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How to pack your electronics for air travel

  A man carrying a heavy sack through an airport
Elnur / Shutterstock 06Photo / Shutterstock

Vacation is a great opportunity to put your electronics away from your home too. But only this year, the US government has banned lithium-ion batteries from abandoned bags. So how should you pack this laptop?

This is not just a question of TSA compliance. That's a matter of convenience. If you want to bring a bunch of large electronic devices on your next vacation, you need to be able to organize them in your carry-on luggage. Otherwise your flight will be even more annoying.

You need to stash the electronics in a travel bag.

Lithium-ion batteries are a relatively stable source of energy. However, if you pierce or overheat a Li-Ion battery, it will go up in flames. The American DOT knows that this poses a safety risk to aircraft and has banned lithium-ion batteries from the cargo area of ​​all passenger flights.

This is not just a precaution against bombs and intentional Li-Ion fires. Do you remember when Samsung phones exploded in people's pockets? Yes, it turns out that a malfunction or a damaged Li-Ion battery can be accidentally triggered. And the dark, untidy cargo hold of an airplane is probably the last place you want to fire.

What does that mean for you? Well, you must bring your entire Li-ion electronics in a bag (or bag). For cell phones or tablets, this is no big deal. However, if you try to put a laptop, Bluetooth speaker, portable battery, or other large Li-ion electronics on the flight, it can cause inconvenience.

In general, you can bring as many lithium-ion batteries as your hand luggage as you like. Some airlines have their own limitations, but if you bring just a handful of equipment, you probably do not have to worry too much.

Respect the ban, even if it is not enforced

Remember How did I tell you that lithium-ion batteries are banned in the cargo area of ​​passenger flights? I have not lied, but the Federal Aviation Administration is not enforcing this ban yet.

According to the FAA, devices that contain lithium-ion batteries should be "kept in carry-on." But if one ignores the prohibition and packing of this electronics in checked baggage, then "they should be completely switched off, protected against accidental activation and packed to protect them from damage. "

  A young couple taking a selfie in an airplane
illpaxphotomatic / Shutterstock

So you can pack your suitcases technically as you like. However, I would strongly suggest that you treat the ban as a law. The government is a messy, bureaucratic business. Just because the FAA treats this ban as a suggestion does not mean that your local TSA agents feel the same way. In addition, your electronics in hand luggage is safer anyway.

Packing for the TSA Checkpoint

Whether you like it or not, the TSA is your biggest lithium-ion barrier before the flight. Do you know how the TSA requires you to put your shoes and carry-on luggage in a plastic container? Well, you should also remove any electronic devices that are larger than a cellphone out of your pocket. You then place these electronics in separate containers as they can not be stacked on top of each other.

This is not the biggest hassle in the world as long as your bag is neatly organized. If you're using a backpack or a small suitcase, pack your clothes down and your electronics up. Or you could dedicate an attaché to your electronics. This will allow you to quickly remove and replace your electronics as you go through the TSA checkpoint.

If you're bringing a lot of small electronic devices like cables and batteries on board, then I'd suggest you pack them in a bag from BAGSMART or Amazon Basics. These cases make it easier to find your belongings and can help alleviate unusual TSA encounters.

How to make the most of wearing comfort

You must carry all your electronics with you. However, there is a possibility that you do not have to use all during the flight. Since you obviously can not reach any electronics that are in the luggage compartment, you should store useful electronics such as tablets and portable game consoles in a smaller bag that fits under your seat or in your lap. A backpack, a beanbag, an attaché or an electronic organizer should work well. Or you could just take the bare essentials out of your luggage before the flight starts.

  A woman using her phone in an airport hall
Zodiacphoto / Shutterstock

Ideally, your carry-on luggage will be just as easy. You can bring some clothes, toiletries, a book, some snacks and your electronics in your cell phone pocket. But if you're a cheap man (like me), then you have a chance to torture yourself by putting everything in a backpack and struggling with the expensive and annoying abandoned bag.

There are some problems with the sadistic way forward. If your bag is messy, finding things that you need in a hurry is difficult. If it is too big to fit under your seat, you must throw it in the luggage compartment. Seat bags, fasteners and electronic organizers make the difference here as well. You can dedicate a backpack or suitcase to clothing and use a small extra bag or organizer for your electronics.

Consider signing up for TSA Pre-Check

Wrapping up your electronics is pretty easy as long as you stay organized. However, if you do not like to organize bags and take out your electronics for the TSA, then DOT's lithium-ion rules can be extremely annoying. Fortunately, you can sign up for the TSA pre-check program and skip the usual review process.

Signing up for TSA Pre-Check can be time consuming, but worth the effort. They must conduct a personal interview, provide fingerprints, and enable the TSA to conduct a federal background exam. If you've ever applied for a job in government, it's almost the same process. If you have been audited by the TSA, you pay $ 85 for a five-year registration, and that's it.

If you have logged into TSA Pre-Check, you can leave the TSA Check Lane instead of the TSA Pre-Check Lane on the regular plebeian TSA lane. The experience is comparable to a Disney Fast Pass. The line is not that long, you do not have to take your electronics out of your pocket, and you do not have to take off your shoes.

Sources: FAA

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