Is Hand Sanitizer Allowed on Airplanes?

GlanHealth Airplane

For personal wellness, airport security changes with lifted restrictions on liquids, gels, and aerosols affect hand sanitizer benefitting travelers.

Pack your bags – spring has sprung. Last year’s preferred spring break destinations among travelers from the United States were domestic and outdoor scenic locations, according to Statista.

This year, the number of reservations for spring break is trending 92% higher than last year with expectations of crowds and international travel, based on Guestly’s data.

What travel changes are in effect?

How Much Hand Sanitizer Can I Bring on a Plane During Covid?

Pre-pandemic U.S. air travel permitted each passenger 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of liquids, gels, and aerosols in travel-sized containers that fit into a one-quart-sized bag.

Due to U.S. air travel rule changes, more than 100 ml of hand sanitizer is now allowed on airplanes.

An entertaining and informational video released by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) explains that each passenger can now carry on up to 12 ounces (350 ml) of hand sanitizer.

GlanHealth TSA graphicsNot only that but allowed in carry-on luggage are individually wrapped sanitizing wipes, large tubs of sanitizer wipes, and boxes of facial tissues – these items are screened separately.

This rule change is beneficial for air travelers who spend much time in lines at security checkpoints that bring people into proximity amid the ongoing health crisis.

Airport and airline health safety research reveal that risks with harmful germs are more prevalent inside an airport. 

One airline industry medical expert discloses that random movement inside airports allows much more in-person contact, with an estimated one-tenth of the ventilation rates than inside an airplane.

In addition to distancing and donning personal protective equipment (PPE), the TSA emphasizes the importance of hand hygiene protocols before and after security screening.

Bringing more hand sanitizer into an airport and on an airplane provides continuous protection of one’s vitally important personal space.

What Is the Risk of Getting Coronavirus on an Airplane?

All major U.S. airlines have airplane fleets equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters that remove at least 99.97 percent of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

According to health experts, hospital-grade HEPA filters and the direction of airflow inside an aircraft prevent viruses from spreading easily – but that does not mean that it does not occur.

Supporting the statement that germs spread inside an airplane, the same airline industry medical expert divulged that Omicron could double the risk of catching COVID-19 during a flight.

While airplanes have stringent air ventilation systems compared to airports, the risk of harmful germs spreading during air travel has increased since the latest variant emerged in late 2021.

Harmful airborne germs can land on any surface, surviving for days to weeks.

So continuously protecting one’s personal space during air travel remains a necessary safety precaution.

What is the Best Type of Hand Sanitizer to Take on an Airplane?

There are two types of hand sanitizer available: alcohol-free and alcohol-based.

The problem with alcohol-based hand sanitizers is that they only last while the product is wet on the hands – a mere 20-seconds. Once it evaporates, the germ-fighting capability ends.

A passenger must reapply three times per minute to remain continuously protected on a flight with alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A one-hour flight translates to 180 applications for continuous protection, which equates to overuse that is absolutely not recommended.

Overusing alcohol-based hand sanitizer leads to rashes, dried, and cracked painful skin.

The skin absorbs alcohol resulting in increased blood alcohol levels – regardless of the age of the air traveler.

Not only that, but the alcohol content in a one-ounce travel-sized bottle of 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer is equivalent to a 120-proof “shot” of hard liquor – and the government recommends 60-95% alcohol content in hand sanitizer for today’s environment.

A medical expert explains, “One drink on a plane can equal more than one drink on the ground.”

Inside an aircraft, the air pressure on commercial airplanes is relatively low and can slightly reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream.

Also, alcohol is a diuretic, and its compounding dehydrating effects during air travel can leave a passenger feeling drained of energy and even short of breath.

To avoid discomfort at the end of a flight, avoiding alcohol is an option.

Global Travel Controls

Canada updated air travel safety regulations permitting one bottle of hand sanitizer up to 12-ounces (355 ml) in addition to the 3-ounce (100 ml) bottles placed in a 1-quart (1L) clear resealable bag.

Parts of the world that have not updated the liquids and gels restrictions include Australia, the European Union, and U.K. The 3-ounce (100 ml) limits still apply to hand sanitizer.

While twenty-nine countries ban alcohol, this may or may not pertain to the 100 ml restriction of alcohol-based hand sanitizer; checking with each airline before take-off is wise.

For international flights, view the latest travel controls by country.

Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer for Safer Air Travel

As a safer, longer-lasting alternative, alcohol-free hand sanitizer provides up to 4-hours of continuous protection on hands and skin per application.

The active ingredient in alcohol-free hand sanitizer is an organic salt, benzalkonium chloride, a quaternary ammonium compound (QAC), that is either natural or synthesized. Science research supports QACs in healthcare environments, and QACs make long-lasting, powerful hand, skin, and surface sanitizers.

The bottom line is that alcohol-free hand sanitizer ensures public safety and is better for travelers.

Advanced alcohol-free hand, skin, and surface sanitizers containing QACs protect with a nano-thin, microscopic, triple-layer providing 99.9% effectiveness against harmful germs.

Feel Your Best During Air Travel

Another medical expert explains that “Airplane cabins have very low humidity levels because about 50 percent of the air circulating in the cabin is pulled in from the outside, and at high altitudes, the air is almost completely devoid of moisture. This might cause your throat, nose, and skin to feel dry.”

Water-based alcohol-free hand sanitizers containing aloe vera naturally moisturize and soften skin with repeated use, making travel safer and more comfortable.