Can You Put a Laptop in Checked Luggage?

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Nowadays, most people don’t go too far without specific devices, including cellphones and laptop computers, and many opt to have their laptops in their carry-on luggage when traveling.

However, you may wonder can you put a laptop in checked luggage when you fly. The answer is yes, but there are many reasons why having this item with you is better than in your checked baggage.

Laptops were banned from being in carry-on luggage on planes in the past for security reasons, so they had to be kept in checked bags. In this case, you would have no other options.

Should You Put Your Laptop in a Checked Bag?

Most airlines allow you to have various electronic devices in your carry-on bag and checked bags. These devices include but are not limited to laptop computers, cellphones, cameras, electronic games, tablets, and camcorders. For these electronic devices, you can also carry dry cell, lithium metal, and lithium-ion batteries.

If your electronic devices, including your laptop, contain lithium batteries, it is best to keep them in your carry-on luggage whenever possible. If there are restrictions, it is vital to ensure that all devices are turned off before they are stored in your luggage. This will keep your devices secure and prevent accidental activation.

What are the Rules?

Because laptops are so costly and fragile, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to travel with these items in their carry-on luggage. They also allow laptops to be in checked bags, but it is recommended that laptops and other small electronic devices be stored in carry-on bags when traveling by plane or train.

Packing Your Laptop in a Checked Bag

Whether you have your laptop in a checked bag or carry-on, you should do a few things to ensure the device’s safety. The first thing should be to back up your data. That way, if anything should happen to cause the hard drive to fail, you will not have lost anything important.

Here are some more things to consider before traveling with your laptop.

Delete Sensitive Information

If your laptop is in a checked bag, it is a good idea to delete any sensitive information before traveling. If you don’t want to go through all this trouble, at the very least, log out of social media websites, autofill data, and others that contain sensitive information.

Can You Put a Laptop in Checked Luggage

Keep Information Encrypted

Always make sure that your laptop is protected by using a password for encrypting. This will prevent others from accessing any information on the device. Encrypting the entire hard drive is unnecessary, but files should be encrypted.

There are tools you can use for this. Also, ensure that you write down your password and keep it where you can find it quickly, so you can access your files.

Secure Your Luggage

You will need to ensure that your luggage can’t be opened by anyone. This is particularly important if your laptop will be in your checked baggage. In addition, investing in a TSA-approved lock is an excellent idea to keep your luggage more secure. This won’t prevent lost luggage, but it will prevent others from being able to get into your luggage.

It is also wise to have a luggage tracker to always know where your bags are. After all, lost or mishandled luggage is not unheard of. The only drawback is that it won’t work if the bags are on a different flight, although it will make it easier to find lost bags later.

Protect Your Laptop From Damage

Luggage handlers aren’t always careful with passenger baggage, and luggage often gets tossed around throughout your journey. So, if you are putting your laptop in a checked bag, it is a good idea to take steps to protect the device from damage.

One option is to use a laptop sleeve or place the laptop inside a laptop case before putting it inside your luggage. Another option is to wrap the laptop in clothing, so it has some padding to protect it from bumps and bangs.

What If There is Damage Caused by the Airline?

If your laptop is in your checked baggage and there is damage caused by the airline, you have the right to file a claim. The best way to ensure your claim is approved is to prove that the airline caused the damage.

One way to do this is to take photos before traveling. Once your bags are packed, make sure that you take pictures of the contents before closing and locking the bags. Also, take photos of the bags’ exteriors. Finally, if you notice damage to the baggage, take pictures of the damage to go with the claim.

Report any damage before leaving the airport. Doing this in person is much easier than spending hours on the telephone trying to speak to someone about being compensated for the damage. Of course, there is always the chance that you don’t notice the damage until after leaving the airport. If this is the case, make sure you file your claim within 24 hours of landing.

Read also: Best Business Luggage

Conclusion

Always keep your laptop and other electronic devices in your carry-on luggage whenever possible. That way, they are always with you, and you won’t have to worry about someone damaging your belongings.

If you must put your laptop in checked luggage, make sure you delete sensitive data, back up your files, and encrypt the files, so everything is secure.

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