Laptops are devices that we take with us more and more often on trips, including those by plane. A portable computer, tablet and smartphone are the basic equipment that almost always travels with us. Many people cannot imagine trips without the support of modern technology. Therefore, with further or closer expeditions, there is a dilemma – how and where to pack a laptop and other electronic devices for a plane flight.
A laptop is a fragile piece of equipment that can be damaged quite easily. You can’t just throw it in a plastic bag. Many people also have a problem with whether to pack it in checked or hand luggage. Because the fact that a laptop can be taken on a plane is obvious. Transporting the laptop itself is quite simple, as long as we pack it well, of course. It is about both a suitable bag and a place in the luggage that we check in at the airport. But from the beginning …
Can I take my laptop on the plane?
As mentioned above – you can take your laptop on the plane. In some airlines it can be packed into both checked and hand luggage. In others, some carriers reserve the right to transport laptops only in luggage taken on board the plane (e.g. some low-cost airlines).
It is also worth knowing that the Federal Aviation Agency has banned the transport of some Mcbooks at all. The reason for this is a defective lithium ion battery that creates a risk of fire on board the aircraft.
It is the 15-inch MacBook Pro that was sold from September 15, 2015 to February 2017.
So far, this prohibition is only valid in the United States. If you do not remember when your Macbook was bought and whether you are safely bringing it to the USA, you can check it on the Apple website by its serial number .
It is also worth remembering that when flying to the United States or Great Britain from the countries of the Middle East and North Africa (including Turkey) you cannot take any laptop on the plane. It is mainly about preventing terrorist activities.
How to transport a laptop on a plane?
An unwritten rule is that all electronic equipment and everything that can be damaged or is simply too fragile, we carry in hand luggage. Unfortunately, the truth is that nobody treats suitcases and registered bags like a delicate egg. The luggage is unloaded and unloaded as it flies, thrown onto the conveyor belt and to the delivery trucks. For this reason, such delicate equipment can easily be irreparably damaged.
The second aspect in favor of carrying a laptop in hand luggage is that when our suitcase disappears from our sight during check-in, we never know if someone will want to see its contents. Unfortunately, thefts do happen, and hence the loss of valuable items from our package (it is worth bearing in mind when flying to the Caribbean or African countries, where such thefts are commonplace). In addition, it is not so rare to lose all luggage, for which the airline must then refund us compensation. If it is clearly stated in its regulations not to carry valuables, including laptops, with checked baggage, then we will have a real problem to recover money for it.
Thirdly, if we want to use our laptop on the plane, it is obvious that we have to take it with us as hand luggage. However, there are rules for the use of electronic equipment on the plane, but we will write about it later in our article.
On the other hand, if someone is not afraid of theft, has well-secured luggage, e.g. against opening a suitcase or bag, and adequately secures the laptop against shocks and throws, then it is possible to transport the laptop in checked luggage. Of course, if only the carrier allows it.
How to carry a laptop in hand luggage?
If we are going to take a laptop on a plane, we have to take into account some restrictions. They mainly concern the dimensions and weight of hand luggage that we can bring on the plane. Each airline has its own standards that must be followed and it is worth checking them on the websites of the selected carrier.
Nowadays, in stores you can easily find various bags and backpacks that have the perfect dimensions to fit the prescribed dimensions of hand luggage. This usually matters most when we travel with low cost airlines and hand luggage is our only inventory.
Interestingly, some airlines allow you to take a laptop on board as additional cabin luggage. Of course, apart from the standard hand luggage. Such facilities are offered by airlines such as: Ryanair, Lufthansa, Norwegian, AirFrance, Finnaie, LOT and KLM.
See also how the cheap flight search engine works.
How to pack a laptop in hand luggage?
The best for transporting laptops on an airplane are rigid bags, special covers or backpacks. Such dedicated equipment will protect them against shocks and mechanical damage. Laptop bags and backpacks are made of special strong materials, they are padded from the inside and stiffened so that the equipment does not move during flights inertly. Sometimes this type of luggage has special braces or belts to make the laptop even more secure. Many people think that dedicated travel backpacks with a special pocket for equipment are the best for this role.
It’s a good idea to pack notebook computers so that nothing is lying on them. First of all, nothing would damage or crush our equipment. Secondly, it will be easier to remove it during personal check-in. It is also always worth considering individual insurance that will cover any damage to hand luggage, including our laptop. Before signing such an insurance contract, it is important that you read it carefully.
How to carry a laptop in checked luggage?
First of all, you need to be aware of the fact that a laptop packed in checked luggage needs to be secured much better than when taking it on board. In the suitcase handed over at check-in, it will be much more exposed to shocks than under our care.
Secondly, you need to find out whether you can transport laptops in checked luggage at all. This is checked with a given carrier, be it on its website or simply by calling the hotline. Each airline has its own internal regulations and rules regarding the size of luggage and what can be carried or brought on board the planes.
How to pack a laptop in checked luggage?
The answer is simple and obvious – the best you can. The general rule is that valuable and fragile items are packed more or less in the middle of the suitcase, so that on each side they are covered with, for example, a layer of things.
The laptop itself is best packed in a good-quality bag or cover intended for it. This will be the first layer of protection against shocks. Then you can add a towel, a thick sweater or a jacket and wrap it additionally.
Another, no less important point are the appropriate travel suitcases or bags, which are stiff enough so that the next luggage does not crush inside our equipment. It is also worth checking twice that we have sealed our luggage thoroughly. So that by not closing it, you do not lose half of the packages and at the same time do not expose the laptop to a fall.
You can also ask for a special sticker at check-in – fragile, thanks to which the luggage service should put our suitcase or bag on top. In addition, you must always remove any markings or bands left over from the previous flight. This is done so that our luggage does not accidentally fly to another airport. It is also worth placing our contact details so that the suitcase can be returned to its rightful owner.
If you transport your laptop in checked luggage, you should consider purchasing additional insurance. So that, if necessary, recover the costs of damaged or stolen equipment. We will get them faster if we have a laptop purchase document with its value in black and white. Unfortunately, this is the most common problem with the payment of compensation, or rather at the stage of determining the amount of losses.
Rules for using laptops on board planes
If we already take a laptop on a plane, we must become familiar with the rules of using all kinds of electronic equipment during the flight. Each device produces its own waves and magnetic field, which can affect the equipment in the cockpit of the pilot of our airplane. If everyone turned on their phones, for example, it would definitely have an impact on the devices needed for proper flight. For this reason, after placing all passengers in their seats, the flight crew asks you to turn off all devices or switch them to the sky mode.
When it comes to laptops, first of all, they must be completely turned off during maneuvers such as: take off, landing or taxiing of the plane. These are the most critical moments throughout the flight. Then most often various mishaps or incidents occur. In addition, it should be stored for the time, whether it is in the hand luggage compartments, in the pocket in front of us behind the holding net or under the seat at all. A laptop or any other equipment or luggage during take off and landing must not fly loose on the plane. It is he who will then pose a great threat that he will harm us or other passengers if he does.
The second rule of thumb that must be strictly followed is not to use external wi-fi. The internet network may also simply interfere with the equipment in the pilot’s cockpit. Some airlines offer an internal wi-fi system that you can use the most. Unfortunately, it is usually also quite highly paid.
It is best to set both the laptop, phone or other equipment to airplane mode. This will block Wi-Fi communication and set the devices in the safest way for the aircraft.