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A guide to taking electronics on planes

All hand luggage is screened at airport security, so it’s important you’re aware of what you can and can’t take before you pack. This can help avoid delays and prevent you bringing items that security won’t let through.

Patrick Ikhena From the Travel team
3
minute read
posted

What do I need to consider before packing electronics?

When packing electronics in your hand luggage, make sure they’re easily accessible as you may have to remove them from your bag when you go through airport security. Laptops and tablets will typically be screened outside your bag and placed in a separate tray.  

Forgetting to take your electronics out of your hand luggage could result in security needing to carry out additional security checks, which can cause delays.  

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Do my electronics need to be charged? 

You’ll have to make sure your devices are charged before you travel. This is because an uncharged device might be a security risk – for example, explosives or other substances could be stored in the battery compartment. If your device doesn’t switch on when requested to, you may not be allowed to take it on board. 

Can I bring batteries in my hand luggage?

Contact your airline to check the restrictions on batteries in hand luggage as you may need permission in some instances – the information should be on their website. Typically, batteries are not permitted to go in the hold.

The restrictions for batteries will depend on their wattage, if they’re individually protected, how many you want to take and if they’re for personal use. It may be necessary to contact the manufacturer to confirm that they have complied with the airline’s requirements if you’re unsure.

Can I use electronics on board?

You can use electronics on board a plane, but there are restrictions. You’ll not be allowed to use your laptop during take-off or landing, and you can only use your mobile phone if it’s set to flight mode. You can use your devices to listen to music, but you’ll be asked to remove your headphones during the pre-flight safety briefing. 

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Are my electronics covered under my travel insurance policy?

Most travel insurance policies will cover the cost of any lost, stolen or damaged possessions. However, many policies exclude valuables that have been checked into the hold. Check your policy documents to see what items are excluded to ensure you’re not putting your valuables at risk. It’s a good idea to keep valuables in your hand luggage to ensure they’re covered. 

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