Brazil Bans Pillows On Airplanes (Even Ones You Bring From Home)

In a move that seems aimed more at teenagers traveling as part of a school trip than on fighting the novel coronavirus, Brazil has apparently banned pillows on aircraft. U.S. airlines don’t reuse pillows without sanitizing them first, airlines are cleaning and disinfecting more than ever before – especially on international flights – and surface transmission of SARS-CoV-2 is now thought to be much less common than aerosolized spread.

Nonetheless Live and Let’s Fly cites a memo from United Airlines to its flight attendants outlining new rules from Brazil’s Health Regulatory Agency banning pillows on aircraft.

The ban means that United Airlines cannot provide pillows to passengers on its flights to and from Brazil (including their business class ‘cooling gel’ pillows) and passengers are not permitted to bring their own pillows on board, either.

The pillow ban even extends to cargo flights. United warns its flight attendants not to bring pillows with them in order to “avoid any issues when entering Brazil.”

The airline plans to offer two duvets per passenger in business class, because the second duvet can be rolled up to resemble.. a pillow.

As Brazil tops 100,000 reported deaths from Covid-19, its President Bolsonaro urges citizens to “get on with [their] lives and try to find a way of getting away with this problem.” He suggested as well that his country’s governors were inflating fatalities “to panic the population.” So blame the pillows?

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. I think flying with pillows are safe. Instead, why not blame Brazilians who use suntan lotion like “Bum Bum Sol Oil” which is a tropical scented illuminating body oil for Brazilian Babe Skin with broad-spectrum SPF30 protection. Brazil is currently in fierce competition with the US for having the most COVID-19 cases across the planet.

  2. Only a matter of time before an over-zealous FA freaks-out over a neck pillow and the plane is forced to return to the gate.

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