When you’re planning for a flight, it can be difficult to know what you can and can’t take on a plane. There are many laws regarding what can be carried on board, which have changed over the past two decades, and airliners may have different policies that stay within those laws.
So, if you are bringing a gaming console with you on your trip, you may ask yourself… Can I bring an Xbox or Playstation on a plane?
We’re going to answer that question, along with other questions you may have about what you can and can’t do with game consoles on a plane.
Can Game Consoles Go on a Plane?
Your children will be glad to know that yes, your Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo can come with you on the plane.
You will need to follow TSA guidelines on transporting electronics, of course, but it’s very easy. An Xbox console, its controller(s), and accompanying video games can be taken as carry-on luggage or checked baggage.
There shouldn’t be any issues that interfere with your flying plans! However, since you’re carrying electronics, you’ll probably be chosen for additional screening at a security checkpoint.
This is the same thing that happens when you bring a laptop on board so, if you have experienced that, it should be exactly the same. Just remove it from your bag when going through the screening process.
Note that pretty much anything related to carrying an Xbox onboard can also apply to PlayStation and Nintendo consoles too, the TSA hasn’t picked a side in the console wars!
Below we have more details on the specific TSA regulations and how carrying an Xbox works as carry-on luggage or checked baggage.
TSA Regulations for Gaming Consoles
So, what does the TSA say? As the foremost authority on flight storage and security, it’s a good idea to know what they think before you haul your gaming console to the nearest airport.
There are no additional limitations placed on you when you want to take an Xbox with you on a flight. All you need to worry about is temporarily parting with it so that it can be screened.
This is because the TSA needs to separately screen any electronic items larger than a cell phone because it’s easier to screen them that way, so they can make sure it’s legitimate.
Instead, you should focus on staying within the airline’s weight limits for the totality of your baggage. The larger gaming consoles can get heavy, so they can take up a few pounds when your luggage gets weighed.
As always, the final decision to permit your items past the checkpoint rests with the on-location TSA officer. However, they shouldn’t flag your console if you don’t give them any reason to.
Game Consoles in your Carry-On
You can bring your Xbox on the plane as part of your carry-on baggage, as is the case with a PlayStation and other similar-sized gaming consoles.
You shouldn’t face any federally applied limitations, only the ones that are established by the airline you’re flying with.
Prepare your Xbox for this screening by making sure it’s not tangled up in wires or otherwise difficult to remove from your bag.
Game Consoles in Checked Baggage
As we established, you can also bring your Xbox onboard as part of checked baggage. Would we advise it?
Well, not really. Checked bags have a tendency to get tossed around, which is fine for clothing and toiletries but not for consumer electronics. Any of those impacts could damage or dislodge something within the casing of your Xbox and break it.
If we’re being honest, a large part of the tossing around comes from baggage handlers who don’t treat the bags carefully. They have a lot of bags to get through and a very limited time frame, so bags need to be thrown around and, sometimes, it’s your bag with your new and expensive Xbox inside.
Most handlers don’t know what’s in the bags, and we’re sure they wouldn’t throw them if they did know, but unfortunately, bags get thrown around often.
Checked bags also run the risk of getting lost. This is rare for most flight services and lost bags are typically found, but you may not want to take the risk.
That’s everything you should want to know about bringing your Xbox or Playstation on board a plane!
In our opinion, the best Xbox for taking onboard is the Xbox Series S, the smallest and most compact model. This is because it’s 14.17 x 11.5 x 5.04 inches and most airlines cut personal item sizes at 18 x 14 x 8 inches. The S leaves room for more under your seat.
As for packing it, it helps to have the original box lying around.
If you don’t, make sure it’s a lightweight but sturdy box that can contain the console and any peripherals, with wires wrapped up neatly.