Can You Wear a Cowboy Hat on a Plane? Here’s What You Need to Know

Howdy, jet-settin’ cowboys and cowgirls!

If you’ve ever found yourself faced with the age-old question, “Can I wear my cowboy hat on a plane?” you’ve come to the right place.

After doing some research, I found out that the answer is a resounding yes, but with a few caveats.

First and foremost, wearing a cowboy hat on a plane is considered a personal item, just like a purse or a backpack. 

So, you can wear it on your head while sitting on the plane, and it won’t count towards your carry-on or checked baggage limit. 

However, you may be asked by the security officers to take it off during any screening process.

Another thing to keep in mind is that cowboy hats can be bulky, so it’s essential to pack them correctly. 

You don’t want to risk damaging your hat by stuffing it in a suitcase or a backpack. 

So, what do you need to know about flying with your beloved hat?

Let’s find out.

The Cowboy Hat Dilemma: Can You Wear It on a Plane?

In this section, we’ll rustle up some answers to this cowboy hat conundrum and help you navigate the wild blue yonder in style.

When it comes to wearin’ cowboy hats on planes, opinions are as divided as the Rio Grande. 

Some folks say it’s no big deal, while others reckon it’s a space-hoggin’, etiquette-breakin’ faux pas. 

Let’s break down the arguments and see if we can find some common ground.

Pros of wearing a cowboy hat while flying:

Style in the Sky: 

Wearing your cowboy hat on a plane lets you showcase your Western flair, even at 30,000 feet. Plus, it keeps your hat from gettin’ crushed in your luggage.

Savin’ Space:

If you’re short on luggage space, wearin’ your hat on the plane frees up some room for other essentials.

Cons of traveling with a cowboy hat:

Courtesy Concerns: 

Some passengers might feel that wearin’ a cowboy hat infringes on their personal space, particularly in cramped airplane cabins.

The Storage Struggle:

There’s often limited overhead bin space on planes, and your cowboy hat may take up more than its fair share.

So how do you balance your cowboy hat pride with considerate travel etiquette? 

Tips for flying with your cowboy hat

Here are a few tips to help you navigate the friendly skies in style:

Check with Your Airline: 

Policies can vary between airlines, so it’s a good idea to contact your carrier ahead of time to inquire about their stance on cowboy hats. 

Some may have specific rules about wearin’ hats, while others might leave it to the passengers’ discretion.

Consider a Hat Carrier:

If you’re concerned about your cowboy hat takin’ up too much space or causin’ a ruckus, invest in a hat carrier designed for travel. 

These handy cases keep your hat safe and secure without hoggin’ up room in the overhead bins.

Gauge Your Surroundings: 

If you decide to wear your hat on the plane, be mindful of your fellow passengers. If the cabin is packed tighter than a can of beans, it might be best to remove your hat and tuck it under the seat in front of you or hold it on your lap.

Practice Proper Etiquette: 

Remember to remove your hat during meals or when speakin’ with flight attendants. It’s a sign of respect and shows that you’re mindful of the folks around you.

Be Prepared to Compromise: 

If a crew member or fellow passenger requests that you remove your hat, be gracious and comply. After all, a true cowboy or cowgirl knows that bein’ considerate is part of the code of the West.

Airline Policies on Hats

As someone who loves wearing my cowboy hat wherever I go, I was curious about the policies of different airlines when it comes to wearing hats on planes. 

After doing some research, I found that most airlines don’t have specific rules against wearing hats on planes. 

However, it’s always a good idea to check with your airline before your flight to make sure there aren’t any restrictions.

According to Traveling Light, full-service airlines like American Airlines, Delta, Southwest, and United probably won’t mind if you carry on a hard hat. 

These airlines don’t make their profits from luggage charges, so they’re usually more lenient with what you can bring on board. 

However, if you’re flying with a budget airline like Spirit or Frontier, it’s a good idea to double-check that your hat won’t use up your luggage allowance.

It’s also important to keep in mind that some safety regulations may affect your ability to wear a hat on a plane. 

For example, if your hat is too large or has a wide brim, it may be difficult to store in the overhead bin or under the seat in front of you. 

Additionally, if you’re asked to remove your hat during security screening, you’ll need to comply with the TSA officer’s request.

Overall, it seems that most airlines are pretty relaxed when it comes to wearing hats on planes. 

As long as your hat isn’t causing any safety concerns and doesn’t violate any airline policies, you should be good to go. 

Security Screening and Hats

Let’s talk about the dreaded security screening process. 

We all know it can be a hassle, but what about wearing a cowboy hat? 

Can you keep it on or do you have to take it off? 

The answer is, it depends.

According to the TSA, you are allowed to wear a cowboy hat through security checkpoints. 

However, if the hat sets off the metal detector or appears to be hiding something, you may be asked to remove it for further screening. 

So, it’s always a good idea to be prepared to take it off if needed.

It’s important to note that the TSA has the final say when it comes to security screening. 

So, if they ask you to remove your hat, you must comply. 

Refusing to do so could result in additional screening or even being denied boarding.

If you’re worried about damaging your hat during the screening process, don’t be. 

The TSA states that they will not handle your hat any differently than any other piece of clothing or personal item. 

However, if you have a particularly delicate or expensive hat, you may want to consider packing it in your carry-on instead of wearing it through security.

Overall, wearing a cowboy hat through security is generally allowed, but be prepared to remove it if necessary. 

And remember, always follow the instructions of TSA officers to make the screening process as smooth as possible.

Practical Considerations

When it comes to wearing a cowboy hat on a plane, there are a few practical considerations you should keep in mind. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate this situation:

Consider the size of your hat:

Cowboy hats are notoriously large and bulky, which can make them difficult to store on a plane. 

If you’re traveling with a particularly large hat, you may need to consider checking it or storing it in the overhead compartment. 

Make sure to check with your airline to see what their policies are regarding carry-on items.

Protect your hat: 

Cowboy hats can be delicate, and the last thing you want is for your favorite hat to get crushed or damaged during your travels. 

Consider investing in a hat box or hat bag to protect your hat during transit. 

If you’re storing your hat in the overhead compartment, make sure to pack it carefully to avoid any damage.

Wear your hat with care: 

If you’re planning on wearing your cowboy hat on the plane, make sure to wear it with care. 

Avoid bumping it against anything or anyone, and be mindful of your surroundings. 

You don’t want to accidentally knock someone in the face with your brim!

Be respectful of others: 

While it’s certainly possible to wear a cowboy hat on a plane, it’s important to be respectful of your fellow passengers. 

Make sure your hat isn’t obstructing anyone’s view or causing any discomfort. 

If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask a flight attendant for guidance.


After conducting thorough research, I can confidently say that wearing a cowboy hat on a plane is allowed and safe. 

While you may be asked to remove it during the security screening process, there are no official rules against wearing it on the flight itself. 

However, it is important to keep in mind that wearing a cowboy hat is a personal choice and comes with its own set of etiquette rules.

It is considered respectful to remove your hat when entering a building, and it is recommended to secure your hat during the flight to prevent it from falling or shifting. 

If you do choose to wear a cowboy hat on a plane, make sure to follow these guidelines and consider the comfort of those around you. 

As with any fashion choice, it is important to be respectful and considerate of others.