Rules for Flights in the USA
On flights within the United States, gaming consoles are allowed in hand and cargo baggage without any major restrictions. However, they must comply with the airline’s carry-on standards when traveling in hand baggage.
When going through airport security, you need to place your gaming consoles in an individual bin to go through the x-ray machine.
Although they are also allowed in checked baggage, it’s recommended to pack valuable electronics in hand baggage to prevent any damage to the device with rough handling. A gaming console in checked baggage can also get lost or stolen.
Rules for Flights in Other Countries
Canada, Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand
On Canadian, European, United Kingdom, Australian, and New Zealand flights gaming consoles are allowed in hand and cargo baggage.
On Indian flights, it isn’t specified if gaming consoles are allowed on planes. But, the rules are similar to the United States, and usually, gaming consoles are welcomed in cabin and cargo baggage.
Chinese authorities don’t specify if gaming consoles of any kind are allowed on planes, but generally, they are accepted in the baggage as long as they comply with the airline’s size requirements. However, passengers should know that gaming consoles and certain video games are restricted in the country. There was a ban on game consoles for years, and even today, it isn’t allowed to import and distribute game consoles or games freely. Video games that are considered to have obscene material might not be allowed to enter the country. Overall, it’s best to avoid flying to China with game consoles.
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 gaming consoles on planes always rests on the security officer. Some airlines also have additional rules that may be different.
Frequently Asked Questions About Bringing Gaming Consoles on Planes
Are all types of gaming consoles allowed (PS4, PS5, Xbox, etc.)?
Generally, all types of gaming consoles are allowed on planes in the United States, including all PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo models. TSA allows both small and large gaming consoles in hand and checked baggage without any restrictions. When going through airport security, you must take the game console out of its bag and you must place it in an individual bin to go through x-ray screening.
Portable gaming consoles that have lithium batteries should travel in carry-on baggage if possible. They’re also allowed in checked baggage, but they must be switched off and protected from accidental activation. Furthermore, portable gaming devices must be charged and in working condition, because airport security prohibits faulty devices with lithium batteries, as they may cause a fire risk.
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Should I pack my Xbox in hand or checked luggage?
Overall, it’s best to pack your Xbox in hand luggage. This will prevent your game console from getting damaged or stolen from checked baggage. Although TSA allows game consoles like Xbox in hand luggage, you should make sure their weight and size comply with the standards of the airline you’re traveling with. Also remember to pack your Xbox in a way that is easily accessible in your carry-on, as you will have to take it out when going through airport security.
How do I pack my PS5 in luggage to protect it?
Pack your PS5 in its own backpack when traveling in the United States. You can use a regular backpack, but it’s recommended to use a specialized gaming console backpack with padded foam and multiple pockets to carry your console and other equipment. Another way to travel with your PS5 is to pack it in your carry-on surrounded by clothing to keep it protected. Yet, this might be impractical, as you will need to take it out of the bag while going through security. As a last resort, you can also travel with the PS5 in its original box. But, in this case, it’s recommended to have evidence of purchase to prove you owned the game console before traveling to avoid paying import taxes.
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Do I need to take out my PS5 when going through security?
Yes, you need to take out your PS5 when going through security in the United States. TSA allows passengers to travel with game consoles in carry-on without any exceptions. However, they ask for these consoles, including the PS5, to be taken out of their bag when going through airport security. You need to place your PS5 in an individual bin without anything on top for the screening process. So when packing your PS5 in luggage, remember to pack it in a way that allows you to easily retrieve it from your bag.
What’s the best travel bag for my PS5?
The best travel bag for your PS5 is the USA Gear PS5 case. This travel bag’s interior is customizable so you can change the compartments depending on which equipment you’re carrying. It has multiple pockets for storing items, and different handles so you can change the way you carry it. However, this bag is more similar in style to a laptop bag. Another option for storing your PS5 is the Trunab gaming console backpack. It features multiple pockets, a large compartment to store the console, and padded shoulders.
Will my PS5, PS4, or Xbox fit as a carry-on?
In general, PS5, PS4, and Xbox gaming consoles fit in common carry-on bags. Although it varies per airline, the usual measurements for carry-on baggage are 22 x 14 x 9 inches (56 x 35 x 23 cm).
The measurements for most common gaming consoles are as follows:
– PS5: 15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 inches (39 x 26 x 10 cm)
– PS4: 12 x 10.8 x 2.1 inches (30 x 27 x 5 cm)
– Fourth generation Xbox Series X: 11.8 x 5.9 x 5.9 inches (30 x 15 x 15 cm)
– Fourth generation Xbox Series S: 10.8 x 5.9 x 2.5 inches (27 x 15 x 6 cm)
So as you can see, even the largest popular gaming console – the PS5 – still easily fits within the strictest carry-on restrictions. In fact, it’s even small enough to be used as a personal item with most airlines.
However, if you’re carrying a gaming console bag with other gaming equipment in it, you’ll have to see it complies with the weight limits established by the airline. The average weight limit is usually between 15-45 lbs (7-20 kg).
Do PS5, PS4, and Xbox have lithium batteries?
The PS5, PS4, and Xbox consoles don’t have lithium batteries themselves. They must be directly connected to a power supply to work and aren’t rechargeable. This means you can also pack these game consoles in checked baggage without worrying about the batteries causing a problem with security.
Yet, the controllers for most gaming consoles do have lithium batteries and you should pack them in carry-on baggage whenever possible. Smaller gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch have lithium batteries and therefore should travel in hand baggage too. They’re also allowed in checked baggage, but they must be switched off and protected from accidentally turning on.
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Are gaming controllers also allowed on planes?
Generally, gaming controllers are allowed on planes. You can pack your gaming controllers together in the same bag as your gaming console, cables, video games, and headsets. Gaming controllers with lithium batteries should be packed in hand baggage whenever possible, but they’re also allowed in checked baggage.
Are portable gaming consoles, like Nintendo Switch also allowed on a plane?
Smaller gaming consoles, like Nintendo Switch, are generally allowed on planes. But, contrary to other gaming consoles, Nintendo Switch, PSP, and Nintendo DS have lithium batteries and should be packed in hand baggage. When going through security, you must remove small gaming consoles from your hand baggage and you must place them in an individual bin for screening. You can also pack them in checked baggage, but they must be switched off and protected from accidental activation.
Can I bring VR headsets on planes?
Yes, you can bring VR headsets on planes in the United States. TSA allows headsets to travel in hand and cargo baggage. But it’s recommended to keep such valuable things in hand baggage. You’ll have to take out the VR from your bag when going through airport security and place it in a bin for x-ray screening. Although there aren’t any rules against using your VR onboard a plane, some airlines might not allow it during take-off and landing, as it might impair your ability to react in a critical situation.
Also check out: Airplane electronics rules