In hand and cargo luggage, most hangers are allowed in the US. Even though TSA rules don’t impose any limits, bringing hangers made of metal or wood could be considered dangerous items compared to plastic ones.
Depending on how the TSA officer (Transportation Security Administration) at the airport security interprets the situation, wire hangers may be sharp objects. To prevent issues with airport security, passengers should travel with plastic hangers rather than metal coat hangers, as plastic coat hangers are allowed on most airlines without limitations.
If you are booking a flight, you’ll need to check in advance, as not all American airlines offer coat closets to hang a garment bag, or your bag needs to go in an overhead and comes with clothes hangers. In our guide, you can learn more about how to hang clothes on hangers for travel. By the end, you’ll know what you can and can’t do, and ultimately, can you bring hangers on a plane? (Read Can You Bring Rogaine On A Plane)
Can I Take Wire Coat Hangers in Carry-On Luggage?
Coat hangers in carry-on luggage are allowed, according to the TSA. It adds that “the final decision rests with the TSA officer whether an item is permitted past the security checkpoint.”
The following statement is a Red Flag Warning: “The TSA officer has the final decision rests at the security checkpoint for certain items, and metal hangers are likely included.”
How To Fly With Clothes Hangers?
You already know that using a hanger with your garment bag is the best method if you are traveling with your coat or suit and want them to arrive wrinkle-free. Otherwise, travel hangers are your best bet if you want to bring a lot of hangers to use when traveling, so you can simply stow your travel hangers in your carry-on bags or checked luggage.
Alternatively, regular coat hangers can take up more room, but the best way to pack them is to join them by wrapping a rubber band around each hooks. Once done, wrap it in a piece of paper, fabric, or a towel, or you can wrap it in one piece.
Remember, most hotels offer hangers, so unless you have a wedding dress to hang on the way, you may not need to pack hangers in your checked or carry-on bags.
Does a Plane Have Coat Hangers?
Yes, certain American airlines have what are known as “hidden hooks,” small, pointed coat hangers that are put directly in front of the passengers on most airplane seatbacks.
If your airplane doesn’t have one, tray table latches can act as a coat hanger. They may not be like the standard coat hangers in closets, but they still function as intended.
Are Metal Hangers Allowed On Planes?
You can pack virtually any hanger in your checked baggage, including metal hangers. It is recommended to send your hangers in your checked luggage if you are going with many of them, especially the modern metal and plastic hangers, as they can be classed as sharp object.
In addition, plastic hangers are more likely to be broken or damaged, but packing hangers carefully will help them last until you get to your destination. It is also preferable to send your clothes hangers inside your checked bag if you are traveling internationally.
While some nations can be stricter about bringing particular products, provided you don’t take many for commercial use, most hangers are allowed on most airlines.
TSA Rules On Flying With Hangers
Clothes hangers come in many varieties—for instance, yarn-covered hangers, wooden, plastic, wire hangers, etc. Thus, depending on the type of hanger, the answer to the question “Can you take hangers on a plane?” may vary.
If you check the TSA website, all they mention is “coat hangers.” Therefore, we may be confident that “coat hangers” are allowed in both checked and carry-on luggage.
Should I Fly with Wire Coat Hangers in Carry-On Luggage?
Is it wise to include wire hangers in carry-on luggage even though the TSA approves it? According to the above Red Flag Warning, you may be in trouble if you pack hangers in your luggage that are unusual, sharp, or otherwise dissimilar from how typical hangers should look.
The TSA agent will inspect your luggage and consider whether to allow your wire or plastic hanger. Some people favor plastic hangers over wires, while others say “No” to all hangers.
Many sources list wire hangers as potentially dangerous objects, and some suggest alternatives to wire hangers for garment bags. (Learn How Many Days To Spend In Barcelona)
Alternatives to Coat Hangers For Carry-On Luggage
Why do you need to travel hangers in your carry-on should be your first thought? According to my study and personal experience, bringing hangers on short trips is over-packing. If you’re staying at a hotel, they’ll provide you with all the hangers you need, and more are available upon request.
It should go without saying that if you are staying with family or friends, hangers will probably be accessible for you to use. The hangers in your carry-on may snag or catch on your clothing, perhaps causing damage.
Searching through the bag will likely tangle the hangers in the clothes if it is your bag that they wish to open.
Travel Garment Bag
Garment bags are acceptable as carry-on luggage if you are traveling in First Class or Business Class. However, you won’t find Economy class to be as accommodating. Most airlines don’t offer closet space for passengers traveling in economy.
Be warned that some airlines, like Southwest Airlines, lack closets. So, again, depending on the airline, you might need to jam the garment bag in the overhead compartment. It might be in checked luggage if it is a large clothing bag. Suppose it’s all wrinkled up; it defeats the purpose because your clothes will still feel and look the same.
Airlines are tightening their restrictions on carry-on baggage and other types of luggage. One can almost have the impression that they are leveraging the size and weight limits to generate extra revenue to prevent an increase in headline ticket costs.
So choose carefully; perhaps bigger is better for your clothes, but most airlines won’t accept it if it exceeds their carry-on bag size restrictions. One high-quality clothes bag can perform the same function as multiple inferior bags while providing additional space in your checked and hand luggage.
A few shops provide travel coat hangers for sale. On different websites, you can find a greater selection of travel hangers. Here is a multipurpose substitute I’ve discovered online. There are several options, including some of higher quality if you travel frequently. Many compact folding and inflatable hangers are explicitly made for carry-on hand luggage or travel coat hangers for checked luggage.
The best advice is to prevent wired hangers from being perceived as potential threats and avoid tangling your hands or snagging your clothing when rummaging through your bag for those headphones that you know are somewhere in the bottom. However, if you are adamant about bringing your hangers, the alternative style hangers might be your best option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are metal hangers considered dangerous on planes?
In the United States, metal hangers are typically not seen as dangerous on aircraft by the TSA. The TSA permitted metal or wire hangers in carry-on and checked baggage. But the security officer at the airport has the final say on whether to let metal hangers on a plane according to what they see on the X-ray.
Your metal hangers might not be allowed through security if the TSA agent worries that they might turn into sharp or bludgeoning weapons. But generally, they are welcome on the aircraft with no restrictions, and hopefully, you can use space in the airplane hanger cabin while flying.
The Australian flight authorities rule against using metal hangers on flights to India and favor plastic hangers, which will consume slightly more space yet not weight.
Therefore, using a plastic hanger when traveling abroad would be slightly wiser because they are unlikely to be prohibited.
Do I need to take out hangers when going through security?
You do not have to remove hangers from your bag to get through airport security in the United States. Only items more significant than a cell phone, the toiletry bag, and powders larger than 350 milliliters / 12 ounces must be placed in an individual bin at the security checkpoint, according to the general TSA rule.
Although passengers are not required to remove their hangers, do so in case a security guard requests a physical inspection.
What is the best way to pack hangers, between hand or checked luggage?
While flying within the United States, it is advisable to put hangers in checked luggage in your suitcase. The TSA does not place any limits on hangers in hand carry or suitcase baggage. However, it is up to the airport security staff to decide whether they can enter the aircraft. Airport security may regard a hanger as a potential weapon and seize it if it is especially heavy or has sharp edges.
Keep hangers in your checked luggage whenever possible because you won’t need them during the journey. (Learn How Many Golf Balls Can You Carry)
How do I pack clothes on hangers in my luggage?
The ideal technique to pack clothes on hangers is to fold them along with the hangers. Limit yourself to three things per category (polos, t-shirts, long-sleeves, pants). Rubber band the hangers to keep them together. Fold the sleeves inward.
Fold the hangers down and fold the items as needed. It would be best to have a rectangle of garments—stack clothes bundles in your carry-on or checked luggage.
Which airlines offer coat closets?
Delta, United, Alaska, and American offer coat closets with a coat hook, yet with limits. Most large planes have a coat closet for clothing bags, musical instruments, and wheelchairs. First-class passengers can use United’s coat closet. American Airlines prioritizes storing wheelchairs in its closet.
If there’s still room, you can hang your clothing bag. Delta and Alaska offer coat closets on some planes. However, JetBlue, Southwest, Spirit, and Frontier don’t provide coat closets for passengers.