Rules for Flights in the USA
On flights in the United States, clocks are allowed on hand and cargo baggage. TSA doesn’t state any restrictions, but all clocks should meet the airline’s standards for carry-on and checked baggage. Particularly heavy and large clocks made out of metal or wood could raise a security concern and security agents might not allow them to board the plane, so they should ideally be packed in checked baggage.
Clocks with lithium batteries can be carried in hand and cargo baggage with certain restrictions. When packed in checked baggage, they must be switched off and protected from accidental activation. Furthermore, all devices with lithium batteries must be charged and working, regardless if they’re packed in hand or checked baggage because TSA prohibits faulty electronic devices with lithium batteries due to fire risks.
Watches aren’t mentioned specifically, but they are generally welcomed on planes. Although you can pack them in checked baggage, TSA recommends packing jewelry in hand baggage to reduce the chances of it getting lost or stolen. Smartwatches that operate with lithium batteries are allowed in hand and checked baggage, but it’s advised to pack them in hand luggage.
If you’re wearing a watch at the airport, you should take it off when going through security along with other jewelry and place it in a bin with your belongings to prevent triggering the security alarm.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom
In Canada, Europe, and the United Kingdom it isn’t specified if clocks are allowed on planes. But their rules are pretty much identical to the US rules, and clocks and watches are allowed in hand and cargo baggage. Clocks with lithium batteries should preferably travel in hand baggage. If you’re wearing watches of any kind, you should remove them when going through airport security.
Australia, New Zealand, China, and India
In Australian, New Zealand, Chinese, and Indian flights, clocks and watches are allowed in hand and cargo baggage. Clocks and watches that work with lithium batteries should travel in cabin baggage. If you’re wearing a watch, remove it during the screening process at the airport.
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 clocks and watches on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Clocks and Watches on Planes
Are smart electric watches allowed on planes?
Yes, smart electric watches are allowed on planes in the United States. Common models like the Apple Watch, the Samsung Galaxy Watch, and fitness trackers are all allowed. However, some airlines will ask you to put your smart watch in airplane mode during the take-off, landing, or, sometimes, the entire flight. If you’re wearing your watch when going through security, you should take it off and place it in a bin with the rest of your belongings to avoid triggering the screening machine. When packed in checked baggage, smartwatches must be switched off and protected from activation.
Can I bring clocks and alarms with disposable batteries on planes (AA, AAA, etc.)?
Yes, you can bring clocks and alarms with disposable batteries on planes. Although TSA doesn’t specifically mention clocks that use disposable batteries as allowed, both items are individually listed as accepted on United States planes. Disposable dry batteries allowed on planes include AA, AAA, C, D, button cell, and 9-volt. Keep in mind that lithium disposable batteries have different rules. Lithium batteries are limited to 100Wh and should travel in your carry-on luggage. If you’re carrying the disposable batteries individually, make sure to protect the terminals with tape or any barrier to prevent any fire hazards.
Can I bring clocks and alarms with lithium batteries on planes?
Yes, you can bring clocks and alarms with lithium batteries on planes in the United States. But, the lithium battery must be under 100 Wh and it should preferably be carried in hand baggage. If you’re carrying your clock in checked baggage, then it must be switched off and protected from accidental activation. Also, remember to turn off the clock during the flight to prevent disturbing other passengers.
Can I bring antique wall clocks on planes?
Yes, you can bring antique wall clocks on planes with certain restrictions. If you’re planning on traveling with it as a carry-on, then the clock should fit in the overhead bin or underneath the front seat. It should also comply with the airline’s weight limit for carry-on. If it doesn’t, then your clock will have to travel as checked baggage. You can use a hardside suitcase to protect your clock from damage caused by the rough handling of checked baggage in airports.
Just remember that valuables packed in checked baggage are more likely to get stolen or lost. However, some airlines might make carry-on exceptions for valuable antiquities, even if they’re oversized. Contact your air carrier before your flight to see if any arrangements can be made for your wall clock.
If you’re buying your antique wall clock abroad, keep in mind some countries have laws that restrict the selling and exportation of certain antiquities. Also, you’ll most likely have to pay customs tax when arriving back in your home country.
Do I need to declare expensive clocks and watches on planes?
Yes, you need to declare expensive clocks and watches on planes in the United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection establishes that you must declare everything you buy overseas when returning to the United States. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll pay taxes on it. Depending on where you bought the watch and how long you’ve been out of the country, up to $1,600 could apply in tax exemptions. If taxes do apply, the exact amount will depend on the port you’re using to enter the United States. Failing to declare expensive clocks and watches when returning to the United States, might result in confiscation and a fine.
Can I bring barometers on planes?
Theoretically, you are allowed to bring a weather barometer on planes in the United States with certain restrictions. Most barometers contain mercury which is a dangerous good on planes. Barometers with mercury are allowed exclusively in hand baggage. Since they have more mercury than common consumer products, only an authorized individual from an agency like the weather bureau can travel with them. In addition, the barometer should be inside a special case that is leak-proof, shock-resistant, and has an inner liner that protects the device. If you can’t prove you’re eligible to travel with a barometer, then you can’t bring it on board. Aneroid barometers don’t contain any mercury and are usually allowed on planes in the United States.
What’s the best alarm clock for traveling?
The best alarm clock for traveling is the Welgo digital alarm clock. This digital alarm features multiple setups for weekdays and weekends. It has a dimmable light and a sleep timer. But the best of this alarm is that it also doubles as an FM radio. But, if you’re looking for a slimmer and more simple model, the Travelwey digital travel alarm clock is another good option. It has only the basic functions of an alarm clock, like a loud alarm and snooze button, which makes it easy to use.
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