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Are Laptops Allowed on Planes? – Here's What You Need to Know

Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller – Tech Enthusiast & Security Expert – August 3rd, 2022

are laptops allowed on planes

After purchasing your air ticket, you’ll undoubtedly search for laptop travel advice, but most people’s question is, are laptops allowed on planes? Laptops are an excellent desktop substitute because of their mobility. Without it, we can’t conceive of moving places and accessing computational power.

Due to the rapid development speed of modern digital life, roughly 77.9 million laptops got shipped worldwide in the first quarter of 2022. Before you can bring your laptop on your next flight, there are a few things you need to know. The major transportation department of the U.S. government, the Federal Aviation Administration, has clear regulations that I will also cover here.

Continue reading the post to learn everything there is to know about using computers on airplanes and bringing them with you.

Are Laptops Allowed on Planes?

Laptops on the Go

Laptops got designed with mobility in mind. They are significantly lighter and smaller than desktop computers. They are portable, making it simple to move them from one location to another. Today, it is difficult for almost anybody to picture life without these gadgets. Alan Kay introduced the idea of a portable computer in 1968. The first laptop got known as a Dynabook. He did this to provide consumers with a portable computing choice, touch screen, internet access, software, and memory capacity for handling their files.

What good are computers if you can’t bring them on planes? People always travel; they do get their laptops for business or leisure. Let me dispel misunderstandings by saying you can bring a laptop on an aircraft in your carry-on and checked bags. Depending on your airline, different guidelines for getting a laptop on flights may exist. Still, the short answer to the question “Are laptops allowed on planes?” is unambiguous yes. There is a slight exception for a few particular devices that I will explain to you in a while.

Why Airport Security Scan Laptops

Before they reach the security checkpoints, airport security often instructs travelers to remove laptop devices from their carry-on luggage. However, why do computers draw so much attention? There is a good reason why security checks it, after all. Everything may get traced back to the tragic demise of Pan Am Flight 103, which crashed on December 21, 1988. It happened when a bomb went off over Lockerbie, Scotland. 11 persons on the ground also perished, for a total of 259 fatalities. Investigators discovered a small component in the wreckage that proved the bomb was hidden inside a radio in an item of baggage on Pan Am 103.

Passing the laptop via X-ray security checks is usually how it gets done. Because the batteries and specific components get made of such solid metallic material, you sometimes need to run these laptops and tablets through X-ray scanners to see what’s below. Security may thus ask that any gadget with batteries get put in a tray or next to your bag.

Note: When pushed through an X-ray machine, computers, laptops, and the parts inside of them are not vulnerable to X-rays and get not harmed.

Federal Aviation Administration - Portable Electronic Devices

Before the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, nobody gave carry-on electronics any thought. After the occurrence, there were even discussions of outlawing the use of electronics in cabins. Instead, the Federal Aviation Administration urged airports and airlines to inspect portable gadgets more closely.

For your information, the Federal Aviation Administration is the most extensive transportation organization in the United States and oversees all facets of domestic and international air travel. Its sole goal is to offer the world’s safest, most effective aerospace system.

The FAA has ruled that expanding passenger use of personal electronic devices throughout all flight phases is safe for airlines. And also devices several airline guidelines, which I will discuss next.

Federal Aviation Administration Guidelines

Now that you know, you may bring your laptop on your next flight without any problems. You should also be aware of the following rules since the FAA states that most consumer personal electronic gadgets with batteries get permitted in checked and carry-on luggage.

  • When feasible, devices with lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries should get transported in carry-on luggage. Lithium-ion battery-powered portable electronics must be completely turned off and secured in checked baggage to avoid accidental activation or damage.

Note: Batteries made of lithium metal are only allowed to contain 2 grams of lithium. The maximum capacity of lithium-ion batteries is 100 watt hours per battery.

I have the answer for you if you’re wondering how many computers you can bring on a flight. According to the TSA, you can board an aircraft with an unlimited number of laptops. The TSA and FAA, however, merely place restrictions on extra replacement batteries and power banks. They are often permitted if the lithium batteries get built within the electronic equipment.

Using Laptops While on Flight

These days, many airlines have Wi-Fi alternatives available while flying. Thus, apart from are laptops allowed on planes, can you use them while flying? Yes, overall, but there are circumstances in which its use gets prohibited.

Note: These permitted devices may only get used above 10,000 feet.

Along with the FAA guidelines, flight attendants will specify when gadgets can get used while in flight. Sometimes, the crew may request that travelers switch off all electronic devices. Laptop usage is prohibited during takeoff and landing but permitted during flight.

Why do they do that? It’s somewhat of a precaution, I guess. However, neither Wi-Fi on laptops nor mobile phones interferes with an aircraft’s systems. The aircraft’s technology utilizes other frequencies for communications and gets insulated against such interference for safety reasons.

Previous phones with older systems may have caused interference with older planes, but that’s not the case now. Therefore, it would be a terrifying notion not to switch your gadgets off when the crew member asks you to. You should follow it if it’s the only thing keeping you safe in the air.

What Not Allowed by on Plane?

Even though the FAA has approved the transportation of portable gadgets. They have also set down what not to bring on the plane. They have made it clear that faulty or recalled batteries and battery-operated items. Items that might cause sparks or harm heat evolution are not permitted to get brought on board an airline. It is for either in carry-on luggage or checked baggage.

Therefore, when I think about the gadgets that have this problem, the Apple Mac Book Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note7 instantly spring to mind. Some of Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina computers produced between September 2015 and February 2017 contain faulty batteries. Therefore, the company has recalled them. At the same time, an investigation by Samsung into the Galaxy Note 7 incident discovered that battery problems were to blame for the phones’ overheating and burning.

Therefore, you won’t have trouble carrying your laptop if you don’t own an Apple MacBook Pro. If the battery is faulty, your MacBook Pro must be powered down and disconnected throughout your flight. The crew staff will provide all the exclusive guidelines.

Are Laptops Allowed on Planes? - Bottom Line

People enjoy traveling with computers because they can stay connected to their jobs, emails, and crucial communications. Having your laptop with you may be a terrific way to pass the time on your travel, whether you have work to complete on the plane or have downloaded movies.

However, as a safety precaution for your laptop, never place it inside checked luggage when flying. Due to the luggage handlers’ inconsistent methods of operation and propensity to flinging bags into conveyor belts. As a result, you may transport your laptops safely without having to stuff them inside your luggage.

Today, I’ve talked about the FAA and TSA rules that govern domestic flights in the USA. Other nations, including the U.K., have various laws, and some have outlawed carrying laptops even in checked luggage. Therefore, while traveling abroad, be careful to clarify again with the relevant nation or airline.

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Dave Miller with Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller

IT Consultant at Online Cloud Security

Dave Miller is an IT Consultant for Online Cloud Security and has over 7 years of experience in the Information Technology space. He also specializes in repairing laptops & computers. In his spare time, he loves to talk about new technologies and hosts monthly IT and Cyber Security meetings in the Houston area.

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About Online Cloud Security:

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts:

Online Cloud Security Logo (500x500px)

About Online Cloud Security

Online Cloud Security is here to recommend you the most secure devices, from laptops to smartphones, we only want to provide you with products that we have tested and used ourselves for online security. Every product that we recommend is heavily inspected and tested for security against hackers, viruses, malware, and any other intruders that may want to steal your information. 

Recent Posts: