Flip-flops sure are comfortable, but can you wear them on a plane?

While you can wear flip-flops on a plane, it is something that we wouldn’t recommend for hygiene and safety reasons.

Flip-flops just aren’t practical for air travel and are arguably one of the worst choices when it comes to footwear for flying.

Wearing Flip-flops Through Airport Security

You are allowed to arrive at the airport and also go through airport security wearing flip-flops.

However, a TSA agent will ask you to remove your flip-flops before you go through the airport scanner.

Wearing Flip-flops on the Plane

Regardless if you’re flying with Delta, Southwest, United, JetBlue, American Airlines, United, or any other major or regional air carrier, you are allowed to wear flip-flops on a plane.

Most airlines also do not have a dress code for business or first class travel, so you can even wear flip-flops then.

Wearing Flip-Flops on a Plane is a Bad Idea

Even though you are allowed to wear flip-flops on a plane, it isn’t something we would recommend.

Unless you’re also wearing socks, when you take your flip-flops off at airport security, you will be barefoot and your feet will get dirty.

Even if you’re flying from or to a warm destination, airplanes are cold, which means that your feet will get cold, and you will have wished that you wore shoes instead.

Perhaps even more importantly, in the case of an emergency, and you need to quickly disembark the plane, you will be at a disadvantage as you try and run in your flip-flops.

There would also likely be debris on the ground that would hurt your feet.

You Are Allowed to Wear Sandals on a Plane

You can wear sandals on a plane and through airport security, but just like other shoes, they will need to be taken off as you go through the security checkpoint.

You Probably Want to Avoid Going Barefoot

Most airlines prohibit passengers from going barefoot on a plane and even state that it can be grounds for removal from a flight.

It’s doubtful that removing a passenger from a flight for going barefoot is enforced, but going barefoot certainly isn’t something that your fellow passengers will appreciate, especially if they aren’t placed firmly on the floor throughout the duration of the flight.

Keep in mind that if you go barefoot to the bathroom, the wetness of the floor is unlikely to just be water, either.

You Can Wear Any Shoes You Want

There are many footwear choices to choose from, including:

  • Open-toed shoes
  • Steel-toe shoes
  • Platform Shoes
  • Studded shoes
  • Light up shoes
  • Slippers
  • Crocs

You can wear all footwear on a plane and through airport security, even light up shoes despite them containing a battery.

It’s probably not the best idea to wear any shoes that will be uncomfortable for flying and will work against you during an emergency situation, though, such as high heels.

You Can Pack Flip-Flops in Your Carry on and Checked Bag

You are allowed to pack flip-flops in both your carry on and checked bags.

It might be a better idea to pack flip-flops in your carry on, wear regular shoes on the plane, and then when you arrive at your destination, you can easily change your footwear.

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).