Many passengers want to bring their laptop with them when they travel, either for work or recreational purposes.
The good news is that you can bring a laptop on a plane in both your carry on bags and checked bags.
But before you go ahead and pack your laptop, you should know a few other things, including how the process of going through airport security works, if anything changes when flying internationally, if airlines have their own restrictions, and more.
Table of Contents
- 1 Bringing a Laptop in Your Checked Bag
- 2 Bringing a Laptop in Your Carry On Bag
- 3 Airline Laptop Regulations
- 4 Brining a Laptop on International Flights
- 5 How Many Laptops Can You Bring on a Plane?
- 6 How Big of a Laptop Can You Bring?
- 7 Can You Bring a Charger and Spare Laptop Battery?
- 8 Can You Bring a Laptop Without a Case?
- 9 You Can Use Your Laptop for Most of the Flight
Bringing a Laptop in Your Checked Bag
You can bring a laptop in your checked bags, including laptops with removable and non-removable batteries.
However, spare batteries should be packed in carry on bags.
Bringing a Laptop in Your Carry On Bag
You can bring a laptop on a plane in your carry on bags – and this is what the vast majority of passengers do.
One thing to note is that when going through airport security, you are required to remove any laptops from your bag and place them in a separate bin for X-ray screening.
Airline Laptop Regulations
All airlines, regardless if you are flying with Southwest, Delta, United, American Airlines, JetBlue, or any other airline, allow you to bring a laptop on a plane.
The only thing to be aware of is that airlines may have limits on how many electronic devices, including laptops, that you can bring on a plane.
Delta, for example, permit 15 portable electronic devices while American Airlines permit just 2.
Brining a Laptop on International Flights
Whether you’re flying domestically or internationally, there should be no problem bringing a laptop on a plane.
- IATA: The International Air Transport Association, which consists of 290 airlines in over 115 countries, state that laptops are allowed in both checked and carry-on bags.
- TCCA: Transport Canada Civil Aviation allow laptops in both checked and carry-on bags.
- CASA: The Civil Aviation Safety Authority oversees civil aviation in Australia. They state that laptops with batteries less than 160 watt-hours are allowed in both checked and carry-on bags.
How Many Laptops Can You Bring on a Plane?
Technically, you are allowed to bring as many laptops as you want on a plane.
The TSA do not state any limit for how many laptops you can bring on a plane:
- “Multiple laptops are allowed through the security checkpoint.”
- “Laptops are allowed in carry-on bags with no quantity limitations.”
However, airlines may have their own regulations.
How Big of a Laptop Can You Bring?
The only size restriction when it comes to how big your laptop can be when flying is that it does not exceed your airline’s maximum bag dimensions.
In other words, given the small size of laptops, you will have no problem bringing one of any size on a plane.
Can You Bring a Charger and Spare Laptop Battery?
If you want to travel with a spare battery, this should be packed inside your carry on bag.
As your laptop won’t last very long without its charger, thankfully, you can bring a laptop charger in both your checked bags and carry on bags.
Can You Bring a Laptop Without a Case?
If you want to, you can bring a laptop on a plane without a case.
Just make sure that you take it out of your bag and place it in a security screening bin when going through airport security.
You Can Use Your Laptop for Most of the Flight
You can use a laptop on a plane throughout the duration of your flight, except during takeoff and landing.
Your laptop should be switched to airplane mode, though you can still use Bluetooth on a plane, as well as Wi-Fi.
The reason why laptops must be stowed away during takeoff and landing is because they can turn into dangerous projectiles in the event of turbulence.
You will know when it’s time to stow away your laptop because there will be an announcement that states something to the effect of “any electronic devices larger than a tablet must be stowed away as we take off/get ready for landing.”
Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.
Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.
Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).