Rules for Flights in the USA
On US flights, e-readers and tablets are allowed in hand and checked luggage. However, all electronics larger than a cell phone (including e-readers) are subject to additional restrictions.
If packed in hand luggage, you should pack them in an easily-accessible location because they’ll need to be removed during the screening process and placed in a separate bin.
When packed in checked luggage, e-readers must be turned off, and they should be packed in a way that prevents them from accidentally turning on, and from accidental damage that could puncture their battery.
Another important thing is that your e-reader should be charged and fully working when packed in hand or checked luggage because the TSA security agents are authorized to turn it on to make sure that it isn’t defective.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Europe, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, China, and India
On Canadian, European, UK, Australian, New Zealand, Chinese, and Indian flights, the rules for e-readers are pretty much identical to the US. Almost anywhere across the world, they’re classified as “Personal Electronic Devices (PED)”, just like laptops or smartphones. PEDs don’t pose any significant risks on flights, so they’re allowed in hand and checked luggage.
Sources: For writing this article, we took information only from official sources, like airline regulators, government websites, and major airlines. If you want to confirm that our information is accurate and up to date, click on any of the links mentioned above. We linked out to where we found this information for each country.
Disclaimer: The final decision of whether you can bring e-readers onboard airplanes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Amazon Kindle and Other E-Readers on Planes
Are all e-readers allowed on planes (Amazon Kindle, Paperwhite, Kobo, Onyx Boox, etc.)?
All e-readers, regardless of their brand, are pretty much treated identically, so they’re allowed on planes in hand and checked luggage. The only limitation is that they must not exceed 100 watt-hours (or 160 watt-hours with airline approval). Kindle Paperwhite has a battery rated at 5.92 watt-hours, Kobo at 5.55 watt-hours, and Onyx Boox at 17.1 watt-hours, so all of them are well below the 100 watt-hour restriction.
Can I use my Amazon Kindle e-reader during the flight?
Most advanced countries (US, Canada, Europe, UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, India) nowadays allow you to use portable electronic devices, such as e-readers during the flight. However, they must be switched to airplane mode during the whole flight to avoid interference with the hardware on airplanes.
Most commonly, you won’t be able to use your e-reader during take-off, landing, and turbulence. That said, the FAA has started allowing the use of electronic devices during all stages of the flight. Some airlines in the US have already incorporated this, and on flights with American Airlines, Delta, Southwest Airlines, and a few others, you can now use your e-reader during all stages of the flight. On your next flight, just listen to the airline crew announcements for when you can use laptops, mobile phones, and other devices.
Can I read Amazon Kindle in airplane mode without WiFi?
You only need to be connected to the internet whenever you’re downloading a new book on your Kindle (and most other e-readers). Once you’ve downloaded the books you’ll be reading on your Kindle, you don’t need to be connected to WiFi to access them. You can easily read in the airport, on the airplane, or wherever you are without having an internet connection. As long as your items are downloaded and stored in your Kindle, you’ll be able to read without any problems, even if your device is in airplane mode.
How do I put my Amazon Kindle in airplane mode?
To turn on airplane mode on your Amazon Kindle device, swipe down to access the quick menu and tap on the airplane icon. You can also turn it on by accessing the settings menu. It’s a requirement to use airplane mode when flying, but it’s a good idea to do it all the time because it greatly improves the battery life of your Kindle device. Plus, you can use airplane mode in combination with borrowed eBooks from libraries to not worry about having a specific deadline on when you need to return your book. Just download your book via Overdrive, Libby, cloudLibrary, or other library apps, turn on Airplane mode and turn it back on when you’re finished reading the book, even if it’s after the term.
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Does the Amazon Kindle app work when my phone is in airplane mode without internet?
You will only be able to access the downloaded books on your Kindle app whenever your phone is set to airplane mode. So before your flight, when you’re still connected to the internet over WiFi or cellular data, download all the books that you will want to access. You can do that by tapping on “library”, and then tapping on any book that you want to download. Make sure that it shows up in your “downloaded” tab, to ensure that it will work on airplane mode.
