Are Personal Air Purifiers Allowed On Planes (Fly Fresh)

  • Author: Irene Batres
  • Date: May 1, 2023
  • Time to read: 7 min.
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Traveling on commercial planes can be a challenging experience, especially when airborne particles trigger your respiratory issues. 

Sneezing and coughing during flights due to allergen concentrations in the cabin can make the journey uncomfortable. 

So, the question arises: Can personal air purifiers be brought on planes?

In this article, I will cover everything you need to know about traveling with personal air purifiers on commercial planes.

Are Personal Air Purifiers Allowed On Planes

Are Personal Air Purifiers Allowed On Planes

According to FAA regulations, personal air purifiers are not allowed on planes. However, some have been tested and approved for use, and some travelers have reported using them. Checking with the airline before bringing a personal air purifier on a flight is recommended.

However, it’s essential to understand that policies may vary depending on the specific airline you are flying with. 

For instance, American Airlines banned the use of certain types of personal protective equipment, including some air purifiers, back in 2020.

To ensure you don’t face any problems during your travel, it’s a good idea to check with your chosen airline ahead of your flight.

They can provide you with their specific rules and regulations regarding the use of air purifiers on board. 

Also, given the varied sizes and designs of air purifiers, you should ensure that the one you plan to bring fits within the airline’s carry-on size limits.

Additionally, if you’re looking for convenience, some airlines even offer air purifiers for purchase in their inflight catalogs.

This could be a practical alternative if you need more clarification about bringing your device.

Finally, suppose your air purifier contains a lithium-ion battery. In that case, additional regulations may apply for safe transport.

So check with the airline and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) before you travel. (1.)

Personal Air Purifiers: What Are They?

Personal air purifiers are devices designed to cleanse the surrounding air by eliminating airborne particles.

These devices often employ HEPA filters or similar technologies to purify the air.

Nebulizers are another type of personal air purifier that can be a boon for those with asthma or other respiratory conditions.

They are typically safe for individuals with respiratory issues and can help prevent serious reactions during travel.

The Most Common Types Of Personal Air Purifiers Are:

Type of Personal Air PurifierBrief Description
Filtered PurifiersUtilize filters such as HEPA, activated carbon, or combinations to clean the air.
Filterless PurifiersEmploy techniques like ionization, AHPCO, and TSS to purify air without using filters.
Ultraviolet PurifiersUse UV-C light to eliminate germs.
Biotechnology PurifiersLeverage living organisms or their derivatives for purification.
Desk PurifiersCompact devices suitable for desks or small spaces.
Boat/Car PurifiersSpecifically designed for usage in boats and cars.
Combo PurifiersIncorporate multiple technologies for air purification.
Airplane/Neck PurifiersPortable devices that can be used on airplanes or worn around the neck.
Nasal PurifiersTiny devices that are inserted into the nostrils.
Air Purifier MasksMasks that come with integrated air purifiers.

However, just as with any other device, they can vary greatly in terms of quality and effectiveness.

It’s worth reading about the differences between devices, such as the comparison between Air Purifier Vs. Air Scrubber to understand which device may be suitable for your needs.

Reasons Why Airlines May Restrict The Use Of Personal Air Purifiers

System Interference: Personal air purifiers could interfere with the plane’s navigation and communication systems due to their electronic processes.

Safety Compliance: Airlines have stringent regulations on device usage to ensure passenger safety. Some air purifiers may not meet these standards.

Energy Usage: Air purifiers needing an outlet could overtax the plane’s electrical system is used by many passengers simultaneously.

Noise Concerns: The noise from certain air purifiers might disrupt other passengers and the cabin ambiance.

Ozone Generation: Certain air purifiers produce ozone, which can harm enclosed spaces and potentially cause respiratory issues.

Space Limitations: Air purifiers could be bulky, occupying valuable cabin space. (1.)(3.)

How To Travel With Your  Personal Air Purifier?

Navigating TSA guidelines and airline-specific rules can be quite a task. If you plan on bringing a personal air purifier, it’s crucial to understand these rules to ensure a smooth journey.

For instance, air purifiers that produce aerosols must be removed from carry-on luggage, as per TSA’s rules. 

Therefore, understanding your device’s specifications and potential effects on surrounding environments can help you better prepare for your travel.

Remember that some personal air purifiers can be carried as hand luggage if they comply with size and weight restrictions. 

However, devices designed specifically for asthma or allergies that release aerosols at high levels may only be allowed in checked baggage.

When packing your device, ensure it aligns with the airline’s approved power guidelines. 

