Laptops and electronic devices in cabin luggage

electronics devices in cabin luggage

Many of us travel with laptop computers and other electronic devices, whether it’s for business or to keep in touch with friends and family while we’re away. Knowing how and where to pack your devices will save you time at the airport and on your flight.

What electronic items can I take in hand luggage?

The following items are approved to carry on board in your hand luggage at UK airports:

  • Laptop computers
  • Tablet computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Cameras
  • E-readers such as the Kindle
  • Electronic cigarettes

Some airlines may impose their own restrictions, so check before you travel.

What are the rules about laptops in cabin baggage?

Provided your laptop will fit in a cabin bag of the correct size for your airline, you should have no problem bringing it on board. When you pass through airport security, your devices will need to be scanned separately from your bag, so make sure they are easily accessible, and remove them before you reach the head of the queue to avoid delays. Airport scanners will not harm your electronic devices.

Some airlines will allow you to carry a laptop bag in addition to your cabin luggage bag. On other airlines, your laptop bag will need to be carried in your cabin luggage bag, as part of your hand luggage allowance. You can take it out once you have boarded your flight.

It’s a good idea to charge your devices before you travel. If you can’t turn on your computer or other device when you are asked to, proving that it is exactly what it looks like, you may not be allowed to take it on board.

Once on board, pay attention to instructions from the cabin crew on when and how you can use your devices. Usually, you will not be able to use any electronic items, even e-readers, during takeoff and landing, and you may be asked to switch them off or put them in airplane mode. During the flight, you will usually be able to use devices in airplane mode.

Can I put my laptop in checked baggage?

Most airlines will allow you to pack a laptop in your check in luggage. However, this is something you should consider carefully before packing your laptop away. Hold baggage may endure rough handling during transit, so make sure your bag is securely packed and offers enough protection. If your laptop is valuable, or holds important data, you may not want to risk a checked bag with a laptop going missing. You will also need to make sure your laptop is switched off before packing it.

While it is fine to pack a laptop in your checked luggage with its battery installed, you will usually not be allowed to pack a separate lithium ion battery. If you must carry a laptop battery on its own, for instance as a spare, you will almost certainly have to pack it in your cabin bag. Some airlines also have restrictions on how powerful a battery you can take on board, so check if you are unsure.

If you have experienced problems with your flight, including delays and cancellations, GIVT can help you claim up to €600 in compensation. You only pay a fee if your claim is successful.

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