Is it OK to Wear Leggings on A Plane
Choose leggings with pattern if you’re going to wear one in plane – Shamia Casiano (pexels)

With ongoing trends and ever-changing policies, it can be difficult to stay up to date on what you can wear, especially on flights. You don’t want to get there and be late, or even worse – get barred from your flight. So, it’s important to get all the information beforehand to avoid misstepping and unnecessary misunderstandings. 

You can wear leggings on a plane, as long as they don’t make other passengers feel uncomfortable. Your leggings should also be made of a material that isn’t as flammable as synthetic materials. For your own health, it is also better if your leggings don’t restrict your blood flow. 

In this article, you can expect to find more details about why leggings aren’t the best choice when it comes to flight attire. Plus, we’ll also cover the two airlines that completely ban leggings from their planes. 

Why Leggings aren’t Suited for Flights 

While leggings aren’t the biggest and most serious offense, there are some policies in place that could prohibit you from wearing them. But why aren’t leggings suited for flying if they are the most comfy option? 

1. They are highly flammable 

While the risk is fairly low, there are many types of emergencies that can take place while you are in mid-air. The truth is that something could go wrong and the plane could catch fire anywhere, even on the ground. If this happens, you don’t want to be wearing pants made of synthetic materials. 

This type of material is very flammable and if you need to run through a fire, the chances are good that the flames will come with you. Plus, leggings are also more likely to stick to your legs when they start burning. 

2. They are very tight and restrictive 

Leggings are made for athletic activities and they are very comfortable when you need to climb or run. However, tight-knit pants aren’t always the best option. 

The air pressure drastically lowers as the plane flies higher and this can cause Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which is a blood clot that forms in one or more of your veins. It mostly forms in your legs, and the risk increases if you don’t move for a prolonged period of time. If you combine the low air pressure, sitting still for a couple of hours, and wearing tight leggings, you have the perfect recipe for DVT. 

3. They may cause offense 

One of the main reasons that leggings aren’t the best choice for flights, is the fact that most people would feel offended by them. Flights are family friendly and these pants are known to fit very tightly, which isn’t suited for children and other passengers.

Keep in mind that the space is fairly limited on planes and you need to squeeze past people on your way to the bathroom. If you are wearing leggings, this could be more uncomfortable and awkward than it should be. Plus, you will also be sitting very close to the passengers next to you. 

If you would prefer to take your chances with your leggings, it would be better to take an extra pair of pants in your carry-on luggage, as they may require you to change before you board the plane. Check out this list of travel essentials for women for other must-pack items to go with those pants! 

Choosing Leggings That Won’t Cause Offence 

Fortunately, there are some leggings that you can wear that are less likely to offend other passengers. If you plan your outfit carefully, you could avoid having to change before boarding or being barred from your flight. 

1. Choose The Right Pattern and Color

Never choose white leggings or lightly colored leggings because they are known to be see-through. A darker color, like black or navy, would be a much better option. You can also choose leggings that resemble other pants, like denim. 

Browse different denim leggings in Amazon

Plus, there are many bright and colorful patterns that you can choose from. While patterned leggings may attract more attention, they don’t showcase your curves as much as the plain alternatives. 

2. Choose The Right Fit 

Leggings are tight and it may be difficult to find an alternative for this. However, wearing a size bigger or opting for looser leggings could be the difference between getting on a flight with no issue and being asked to change. 

3. Cover Up With Items of Clothing 

There is another way to prevent others from feeling offended by your leggings, and this is by using items of clothing to cover up. Wear a skirt or dress over your leggings, even if you take it off as soon as you land. Or you could use a jacket or sweater and tie it around your middle and hide your behind.

Airlines That Ban Leggings on Flights 

Some airlines are pretty lenient when it comes to their clothing policies and what they allow on their planes. Yet, there are two major airlines that have much stricter policies, especially when it comes to leggings! 

United Airlines 

United Airlines made waves in the past when security asked a passenger to change from their leggings to something else, which ended up being a dress. The airline swiftly responded to the uproar on social media by stating that this policy only applies to their employees and their relatives. Thus, if you are working for the airline or flying for free because someone in your family is working for them, you could be barred or asked to change your pants. 

American Airlines 

While American Airlines doesn’t specifically state that leggings are banned from their flights, their clothing policy could apply to your leggings. The policy states that the airline reserves the right to bar you from a flight if you are dressed in a way that could offend or cause discomfort to fellow passengers. So, if your leggings are very tight around the curves, someone may be offended and you’d have to take the next flight (with other pants, of course!) 


Are there any other airlines with policies against wearing leggings? 

No, most other airlines permit you as the customer to wear any item of clothing on flights, as long as you are wearing shoes. Some airlines do have clothing policies in place but they mostly apply to their employees and staff members. Popular airlines like Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Air Canada allow their passengers to wear what they want, as long as it doesn’t make others feel uncomfortable. 

Are there other items of clothing that are banned on flights?

Offensive graphics or phrases printed on your clothing could get you barred from a flight! These could include anything from regular swear words to politically, religiously, or culturally offensive words. You should also aim to wear clothing that won’t cause offense or make other passengers, especially children, feel uncomfortable, like low-cut shirts. Lastly, most (if not all) airlines don’t allow you to board a plane if you are barefoot. 

What is an allowed, yet comfortable, alternative to leggings? 

Leggings should be avoided because they aren’t suited for emergency conditions. While they may be a good option if you need to run or climb something, the synthetic material that they are typically made of is highly flammable! The best alternative would be natural fiber leggings if you prefer the comfort of leggings on a long flight. Wearing comfortable jeans or pants made from safer materials like cotton could also be a good choice. 

Now that you’re aware of what you need to know to wear leggings comfortably on a flight, check out our article about how to travel light and still look stylish.

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