American Airlines Bans Electric Blankets And Heating Pads From Use On Board

American Airlines has let flight attendants know that passengers will no longer be able to use electric blankets or heating pads on board. They are now on the ‘non-approved personal electronic device list’.

Regulating cabin temperatur for all customers can be challenging. Some customers are now bringing personal electric blankets and heating pads on board the aircraft and using power ports to heat them up for warmth. This is a fire hazard and not allowed. We are adding electric blankets and heating pads to the list of non-approved PEDs in an upcoming revision of the IFM.

A spokesperson tells me, “They can be carried onboard, but not plugged in due to the potential fire hazard. Effective date is immediately.”

I understand using an airline blanket (they’re cleaner than you think when they are offered) or bringing one of your own. It’s never once occurred to me to plug an electric blanket into an aircraft’s seat power. Apparently though this is far more of a thing than I’d ever imagined.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Heating pads typically use less than 100W…but blankets can draw much more. I’d assume that the inverters used for in-seat power aren’t really designed for the higher loads and shut down when someone puts a large demand on them.

  2. I’m guessing someone’s blanket may have started (or almost started) a small fire and AA took one look at that incident report and noped right out of that.

  3. Shows how variable human comfort can be. I typically wake up under the duvet sweating from the heat, even with the air vents open full-blast.

  4. Dang ! And I need my electric blanket to keep my emotional support peacock warm. Now what am I supposed to do. These pesky airlines just don’t understand my personal needs. I feel so bad.

  5. I don’t appreciate the smarmy comments I’m reading about those of us who suffer from the cold in today’s super-cold cabins. Some of you may suffer from the heat, others of us suffer from the cold. The temperatures on today’s aircraft are nowhere near a compromise. I just took a trip and was literally shaking . . . and believe me, I was dressed for the cold.

  6. I have always been cold on flights, so I used to carry a small blanket with me in my carry-on, to supplement the airline’s blanket (if I was lucky enough to get one). I also dressed appropriately. But the new ventilation and air filtration systems have turned the planes into an icebox for me. I understand the concern about overloading the electrical capacity, so I do two things: I now carry a large fleece blanket in my carry on (it pretty much fills it) and have resigned myself to checking most of what I used to manage in my carry-on and avoid checking luggage. I wonder, though, if it’s necessary for the planes to be quite as cold as they are, in order to provide filtration for Covid.

  7. Okay. So just to be 100% I’m allowed to bring an electric heating pad in my checked bag? I do not plan on using it on the plane at all. I just need it in case my muscles ache during a trip.

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