Can You Bring Electronics On A Plane?

Last Updated on October 15, 2022

Key Takeaways

  • You are allowed to pack electronics in either carry-on or checked luggage
  • You cannot pack loose uninstalled lithium-ion batteries in checked baggage because of the fire risk
  • Similarly you cannot pack electronic cigarettes or vapes in checked baggage
  • It is not advisable to pack valuable electronics like laptops in checked bags because of the risk of damage or theft
  • Larger electronic devices must be removed from carry-on baggage and placed in a separate tray while going through airport security
  • You will not be permitted to use laptops during take off or landing because they would be an obstruction in the event of an emergency evacuation
  • You are usually permitted to use smaller electronic devices like e-reader and phones during take off and landing
  • All electronic devices must be in flight mode during the flight

These days flying with electronics is common place.

How and where should you pack electronics on flights.

Let’s find out.

Electronics In Carry-On Baggage

The Transportation Security Administration runs airport security in the United States.

According the TSA, you can pack electronic devices in your carry-on bag.

However, any portable electronic devices larger than a cell phone should be removed from your carry-on bag and placed in a separate tray when going through the security checkpoint.

This is to prevent carry on electronics from obstructing the view during the x-ray scan of your luggage.

You don’t need to remove cables and chargers from your carry-on suitcase, just larger electronic devices like tablet, e-readers, larger headphones, speakers, powerbanks, and laptops.

Your mobile phone can stay in your carry-on luggage during security screening.

Vapes and electronic cigarettes should be packed in hand luggage and not in checked bags.

Electronics are not on the list of items not allowed in hand luggage.

However, some electrical items are not allowed in the plane cabin. 

You cannot bring power tools in your carry-on bags but that’s because they could potentially used as a weapon.

Since your carry-on suitcase will be stored in the overhead bin the best place to pack electronics is often in your personal item bag since that will be accessible to you under the seat in front of you.

So if you want to watch Netflix on the plane or listen to Spotify then packing electronics in your personal item bag is the smart move.

Can You Use Portable Electronic Devices On The Plane?

You can use most portable electronic devices on the plane, especially entertainment devices.

You can’t use your phone on a plane to make calls.

That’s because all devices must be airplane mode and data must be disabled.

Even if you connect the the in-flight Wi-Fi you are not permitted to make voip phone calls via WhatsApp or FaceTime since it would disturb other passengers.

During take off and landing the flight attendant will prevent you from using large electronic devices like laptop computers.

This is because laptops could be an obstruction or distraction in the even of an emergency evacuation of the plane.

You are usually permitted to use small devices like cell phones, small tablets, or e-readers during take off and landing but check with your airline for their rules.

You might not be able to charge your phone on the plane, power outlets are not always available. If you think you will need to charge your device considering bringing a power bank.

Power banks with a maximum power rating of 100 Wh are allowed in carry-on bags. You can increase the limit to 160 Wh with the permission of your airline.

Electronics In Checked Baggage

Most modern portable electronic devices contain lithium batteries. A circuit board and a battery is usually what distinguishes electronics from electrical items.

While lithium-ion batteries are wonderful they occasionally can spontaneously start fires.

Fires that start in the luggage hold rather than in the cabin are especially dangerous during flights since nobody is around to extinguish the fire.

While you are permitted to pack electronic devices with installed lithium-ion batteries in checked bags the Federal Aviation Administration would prefer if you didn’t.

There is an outright ban on packing spare or loose lithium batteries in checked bags.

If you do put a laptop or any electronic device in checked baggage take care to prevent any accidental activation or short circuit.

The second reason not to pack electronics in checked luggage is the security risk.

Electronics are often valuable and sadly many devices disappear from checked luggage.

There is also the chance that if your checked suitcase is thrown around by baggage handlers delicate electronic devices could be damaged.

Vapes and e-cigarettes are prohibited from checked luggage. The fact they have a heating element makes them more dangerous.

Where possible, it’s almost always better to bring electronics into the aircraft cabin with you where you can keep an eye on them and they won’t start any fires.

How Many Electronic Devices Can You Take On A Plane?

There are no quantity limits as to how many electronic devices you can take on a plane for personal use.

For international flights you need to checked any customs rules for your destination country. If you are bringing a lot of brand new laptop it will look like you are importing them and you’ll need to pay tax.

Also, if you are traveling internationally remember to pack a plug adapter that you’ll be able to use in your destination country.

Did This Page Help You?

You Might Also Like