If you are one of those people who can’t leave their laptops behind, we feel you.
Our devices are more than just gadgets, they’re extensions of ourselves.
But when it comes to air travel, should you toss it in your checked luggage or carry it on board?
We’ll break down everything you need to know to ensure the safe and secure transportation of your trusty companion.
Is It Allowed?
First, let’s address the burning question: Can you put your laptop in your checked luggage?
The short answer is yes; you can. However, we recommend that you keep it in your carry-on luggage instead.
Not only does this save space in your checked baggage, but it also reduces the risk of damage or theft.
Also, having your laptop with you on the flight can keep you from getting bored or let you get some work done.
That being said, if circumstances force you to check-in your laptop, there are a few crucial precautions you should take, which we’ll address further in this article.
Are The Rules The Same All Over The World?
TheTransportation Security Administration (TSA) allows laptops in carry-on and checked luggage for domestic and international flights.
But most airlines still recommend keeping your laptop in your carry-on bag for safety and convenience. It’s worth noting that there are strict regulations surrounding spare lithium batteries for laptops.
Due to the fire hazard, you must pack these batteries in your carry-on luggage and never have them in your checked baggage.
Is It Safe? What Can Happen?
When it comes to checked luggage, two significant concerns plague us all: damage and theft.
According to a report by USA Today, one out of every six bags was mishandled in the summer of 2022.
And to be honest, we’ve all heard the horror stories of items disappearing from checked luggage, no matter where we’re flying to.
But that’s not all.
When you check in your laptop, you risk your entire bag being misplaced, especially if you have multiple connecting flights.
And let’s not forget the rough handling luggage receives during transit.
Bags are thrown around and stacked haphazardly in the airplane’s cargo hold, and your laptop could easily get knocked around or damaged under the weight of other bags.
Imagine opening your bag at your destination to find a dented or shattered screen—not exactly the best way to start a trip.
Moreover, the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) cautions that you should ideally carry laptops containing lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries in your carry-on baggage. This is because these batteries can overheat and potentially start a fire in the storage hold of a plane.
So, while it’s technically possible to put your laptop in checked luggage, it may not be the wisest choice.
What To Consider When Packing Your Laptop For Air Travel?
Now it’s time to focus on another crucial aspect: how to pack it safely.
Check Airline Regulations
The first step in packing your laptop for travel is to familiarize yourself with airline regulations and flight restrictions.
Each airline has its own set of rules regarding luggage weight and size limits, so it’s important to check these before you start packing.
You don’t want to arrive at the airport to learn that your bag is too heavy or large to bring on board.
It’s also worth noting that some airlines allow you to bring a carry-on bag and a laptop bag in addition to your checked luggage. Just ensure your laptop bag meets the airline’s size requirements for carry-on luggage.
Have A Good Laptop Case Or Bag
No matter where you choose to stow your laptop during travel, one thing is for sure: you need a reliable laptop case to keep it safe and secure.
Look for a well-padded laptop case with sturdy zippers or closures.
If you’re a frequent traveler who relies heavily on your laptop, it’s a good idea to consider travel insurance options that will protect your valuable equipment in case of loss, damage, or theft.
It’s worth exploring your options to see what works best for your needs.
How to Safely Pack Your Laptop in Checked Luggage
If you absolutely need (or want) to pack your laptop in checked luggage, it’s essential to take extra precautions to protect it.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your laptop gets to its destination safely:
- Avoid placing your laptop on top of other items in your bag, as this could make it more vulnerable to damage. Instead, pack it in the middle of your luggage, surrounded by other soft items like clothing.
- Invest in a protective laptop case or sleeve that can absorb shock if your bag is mishandled or thrown around.
- Consider placing a tracking device in your luggage, so you can easily find it if it gets lost or stolen.
- Always ensure your laptop is powered off before packing it in your luggage to prevent any potential damage or battery drain.
To Sum It All Up
While it’s allowed to pack your laptop in checked luggage, it comes with inherent risks such as damage and theft. The safer choice is to pack your laptop in your carry-on bag, ensuring that you always have it within reach and can use it during your flight.