There’s no doubt that airplanes are cold, so you might be wondering if bringing a heating pad on a plane is a viable way to keep warm.
According to TSA regulations, you can bring a heating pad on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
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Bringing a Heating Pad in Your Carry on Bag
The TSA state that you can pack an electric heating pad in your carry on bags, as well as those that contain rice/dry goods.
The only thing to be aware of is that if your heating pad has gel or water inside, you might not be allowed to pack it in your carry on.
This is because the TSA has a rule called the 3-1-1 Rule that prohibits passengers from bringing any liquid, gel, or aerosol in their carry on if it exceeds 3.4oz/100ml.
This model is TSA-approved, so you can bring it though security and use it on the plane.
Domestic vs. International Flights
If you’re flying from the U.S. to an international destination with a U.S. air carrier, such as American Airlines, United, Southwest, Delta, or any other major or regional air carrier, you will have no problem bringing a heating pad on a plane.
If you are flying with another airline between international destinations, you should mostly be fine, but it’s best to check with the airline to be certain.
While most airlines will allow you to bring and use a heating pad on a plane in your carry on, not all will.
American Airlines, for example, allow you to bring a heating pad on board, but will not allow you to use the power ports to heat it up.
This is because American Airlines consider the use of heating pads to be a fire hazard.
We recommend checking directly with the airline you are flying with to see if you can use a heating pad on a plane, especially as their polices are constantly changing.
American Airlines only implemented the ban on the use of heating pads on board in 2021.
How to a Pack a Heating Pad for Air Travel
When packing a heating pad for flying, the only thing you need to be aware of is that if the heating pad contains gel or liquid, it may not be allowed in your carry on.
However, if the gel or water inside the heating pad is less than 3.4oz/100ml, you must first inform a TSA agent, and then you must place it in a separate bin for screening as you go through airport security.
You Bring Thermacare Heat Wraps
The TSA state that you can bring Thermacare Heat Wraps or any other brand of heat wraps in both your carry on and checked bags.
You Can Also Bring a Blanket
According to the TSA, you can bring a blanket on a plane, including both non-electric and electric blankets.
However, keep in mind that the airline you are flying with will consider a blanket to be part of your personal item allowance if it doesn’t fit inside your carry on bag.
You Can Bring a Pillow Too
You can bring a pillow on a plane in both your carry on and checked bags.
If it is a small travel neck pillow, it won’t count as a personal item or carry on.
If the pillow is small enough to fit under the seat in front of you on a plane, it will count as your personal item.
If larger than 18″ x 14″ x 8″, it will count towards your carry on allowance.
And Even Hand Warmers
You can bring hand warmers on a plane that use carbon, charcoal, and iron compounds as their heating source in both your carry-on and checked bags.
This includes HotHands, Little Hotties, etc, but none that contain flammable liquids or gases.
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).