Flying With Electronics – Know In-Flight Rules & Restrictions

Using Electronic Devices in plane

Last Updated on May 9th, 2024 by Renu Dahiya, 2 comments

With the increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that many of us carry multiple electronic devices with us when we travel internationally. However, the rules and restrictions for bringing electronics on a plane can vary depending on the airline and destination. 

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time flyer, it’s important to understand the inflight regulations regarding how many electronics can you bring on a plane and how to use them while flying to ensure a smooth and stress-free journey. Let’s explore the guidelines here. 

Can You Bring Electronics On A Plane? If Yes, How Many? – Rules & Guidelines

When it comes to carrying electronic devices for personal use on a plane, there are no set quantity limits as per the TSA rules. However, it’s important to be aware of the customs regulations of your destination country for international flights such as New York to Delhi flights

If you’re carrying a large number of brand-new laptops, it may appear as if you are importing them, and you may be required to pay tax. Additionally, for international travel, don’t forget to pack a plug adapter that will be compatible with the outlets in your destination country. Also, larger lithium-ion batteries and spare non-spillable wet (gel cell, absorbed electrolyte) batteries are limited to two per person. Each lithium-ion battery must not exceed a Watt-hour (Wh) rating of 100 Wh; or for lithium metal batteries, a lithium content of 2 grams.

Inflight Rules For Using Electronic Devices 

Getting Through Security

It’s important to avoid packing your electronics too deep in your carry-on baggage. Devices larger than a smartphone have to be screened separately at the security checkpoint. To avoid this hassle, it’s recommended to use a TSA-approved bag with a designated compartment for electronics. This compartment can be easily opened during screening, ensuring that the devices are screened efficiently. Furthermore, TSA Pre-Check members enjoy various benefits, including the privilege of passing through security without unpacking their electronics.

Flying With Medical Electronics

The officers of the Transportation Security Administration are trained to treat individuals with personal medical electronic devices such as pacemakers, neurostimulators, and insulin pumps with respect. However, it is important to note that these devices may impact the screening process. To avoid discussing your device in public, it is advisable to download a notification card that can be presented to a TSA agent. 

It is also recommended that you inform the agent about your medical device before the screening begins and be prepared to undergo alternative screening methods such as the millimeter wave scanner or a pat-down instead of passing through a metal detector. If you use an insulin pump, the TSA agent may require you to perform a self-pat down of the pump, but they should not require you to disconnect from it.

Tip – If you require assistance during the screening process because you have a personal medical electronic device, it is worth noting that the TSA provides a helpline that can answer your queries and provide support, including arranging for an escort from a passenger support specialist.

While On The Plane

Congratulations! You have successfully passed through the security screening checkpoint, and now it’s time to board your plane. Although airlines may have their own regulations regarding what can and cannot be brought into the cabin, in general, anything that passes the TSA checkpoint will be allowed. However, it’s essential not to overpack and assume that you can breeze past the gate with all your items. If you are carrying too many things or they exceed the carry-on size limits specified by your airline, you may be asked to gate-check some of your belongings.

As soon as you board the plane, you can use your portable electronics until the flight crew prepares the aircraft for takeoff. At that point, airlines generally require that laptops be stored under the seat in front of you or in the overhead bin. Nevertheless, most airlines allow you to keep smaller electronic devices with you, provided they are in airplane mode and disconnected from airplane power during takeoff and landing.

How To Pack Your Electronic Devices To Avoid Damage

How can you ensure that your gadgets are secure when traveling internationally? Are there any specific methods to pack and carry your electronic devices? Yes, there are several things to consider while packing your gadgets for your journey. Traveling with electronics is extremely popular these days, and you will want to make sure you pack them properly to avoid damage while also making sure you are not violating any laws. 

Where To Pack? – Carry-On Or Checked Luggage 

It is recommended by the Transportation Security Administration that you keep your personal electronics in your carry-on luggage. Not only does this give you easy access, but it also makes it harder for potential thieves to steal them. However, in case you have to pack your electronics in your checked baggage, it is advisable to use a TSA-approved lock that allows TSA agents to screen your bag if needed while preventing unauthorized access. If you use a non-TSA-approved lock, it may be cut off during screening, leaving your bag susceptible to theft. For more detailed information, check out our guide – ‘Can you put a laptop in checked luggage?’ here. 

