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Last updated on May 21st, 2024

Traveling with a laptop can be quite a hassle. It’s bulky, so it takes up space in your suitcase or carry-on bag. It needs to go through the security line at airports, and there are strict regulations about what you can and cannot bring on board. Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. Here’s everything you need to know about carrying a laptop on a plane. 

How to Pack a Laptop for a Domestic or International Flight

Traveling domestically or internationally with your laptop should be easy. 

The whole process of packing up and going, let alone security checkpoints and customs inspections, can be intimidating and stressful enough, especially when you add electronics like laptops into the mix. 

However, with the proper knowledge, tips, and tricks of the trade, it doesn’t have to be. Many airlines allow you to bring at least one laptop (sometimes with no actual limit) with you on board as part of your carry-on luggage, providing convenience and added peace of mind for travelers looking to work or play on their trips.

Learn how to plan for your flights by knowing airline policies and properly labeling your laptop so that it passes quickly through each inspection station.

With these ideas, you can easily ensure that every trip featuring your laptop is as stress-free as possible.

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Don’t Pack Your Laptop in Checked Luggage 

The number one rule when it comes to carrying laptops on planes is never to pack them in checked luggage.

Contrary to popular belief, passengers can pack a laptop in checked luggage.

Airlines can lose luggage, which means your laptop could be gone for good if you put it in your checked bag. If you must check your luggage for any reason, ensure the laptop is stored securely in an external sleeve that is durable enough to protect it from potential damage during the flight.

Use a Backpack or Suitcase with a Dedicated Laptop Compartment 

Invest in a backpack or suitcase explicitly designed for laptops and other electronics when traveling with your laptop.

These bags often have dedicated compartments where you can store your laptop safely and securely while also organizing other items like headphones, chargers, and cables. This makes it easy to locate your devices quickly when needed at security checkpoints or during transit. 

Remove Your Laptop When Going Through Airport Security    

It goes without saying that airport security is serious business these days, so make sure to take extra precautions when going through airport security.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires that all electronic devices larger than cell phones be removed from their cases before going through security screenings.

That includes laptops — so make sure to remove them from their cases and put them into separate bins when going through airport security lines. 

This will help speed up the process and make it easier for TSA agents to check each device individually without having to rummage through multiple bags or cases at once. 


With these tips in mind, you should have no problem traveling with your laptop. 

Whether you’re heading off on an international adventure or just going across town, having the right bag with dedicated compartments will make it easier for you to keep track of all of your devices while still being able to fly comfortably — and stress-free.

So don’t forget — always remove your laptop from its case before going through airport security, use a backpack or suitcase with a laptop compartment, and never pack your laptop in checked luggage.

With these steps taken care of ahead of time, flying with a laptop should be smooth sailing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe for a laptop to go through an airport scanner?

Yes, it’s safe. In the age of heightened security, people naturally question the safety of using airport scanners for devices such as laptops. It is important to remember that many of these machines are equipped with dual-sided scanning technology, meaning that items that pass through the machine are screened on both sides simultaneously. This process is proven to be safe and non-damaging for even delicate electronic devices.

In addition, it is also beneficial to recognize that airport security staff are vigilant when it comes to maintaining their own machines; they carefully inspect and check their equipment regularly so that travelers can be assured their luggage and personal belongings will remain untouched during their travels.

Therefore, those concerned about the impact an x-ray machine could have on their laptop can board their flight with the knowledge that these machines are designed with passenger safety in mind.

How many laptops can you take on a plane?

For those tech aficionados who can’t seem to be parted from their favorite laptops, it’s good news to hear that most airlines and airport authorities won’t place a limit on the number of laptops you can take on board a plane.

However, if your laptop collection is particularly overzealous, try not to draw too much attention or arouse suspicion. Bring only what you actually need.

Where should I put my laptop on a plane?

When traveling on a plane, it’s essential to think about how and where you’re going to store your laptop. Storing it in an overhead bin is not ideal as this can easily be damaged with other passengers’ luggage unless you have carry-on luggage with a padded laptop compartment. It’s also inconvenient if you need access to your laptop during the flight.

Your best bet is to tuck your laptop away under the seat in front of you — out of sight but easy to access. This way, you can make sure that your device remains safe and sound throughout the flight.

Can I carry 3 laptops on a plane?

If you’re worried about carrying three laptops on the plane, take comfort in knowing that this is one of the most common items carried by travelers. Airlines have no problem with you bringing multiple laptops as long as they fit in your carry-on or luggage bag.

As long as their weight doesn’t exceed your bag’s maximum weight capacity and each laptop meets security requirements, it should be easy to go from point A to point B without a hitch.

So, if those three laptops are essentials for your travels, don’t hesitate to bring them along — many other travelers do the same every day.

Is it okay to put a laptop in hold luggage?

Although it is technically allowed to place a laptop in hold luggage, you should always be wary about doing so.

Putting a laptop in checked baggage increases its risk of damage and theft as there is no way to monitor its condition during the flight, making it vulnerable to any potential mishandling within the luggage compartment.

When traveling with laptops, taking advantage of the overhead compartments or bringing them as personal items is far more secure since the bags are constantly monitored and within reach of the passenger.

Furthermore, keeping laptops with you will prevent any delays due to misplaced luggage. Therefore, if you’re looking for maximum protection for your device when flying, it’s best not to put laptops in checked luggage.

Liya Kravchenkin
About the Author: Liya Kravchenkin

Liya Kravchenkin is an experienced portrait photographer. She has worked with clients worldwide and has even traveled to more than 50 countries. Liya loves photography because it allows her to capture a moment that can never be repeated. Liya also enjoys traveling, learning about new cultures, and seeing the world’s unique natural wonders. Her favorite travel memories are from swimming with dolphins in the Galapagos and eating cheesecake in New York City.

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