Monday, January 7, 2019

Is Laptop, Tablets, and Mobile Phones allowed in Checked-In or Cabin baggage?

Yes, Laptop, Mobile Phones, Smartphones or any other Personal Electronic device, also known as PEDs are allowed in both check-in luggage and in cabin luggage in most of the countries. Though, it's general practice to carry mobile phones, laptops, tablets or any other personal electronic device in cabin luggage due to security reasons. Since these devices have a battery which may spark the fire and if they are in check-in luggage it will not be handled properly and in the worst case, it may result in loss of Aircraft. Hence its advised to always carry electronic devices with the battery in cabin luggage.

There are also a  couple of more reasons due to which I think its better to carry laptops, tablets etc into cabin baggage then check-in luggage, which I will explain you in this article.

There is another advantage of carrying laptops in cabin baggage and that is added security. When you carry something in cabin luggage, its always in front of your eyes and there is a less chance of losing that.

On the other hand, checked-in luggage is handled by airline crews and it may be lost during loading and unloading.

There are also incidents of people carrying someone else's baggage because of similar color, hence you may lose your laptop or smartphone if you put them in your check-in baggage.

Since our laptop and cell phones contain a lot of personal information, it would be the worst thing to lose and because of that I highly recommend you to carry tablets, laptops, and mobiles in cabin baggage.

Cost Effective
One more reason to carry laptops and phones with you in cabin luggage is cost. When you put your laptop or tablet or any personal electronic device e.g. Amazon Kindle or Samsung Note in checked-in baggage their weight is clubbed with other items and since you have a limited weight for check-in baggage it's not a good option.

Many airlines just allow 20 to 30 Kg of luggage, and low cost and budget airlines even charge for that. You also need to pay a heavy price if your luggage exceeds allocated cost.

On the other hand, most of the Airlines allows you to carry one laptop, mobile, tablet e.g iPad with you in a cabin without any cost.

You can also use that weight to carry something more important e.g. some pickles and eatery items.

Time Saving
Another reason I refer to carry laptops in cabin bag is it's time-saving. If you are traveling light i.e. don't have any check-in baggage and just have some personal electronic devices like Laptop and mobiles then its always better to carry them in cabin luggage because then you can go out as soon as your flight lands and you complete the immigration and security formalities.

You don't need to weight for your check-in baggage to arrive, which sometimes can take 15 to 30 minutes.

This is particularly important if you have a connecting flight or a train to catch. In past, this single tip has allowed me to catch domestic flights and trains in India on last minutes.

In short, Yes, Most consumer PEDs like cell phones, tablets and laptops are currently allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage, but it's safer to carry them in cabin luggage because cabin crews are trained to deal with any battery fire in laptop and mobile phones.

Also, many countries and airlines are now started banning laptop in checked in baggage.  The USA has already banned any battery powered personal equipment e.g. laptop or iPad from checked-in baggage from some specific countries and many other countries are going to follow that path.

Is Laptop, Tablets, and Mobile Phones allowed in Checked-In or Cabin baggage?

You also have added an advantage in terms of security because everybody has lots of personal data on their mobile and laptop. Since there is a higher chance of missing a checked-in luggage than cabin bag, I always prefer to carry laptops and smartphones on cabin luggage

If you are still not convinced, there is one more point which you can consider and that is related to money. If you put your laptop in cabin baggage then it will be added to your limited checked-in baggage weight and you may need to pay extra money if you exceed the allocated limit, which is generally 20 to 30 Kg and it may vary based upon which airlines you are traveling.

If you are traveling with budget airlines then you may need to pay for baggage itself. On the other hand, almost all airlines allow you to carry one laptop and mobile with you in your cabin luggage without any extra cost.

So, carrying laptops, mobiles, and tablet in cabin baggage is always better than check-in luggage considering safety, security, and cost benefits explained above.

Other frequently asked questions by NRIs, you may like to explore
How much Indian Currency/Cash NRIs can carry to Overseas/India?
Does NRIs need to update Aadhaar on Bank Accounts?
What happens to the bank account when you become NRI?
Is NRIs, PIOs, and OCI holders are eligible for Aadhaar Card?
Can you break NRE fixed deposit Prematurely?
Is Aadhaar card Mandatory for NRI? 
Does NRIs need to link their PAN Card with Aadhaar Card?

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