Do I need to remove my e-reader when going through security?
Depending on the country you’re flying through, you may need to remove your e-reader from your carry-on or personal item and place it in a separate bin without anything on top or underneath it. You’ll need to remove it on flights in the US, but not in Canada, Europe, or the UK. That said, it’s still a good idea to pack your e-reader (or any other electronic device) in an easily accessible place because sometimes the security agents will ask you to take it out for additional inspection.
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If I won’t be using it, is it better to pack my Amazon Kindle in hand or checked luggage?
It’s definitely a better idea to pack your Kindle (or any other e-reader) in your hand luggage. That’s because stuff often gets “lost” in checked luggage, and all major airlines usually aren’t responsible for this. Because of this reason, it isn’t advised to pack anything valuable in your checked luggage. Plus, when packed in checked luggage, your e-reader needs to be switched off and safely packaged to stay protected from accidental damage (wrapped in soft clothes or put in a secure box). In hand luggage, you can pack your e-reader however you want to.
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Can I connect my Amazon Fire Tablet to airplane inflight entertainment apps?
Some airplanes have their own apps that will allow you to access inflight entertainment, but you need to check specifically if they’re also available on the Amazon Appstore. A lot of airlines make inflight entertainment apps only for Android and Apple but skip Amazon. For example, the American Airlines entertainment app is available on Google’s Playstore and Apple’s Appstore, but not on Amazon’s Appstore. The only way to bypass this is by installing the Google Playstore on your Fire Tablet, which is a bit complicated but doable.
If you want to use your Amazon Fire Tablet to do other things besides reading, you can download movies onto the device using Amazon Prime Video, HBO Max, Disney+, or Netflix apps where you can watch them in airplane mode without having to turn on WiFi.
If you’re planning to use an airline’s inflight entertainment app, it’s best to see if you can download it before your flight. That way, if it isn’t compatible or you find that you are having problems with it, you can look for other ways to keep yourself entertained during the duration of the flight.
Shop now: Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet
You should also check out: Can I bring a power bank on a plane?
Tips on Traveling With Amazon Kindle and Other Electronic Devices
1. Make Sure You Charge Your Device
In case security officers decide to perform a random inspection and need to turn on your device, you’ll need the power to do so. If not, they might take you aside for further questioning or ask you to wait while they charge your device with enough power to turn it on. This can cause delays and might just add to your stress on top of other things.
Also, if you’re going to use your device during the trip, you want to make sure it has enough juice to last the whole trip so you can read books, watch movies, and do whatever you want.
2. Bring a Voltage Adapter
If you’re traveling from America to Europe or other countries in the world, you need to check first what their standard voltage is. America uses 110V, but Europe and some other countries use 220V. If you don’t have a voltage adaptor and plug your 110V device into a 220V power supply, your device will experience a sudden surge of power which will fry its hardware. It pretty much won’t be usable anymore.
3. Pack Your Devices in Your Carry-On Luggage
As much as possible, don’t put your devices into checked luggage where there’s a chance that they might get stolen. You want to keep your electronic devices safe, so it’s best that they’re with you all the time. That’s why it’s safer if you take them with you by packing them into your personal bag or carry-on bag. If they’re in your checked luggage, they’re more susceptible to being stolen.
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4. Remember: Security Officers Are Allowed to Turn It On
Sometimes, security officers randomly inspect devices as they look for illegal data. This also includes torrented books, movies, and music. If you are singled out and they ask you to turn on your device so they can go through it, don’t panic and just let them do their job. If they are unable to find anything, they will clear you and you will be able to proceed with your trip.
5. Be Careful When Using Free WiFi
When you’re at the airport, you can use the free internet service to keep in touch with family and friends or send some emails for work. Nevertheless, remember that any information you key will not be secure. This includes passwords and account numbers.
That’s why you shouldn’t shop or make any bank transactions when using a free WiFi service. Your information can easily be picked up by anyone who has proper systems and equipment in place. Identity theft is a huge concern and you should take steps to keep your personal information secure when you travel.
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