If your device, for instance, is similar to a Dyson Air Purifier that keeps turning off, it might not be suitable for use on the plane due to the aircraft’s electrical system constraints.

Benefits Of Using A Personal Air Purifier On A Plane

Using a personal air purifier on a plane can provide several benefits, including:

Enhanced Air Quality: 

Air quality on airplanes can sometimes be less than ideal, potentially causing discomfort or worsening respiratory issues. 

A personal air purifier can mitigate this by filtering out pollutants, resulting in cleaner and healthier air in your immediate vicinity.

Lower Illness Risk: 

Airplanes can occasionally be hotspots for transmitting illnesses. 

Personal air purifiers can help curb this risk by eliminating airborne microorganisms and reducing the likelihood of contracting a cold or other ailments during your flight.

Improved Travel Comfort: 

Air travel can be stressful, particularly for those sensitive to airborne pollutants. 

A personal air purifier can alleviate this by creating a more comfortable and cleaner environment, which can help reduce stress and enhance your overall flight experience.

Tips And Tricks For Flying With Your Person Air Purifier

If you wish to carry your air purifier onboard, packing it in your carry-on luggage along with an approval letter from the airline, could be helpful.

This letter should explain why you need the device onboard, specifying its type and the space required to function properly.

It’s also worth considering the cabin’s air oxygen quality and pressure.

While the air in the plane is generally safe, individuals with specific respiratory conditions might find it challenging. 

Therefore, always consult with your healthcare provider before traveling.

While we’ve established that bringing a personal air purifier on a plane can be challenging due to stringent TSA guidelines and health regulations, you can still take measures to ensure a comfortable journey.

Alternatives To Personal Air Purifiers On Planes

While you may not be able to bring your personal air purifier on a plane, several alternatives can help ensure you breathe clean air during your flight.

  1. Face Masks: A good quality face mask can filter out most airborne particles, helping to reduce the risk of respiratory issues. Masks with built-in filters are especially effective.
  2. Portable Nebulizers: A portable nebulizer can be a good option if you suffer from a condition like asthma. These devices turn liquid medicine into a mist, making inhaling easy.
  3. Saline Nasal Spray: Saline nasal sprays can keep your nasal passages moist and help trap allergens before they reach your lungs.

Remember, airlines are committed to ensuring the safety and comfort of their passengers.

While personal air purifiers might not be allowed on planes, airlines often have stringent measures in place to maintain clean air within the cabin. 

For instance, most commercial planes are equipped with HEPA filters similar to those used in air purifiers, which remove 99.97% of particles from the air.

In Conclusion- Can I Bring An Personal Air Purifier On A Plane?

Carrying a personal air purifier on a plane can aid those with respiratory issues, improving air quality and reducing illness risks. 

While not generally prohibited, specific airlines may have unique regulations, so checking before you fly is essential.

Air personal purifiers could cause system interference, electrical overload, noise disturbances, ozone production, or space consumption. Hence, airlines might have restrictions.

Understanding TSA guidelines and airline rules is crucial if you travel with an air cleaner. 

Some devices can be hand-carried if they comply with size and weight restrictions, while others are only allowed in checked baggage.

If you can’t bring your purifier, alternatives like quality face masks, portable nebulizers, or saline nasal sprays are available. Remember, airlines use HEPA filters to maintain cabin air cleanliness.

So remember that bringing a personal air purifier on a plane is generally allowed and can enhance travel comfort. 

However, always check with the airline and be prepared for potential restrictions.

Using Personal Air Purifiers On Airplanes FAQ 

Can I Pack A Personal Air Purifier In My Checked Luggage

It is unclear whether personal air purifiers are allowed in checked luggage. Check with the airline or TSA directly for specific guidelines. It’s generally recommended to pack electronic devices in your carry-on luggage. (3.)

Can I Use A Personal Air Purifier In The Airplane Restroom?

According to FAA regulations, personal air purifiers are not allowed on planes.

While some have been tested and approved for use, checking with the airline before bringing one on a flight is recommended. It’s unclear if they can be used in the airplane restroom.

Are There Any Airline-Approved Air Purifiers for Travel?

The Airdog X5, Wynd Plus, and Germ Guardian Pluggable Air Purifier are renowned airline-approved devices that enhance air quality by filtering pollutants and allergens. 

Before purchasing, check with your airline to ensure the model you consider complies with size or weight restrictions.

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irene mills author of freshairdevices


Irene Batres is eager to help others create an indoor allergen-free home. She has years of experience testing out air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and other products designed to help with indoor air quality. Learn more about me.