft Airplane Blanket for Travelers, Foldable Camping Sheet with Stuff Sack for Train, Camp, Traveling (Fleece, E651)
  • Soft Fabric: Our lightweight and soft travel blankets are made using only breathable velvet/ fleece that offers just the right balance between warmth and comfort while promoting air circulation to...
  • Breathable Traveler Blanket: We combine breathable fabric with Humidity Management Tech to bring you a moisture wicking foldable blanket for travel that will keep you warm and comfy without letting...
  • For All Your Travels: Whether you’re traveling by plane, going on a road trip, at the movies or just enjoying your downtime at home, our packable travel size blanket will make sure you stay...
PAVILIA Travel Blanket and Pillow, Dual Zippers, Clip On Strap, Warm Soft Fleece 2-IN-1 Combo Blanket Airplane, Camping, Car, Large Compact Blanket Set, Luggage Backpack Strap, 60 x 43 (Charcoal Gray)
  • PERFECT FOR TRAVELING - Imagine reaching into your bag and pulling out the perfect travel blanket. It is soft and fuzzy, and enwraps you in warmth and comfort. Look no further for the perfect blanket...
  • SILKY SOFT MICROFLEECE - We use the same premium microfleece materials in our high-quality blankets and throws to make our travel blankets. The result is a soft and fuzzy blanket that is also...
  • USE AS BLANKET OR PILLOW - The blanket comes with a portable carrying bag. When the blanket is folded away, the bag can be alternatively used as a pillow or cushion to lay your head on. The carrying...

Finishing Up

I hope you’ve found this post useful, and have everything you need to make your decision about bringing your own blanket with you on the plane.

If you have any other questions add them to the comments below and I will research them and add them into the post.

I’m interested in what proportion of people take a blanket with them on a plane, so a quick vote below will show us who does and who doesn’t.

12
Do you take your own blanket on a plane?

Thanks for reading and happy travels,

Ben

P.S.
For all my best travel tips check out this post.

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