Do Airlines Allow Inflatable Footrests? Here’s The Truth

Written By: Jen

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Most of the time, airlines aren’t known for their comfort. Unless you’re able to afford a first-class ticket, you aren’t going to step off the flight wishing that you were still in that comfy seat you’ve just spent hours in.

This is even more true if you’re travelling with kids, and especially true if the flight is a long one. Short-haul flights we can normally manage OK but anything three hours or more and you really start to notice how uncomfortable the ride is.

Inflatable footrests could help to address some of these problems – but are they allowed?

Inflatable footrest

Is an inflatable foot rest allowed on planes?

It depends on the airline and their own specific rules, but most allow inflatable footrests to be used during a flight. The only rules are that they must be deflated during take off and landing, but while up in the air they are normally permitted.

The caveat to that is that they mustn’t interfere with the comfort or convenience of other passengers. If you have an aisle seat, and there’s another passenger in the window seat that wants the freedom to move around and asks you to deflate it, they will be seen as having priority.

And they can’t block the aisleway either – the cabin crew will quickly tell you to move it or deflate it if it spills into the aisle as it’s a safety hazard.

Which is the best inflatable footrest to bring on a plane?

The best inflatable footrest to bring onto a plan is one that has different compartments so that you can inflate it to a comfortable height. It should also be easy to inflate and be made from a premium material that doesn’t cause loud noises as you adjust your feet.

Inflatable Footrest
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Deflation is as important as inflation too – if you’re told that you’re coming into land, you don’t want to have to spend minutes deflating the footrest when there’s usually so many other things you need to gather together and pack into your carry-on bag.

And you also want something that stores flat, so that it doesn’t take up a lot of room in your bag when you need to carry it around with you.

Why do I need an inflatable footrest?

Inflatable footrests help to keep your legs in a more comfortable position, which improves blood flow and can also help protect your posture. Inflatable footrests can also be used as a seat extender, which makes it easier to get kids to sleep on long flights.

Flights can get pretty exhausting and uncomfortable, especially if they are long with few or no stopovers.

When someone’s feet are cramped in the same position for an extended period, they may cause poor blood circulation, which leads to numbness.

Additionally, footrests alleviate the pressure on the sides and the bottom of the foot, improving circulation in the legs and the rest of the body. As a result, the back is relaxed, and the flight will be less painful, especially if you’re traveling in Economy.

Plus, a fully inflated foot rest will be a similar level to the seat. In Economy, this means you can essentially extend the seat and remove the footwell altogether. If you have kids that need a nap on a flight, this makes it much easier for them to lie down.

What are the advantages of traveling with an inflatable footrest over a hammock footrest?

Inflatable footrests are better than hammock ones because they can be used without a tray table, they’re easier to adjust and they’re more flexible. Plus they can be used by kids as a pillow while they lie down.

Hammock footrests are a good option if you’re traveling with an airline that doesn’t allow inflatable ones. They hook around the tray table in front of you, giving your feet their own hammock.

They need less space too, so if you still wanted that extra room around your feet then they’re a good choice.

But they tend to be less comfortable and much less flexible with their options. Inflatable footrests are generally the better choice if you want to properly relax.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I bring an inflatable footrest to a flight?

If your airline permits inflatable footrests then you should absolutely bring one on a flight. Even if you decide not to use it, it’s worth having the option if you get uncomfortable. Check with your airline first on whether they are allowed.

Are inflatable footrests better than hammock footrests?

Inflatable footrests tend to be more comfortable than hammock footrests, although they take up more room. They do offer better flexibility for your feet position though, but some people prefer hammocks since they’re allowed on more airlines.

Do inflatable footrests make a difference on planes?

Whether an inflatable footrest makes a difference depends on how you use them and the length of the flight, but most people find that they do make a difference and are much more comfortable than not having one.

Final Thoughts

Most airlines will let you bring an inflatable footrest on board but not all will, so you should always check with your airline before you travel. And if you’ve not been able to, ask the cabin crew before you inflate it – don’t wait to be told to put it away.

Otherwise, just make sure you don’t have it inflated before take off, and that you follow instructions to deflate it before landing, and you should be fine.

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Jen is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former hot tub rental company owner, she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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