Easy Tips To Pack Your Electronic Devices Safely

Here are some effective yet easy tips through which you can protect and safely fo places taking your electronics with you –

  • Large electronic devices, including a camera lens or a big battery, or a laptop, must be packed at last. This way, you won’t have to rummage through your luggage to locate your gadgets since they’ll be right there on top. 
  • Use an eyeglasses case you may have to lie around the house to keep your USB adapters, chargers, and other stray wires organized and safe. 
  • As per the TSA rules & guidelines, you must pack battery kits and lithium-ion batteries inside your carry-on baggage. They will not go in your checked baggage. So, if you are planning to bring a quadcopter or anything similar that utilizes these cells, make sure you stick to the airline’s rules.

Why Airlines Don’t Allow The Use Of Electronics On A Plane For Calls?

The main reason that airlines do not allow for the use of cellular/electronic devices on flights for calls is that they cause interference with radios and onboard instruments, but it is not the only reason. Talking on the phone can be socially intrusive, especially in tightly packed environments like an airplane. Some people can be annoyed by passengers talking on the phone for long periods of time. 

Tip – If you want to know whether you can use Bluetooth on a plane or not, go through our guide here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can you bring electronic cigarettes on a plane?

A: Yes, you can bring electronic cigarettes on a plane. But, electronic smoking devices are allowed only in carry-on baggage. Travelers are required to take effective measures for preventing accidental activation of the heating element of the device when transporting the devices.

Q: Will I be able to connect my laptop/mobile phone to a power supply onboard the aircraft?

A: Yes, you will easily be able to connect your laptop or mobile phone to a power supply onboard the aircraft. You will find universal electricity sockets and USB-A & USB-C charging points on almost all international flights.

Q: Is it required to use a headset when using portable electronic devices (PEDs)?

A: Although, it is not mandatory, please be courteous to those guests around you and use headsets when your device is making noise.

Q: What are the requirements for stowing or securing electronic devices during takeoff and landing?

A: Lightweight & small electronic devices must be held in the traveler’s hands, placed in the seat back pocket, or stowed. Larger electronic items, such as laptops, must still be stored securely in an overhead bin or another approved stowage area during takeoff and landing.

Q: How many phones can I carry from USA to India?

A: While carrying a single sealed box of a phone may not be problematic, if you plan to carry three to four devices, you may be required to produce purchase receipts and may even be subject to customs duty. As a precautionary measure, it is advisable to avoid carrying more than two phones on your flight from USA to India.

Q: How many laptops can I carry to India?

A: There are no set quantity limits as per the TSA rules for carrying electronic devices on planes. But, if you are bringing many brand-new laptops, it may cause problems and you may be required to pay tax as per the India customs limit for electronics.

That’s pretty much everything about carrying & using electronic devices on planes. Still, have queries? Drop us a comment. 


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About Renu Dahiya | View Posts

Renu Dahiya is a passionate writer who worships her profession. Her love for writing has encouraged her to pursue her career as a writer. Her friends call her a “travel worm” and always come to her to know some interesting traveling tips and destinations. Renu is a repository of knowledge about traveling who knows which place should be visited in which season. Oh yes, she is insanely in love with dancing too. Writer, traveler and dancer, a perfect combination! Without a doubt, she is a complete package.

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  1. Shannon says:

    I have two friends who asked me to bring them new phones from USA. Personally, I have one phone, tablet and laptop. Can I bring all of them into India at the same time? Will I need to pay taxes on the two new electronics?

    1. Renu Dahiya says:

      Hello Shannon,

      Thank you for reaching out. While carrying a single sealed box of a phone may not be problematic, if you plan to carry three to four devices, you may be required to produce purchase receipts and may even be subject to customs duty. But, there are chances that you’ll be allowed to carry both the sealed boxes without any issues. Hope this helps!

      If you have any further queries or want to book your flight tickets, do let us know. We are always here to assist you. You can directly reach out to us @+1-585-895-2226 or join our live chat. 🙂

      Warm Regards,
      Team MyTicketsToIndia

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