Can Laptops Go in Checked Baggage

Updated on March 10, 2023
can laptops go in checked baggage

If you’re planning to travel long distance and you believe that you’ll have to work at some point on that trip, then one thing’s certain; you have to travel with your laptop. Now, on the surface, this seems like a fairly simple and straightforward affair. Sadly, that isn’t quite the case as there’s a lot attached to flying with your laptop that you should be aware of. As an example, can laptops go in checked baggage? What’s the best way to pack my laptop?

Here, we’ll be taking a closer look at the finer aspects of traveling with your laptop. So, you’ll be finding out everything from whether you can put your laptop in checked baggage to the best way to pack this delicate device when you simply have to go on the road with it.

So, be sure to keep reading!

Can Laptops go in Checked Baggage in 2023?

Even frequent flyers often find themselves confused by the different luggage rules and how they apply. Yet, figuring out these regulations is very important because it not only ensures that you don’t run afoul of the law accidentally but also makes the most efficient use of any storage space you’ll be lugging around.

So, to answer the big question, can laptops go in checked baggage, the answer is, “Yes”, laptops can be put in these particular storage spaces.

Now, before you start feeling all excited about that fact, please keep in mind that there are a few key things here that you must know, first.

The most important of which is that even though you’re technically allowed to carry a laptop in your checked baggage, we strongly advise against following through with that course of action.

There are a few key reasons for this. We’ll be delving into those subsequently.

Major Reasons You Shouldn’t Carry a Laptop in Checked Baggage

As was earlier mentioned, there are several vital reasons why we strongly advise against traveling with your laptop stored in checked luggage. However, by far the biggest reasons are:

Your Laptop Carries Lithium Batteries

This can get a little technical but please be sure to keep up with us.

Yes, you are legally allowed to travel with your laptop in tow. However, you’re not allowed to carry lithium batteries in your checked bag. The reason for this is because of the volatile nature of these materials.

Lithium batteries have a strong tendency of leaking and ultimately catch fire or even exploding. As you can imagine, this can constitute a major disaster if something like this were to happen to your laptop while it was unsupervised in checked luggage.

Because of this, it’s strongly recommended you not leave your laptop in a checked bag.

Your Laptop is Put at Increased Risk of Theft, Damage, or Misplacement

Yet another crucial reason you’re almost always better served not leaving your laptop in checked baggage is that you’d be exposing it to a myriad of risks and potential problems that way.

As an example, checked luggage has a statistically higher chance of getting stolen or misplaced. This means that you could arrive at your final destination and be without your prized gadget.

However, even when theft or misplacement doesn’t occur, there’s a real chance that your laptop could be seriously damaged while in transit if it’s in checked luggage.

All of these things and more are variables you should carefully consider before deciding just where you want to keep your laptop for your next trip.

Where Should You Put Your Laptop When Flying?

So, you’re probably thinking; the answer to the question of can laptops go in checked baggage is a little more convoluted than you earlier expected. Regardless, you still have to travel with your laptop, don’t you?

So, where would be the ideal spot to keep your laptop when going on a trip?

The best place to keep your laptop when going on a plane is in your carry-on bag.

This fact applies not only to your laptop but also to all your other important electronic gadgets as well.

Using your carry-on bag for this purpose makes perfect sense, considering that your laptop and most electronic equipment are fragile and have to be carefully handled. As they’ll be in proximity to you, there’s a significantly lesser chance that they’ll get stolen or damaged.

In addition to this, also consider that, aside from laptops, gadgets like iPads and cameras also feature lithium batteries as well. As such, it’s simply more practical to have them on your person at all times while on the plane.

As an added tip, don’t forget to ensure that these devices have a full charge on them before you attempt a boarding. This is of particular importance because there are instances where you might be requested by airport security to switch the gadget on so that they can establish function.

If there isn’t enough juice on the device, they might not allow you to carry your laptop in your carry-on bag. So, be sure to be well prepared ahead of time.

What to do if You Absolutely Must Travel with Your Laptop in Checked Baggage

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you mightn’t be able to escape having to pack your laptop in your checked luggage. In these instances, keep in mind that there are several measures that you can employ to ensure that everything’s fine.

The first and most important of them all is ensuring that you remove the laptop charger and secure your device in a puffy laptop sleeve. As an added measure, you should also make sure that all your files are encrypted and you’re fully password-protected as you don’t know who might go snooping in your check bag.

Finally, be sure that all your files have been securely backed up. You could either use an external hard drive for this task or back up to the cloud, for good measure.

Bottom Line

Can laptops go in checked baggage?

Technically, yes they can. But, because of the myriad of risks attached to this, we don’t recommend you transport them in that fashion. Rather, moving your device in your carry-on bag is almost always the way to go.

But if for any reason you can’t add your laptop as a carry-on item, we’ve highlighted the next best thing you can do.

Happy traveling!

Article by:
Erwin Valles

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