Rules for Flights in the USA
In the United States, hangers are allowed in hand and cargo baggage. Although TSA doesn’t make any restrictions, particularly heavy hangers made out of metal or wood might get flagged as a possible bludgeon weapon.
Wire hangers might also be considered sharp objects depending on the security agent’s judgment at the airport. While most hangers are generally allowed, passengers should opt for traveling with plastic hangers instead, to avoid any problems when going through security.
Not all aircraft in the United States have coat closets available for their passengers. If you’re carrying a garment bag with hangers, make sure to confirm with your airline if there is a coat closet or if it has to travel in the overhead bin with your carry-on.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and China
On flights within Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and China, hangers aren’t listed as permitted or forbidden on planes. However, the rules are similar to the United States, and hangers are allowed to travel in carry-on and checked baggage. Yet, passengers should keep in mind that wire hangers might be considered sharp objects in some airports. Also, heavy hangers made out of wood or metal could raise a flag as a possible bludgeoning weapon. Although all types of hangers are generally allowed, plastic hangers are less likely to raise concerns when going through airport security.
On Australian flights, most hangers are allowed in hand and cargo baggage, but authorities recommend packing only plastic hangers.
Indian authorities don’t specify if hangers are allowed in cabin or cargo baggage, but they do state that metal items aren’t allowed on planes. Therefore, passengers should pack only plastic or wood hangers when traveling.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring hangers on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Hangers on Planes
Are metal hangers considered dangerous on planes?
Generally, metal hangers aren’t considered dangerous on planes in the United States. TSA allows wire or metal hangers in carry-on and checked baggage. But, the final decision to allow metal hangers on a plane is up to the security agent at the airport. If the TSA agent is concerned about your metal hangers becoming a sharp or bludgeoning weapon (in the case of heavy metal hangers), then they might not be allowed through security. But, generally, they are permitted on the plane without any restrictions.
On Indian flights, metal hangers are completely prohibited and the Australian flight authorities recommend using plastic hangers instead. So when traveling internationally, using a plastic hanger might be a slightly smarter choice, as they’re unlikely to be restricted.
Do I need to take out hangers when going through security?
No, you don’t need to take hangers out of your bag when going through airport security in the United States. The general TSA rule states that only electronics larger than a cell phone, the toiletry bag, and powders over 350 milliliters / 12 ounces must be placed in an individual bin at the security checkpoint. Although passengers don’t have to take hangers out of the bag, in case a security agent asks for a physical inspection, keep your hangers accessible.
Is it better to pack hangers in hand or checked luggage?
Overall, it’s best to pack hangers in checked luggage when traveling on domestic flights in the United States. In general, TSA allows hangers in hand and cargo baggage without any restrictions. But, the final decision on whether they are or not allowed onboard the plane security belongs to the airport security agents. If a hanger is particularly heavy or sharp in its edges, airport security might deem it a potential weapon and confiscate it. Since hangers aren’t something you’ll need during the flight (except for garment bags), keep them in your checked baggage whenever possible.
How do I pack clothes on hangers in my luggage?
The best way to pack your clothes on hangers is by folding the clothes along with (and over) the hangers. Group your clothes by category (polos, t-shirts, long-sleeves, pants) and limit yourself to three pieces per group. Tie the hangers together with a rubber band so they stay in place. Align the shirts’ sleeves and fold them to the inside. Next, fold the hangers down and continue to fold the clothes over them as many times as necessary. You should end up with a neat rectangular bundle of clothes. Finally, stack the bundles of clothing inside your carry-on or checked luggage. Use the same packing method for pants. This way of packing will prevent creases while keeping clothes in place.
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Can I hang my suit on an airplane?
For the most part, airlines in the United States allow you to hang your suits in the coat closet if there is space available. However, some air carriers reserve the privilege for first-class and business-class passengers. Passengers that want to hang their suits in the coat closet must ask the flight attendant first if it’s available. Most airlines allow you to have garment bags with suits, coats, or even wedding dresses. In addition, first-class passengers usually get a coat hook in their seats to hang their coats. Airlines that don’t have a coat closet in their plane will allow you to pack garment bags in the overhead bin as long as they meet the carry-on standards.
Which airlines offer coat closets?
In the United States, Delta, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and American Airlines offer coat closets with certain restrictions. Overall, most large airplanes have a coat closet used to store garment bags, musical instruments, and wheelchairs. The United Airlines’ coat closet is reserved exclusively for their first-class passengers. American Airlines prioritize storing in their closet items that can’t fit in the overhead bin like wheelchairs. But, if there is any space left after that, you might get to hang your garment bag in it. Delta and Alaska Airlines have coat closets available depending on the type of plane. Jetblue, Southwest, Spirit, and Frontier don’t have coat closets available for passengers in their aircraft.
What is the best hanger for traveling?
The best hangers for traveling are the Trubetter portable folding hangers. These hangers are lightweight and foldable so they are easy to pack in your carry-on. Since they are made out of plastic, these portable clothes hangers are unlikely to be considered a threat. Best of all, they convert to different sizes so you can hang everything from undergarments to large coats. Common plastic hangers are the next best option (over wood or metal hangers), but they would take up more space in your carry-on.
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