Is the viral pillowcase hack worth it?

There's always a trick for anything, including travel hacks. But there's one viral travel trend, the pillowcase hack for flights, that can put you in an “Instagram vs. reality” situation. One passenger had to learn a hard lesson at Orlando International Airport when following viral travel hacks.

What is the pillowcase hack for flights?

For airlines that charge for carry-on luggage, you can avoid the fee by bringing a pillow on board, which airlines usually don't charge for. Here's how some people get around this: Instead of bringing a real pillow, they just stuff the pillowcase with clothes and other soft items.

This may sound like a nice loophole because you can save on baggage fees and take a nap on a soft pillow during your flight. But unfortunately, it may not work that way at all.

In a video posted to TikTok by @NatashaOrganic, a man tries this trick on a Frontier flight. His plan goes awry at Orlando International Airport when airline employees realize that his pillowcase is actually filled with luggage. They don't let him board without paying the fee, leading to an escalating confrontation that ends with Orlando police escorting him out of the airport.

At the end of the video, the narrator gives some advice on hacks and trends. “Stop listening to the internet,” he said.

More and more people have tried the pillowcase hack

Not only has the hack been shared on TikTok, but there are also Reddit threads debating its effectiveness. Recently, a Redditor asked, “Has anyone tried the pillowcase hack on an airplane?” In response, comments pointed out some drawbacks to the “hack.”

For example, most airlines currently allow travelers to carry only two personal items, including bags, pillows, suitcases, water bottles and other portable items. If you're flying on an airline that has size limits on personal items, such as Frontier, Spirit and other popular budget carriers, any personal item that exceeds the size limits will still be considered carry-on baggage and may incur additional fees.

“Airlines have caught on to this and are using pillows to deter passengers from doing this,” one Redditor commented. Another person wrote, “If you try it, be prepared to be told no or asked to do it, and if that happens, don't be rude to airline employees.” She continued, “I would still try it though.”

Someone decided to tweak the hack in the thread and said, “I'm sure it's easier with a neck pillow than a regular pillow. You can put smaller things like socks and underwear inside the neck pillow cover.”

Overall, not all hacks are actually hacks. It can be worth doing a little research before experimenting with them.

Kayla is the midday host at 105.1 The Bounce in Detroit. She started her career in radio in 2016 as an intern at another Detroit station and worked her way up here, making stops in Knoxville, Tennessee, Omaha, Nebraska, and other places before returning to Detroit. She's done just about everything in radio from commercials to web, creating social media content, you name it. She's a true Michigander, born and raised, so you can find her camping or vacationing up north, exploring downtown Detroit, or maybe even watching a sports game. In her free time, Kayla enjoys watching movies, roller skating, crafting, and attending music festivals. She and her husband immerse themselves in many of the great things Michigan has to offer together. Together they also enjoy traveling. Her hobbies include wine and beer tasting, crafting, hiking, roller skating, movies, home improvement projects, gardening, and festivals. She's always looking for more local events in the community. She loves connecting with the community. When writing, Kayla covers topics such as lifestyle, pop culture, trending stories, hacks, and urban culture.