How To Fly With A Gaming Console: The Ultimate Guide

If you are flying somewhere for work, school, or just for a holiday, you might want to take your console with you. The problem is, for a lot of people, airports are intimidating places. It does not have to be, so here is our guide on traveling with your console.

Take the console in your carry on luggage. Using a backpack is the best method as you can keep your backpack on you at all times. If the console is new, try and keep the receipt. If it is used, you should have no problems with customs. Be prepared to take your console out at the security gates.

In this article, we will walk you through everything that you need to know about flying with your console and more. The article will go pretty in-depth. So, grab a snack and enjoy reading.

Can You Bring A Game Console On A Plane?

In my experience, having flown to 3 different countries with my gaming console, I can confidently say that, yes, you can fly with your console. It isn’t as big of a deal as it may seem at first, as long as you take the right steps.

How you go about it is very important, and in this section, I am not talking about how to safely travel with your console. I am talking more about whether or not you can do it. There are some important things that you need to do before packing your console to take with you on a flight. So, let’s get into it.

  1. Check with your local airport.
  2. Check with any airports that you will be at for a layover.
  3. Check with the country you are landing in (very important).

Check With Your Airport

You need to check with your local customs and airports. In America, this would include contacting the TSA, but I am more than 100% confident that you can fly out of the US with the console because I have done it twice already. I had no problems with it at all.

Checking with your local airport will not only tell you whether or not you can travel through the airport with your console, but it will also help you determine how you need to pack your console when traveling through the airport. This is because, in my experience, asking questions is a great thing to do, and most airports are very friendly when answering you.

Check with layover countries

Layovers are very common, especially when flying with any of the UAE airlines. Let’s say you are flying to Australia from the UK, and you have a layover in Dubai. The best thing for you to do would be to contact the airport in Dubai. Perhaps you can do this by email or by phone. Ask them whether or not you can travel through with your personal console.

Again, they will be able to tell you the best way to do it, but don’t worry because we will be covering, in this article, the best way to travel with your console.

Check where you are landing

Some countries have stringent rules as to what you can bring into the country. Later on, In this article, we will be talking about how many electronics you can take with you on a flight. First, it is important to know what you need to bring with you if traveling with your console to another country.

One thing that must be certain is that you need to have proof, if possible, that your console is yours. This will just take a lot of stress away from going through customs of the country you are landing in. For the most part,, if your console is packed in your carry-on suitcase and clearly a used console, you won’t have to pay any customs and duty fees.

If the customs of the country that you are landing has considered your console to be new and they suspect that you are bringing it into the country to sell or to give the console to a friend, they might try to charge you import and duties. Be prepared because, depending on the country that you are traveling to, this can be quite expensive if not almost as much as the console cost originally.

So, it is a good idea to make sure that you know everything you need to know before traveling to the country you are going to on holiday or moving to. You do not want to have to pay fees to take your console with you.

Can You Carry A PS4 Or PS5 In Checked Luggage?

Basically, what checked luggage means is it is luggage that you will be handing over to the airline when you get to your flight check-in area. It is the luggage that gets stored in the plane’s belly and collected via the rotating belt when you land.

In my experience, almost every single airport allows you to pack your console in this type of luggage because it is checked by the airport security when being loaded. Whether or not it is the best way to pack your console when traveling, well, for that answer, keep reading as we will discuss this later.

Can You Carry An Xbox In Checked Luggage?

As with the PS5 and PS4, the answer for Xbox one or Xbox Series consoles is pretty much the same. Whether it is a PlayStation, Xbox, or even a Series X, your console is all considered the same thing, and it is treated as a laptop by airport security.

Can You Take A PS4 Or PS5 On A Plane In Your Carry On Luggage?

Carry-on luggage means the luggage that you carry into the plane with you. Every airport and every airline has different rules for this. So it is best to check with your airline as to how big your carry-on luggage can be and how much it can be in weight. They do enforce these rules.

When you take your PS4 or PS5 on a plane, certain rules apply, and the one that stands out the most is that if your console is in your carry-on luggage, you will have to unpack it when going through airport security. It will then be checked by the scanners and by the guards.

Whether or not this is the best method of taking your console on a plane will be discussed further down in the article. So, keep reading for that answer.

Can You Take An Xbox On A Plane In Your Carry On Luggage

Again this is the same for Xbox as it is with PlayStation. You will have to unpack your console into a grey container when traveling through airport security.

Also, as with PlayStation, when you travel with an Xbox, you need to make sure that you check in with the airports where you are landing. This is just to make sure that you do not have to pay import and duty fees. This can be avoided by ensuring that your console is proven to be used and is your personal console. So, try and have the purchase slip with you.

How To Take Your Console On A Plane

In this section, we will discuss everything that you need to know about packing your console to take with you on a flight. This is the meat of this article, so I recommend going through everything and then bookmarking the page as a reference.

Packing Your Console To Take It On A Plane

Here are 5 things that you should consider when packing your console. We will discuss each point after the list.

  1. It is best to pack the console in your carry-on luggage.
  2. Use a backpack if possible.
  3. If it is in a suitcase, make it accessible.
  4. Give yourself time.
  5. Use clothes to add padding.

Take The Console In Your Carry-On Luggage

The best way to travel with your console on a plane is in your carry-on luggage. This can be done in two different ways. One, you could carry it in a suitcase, or you can use a backpack.

The reason why it is better to take it with you on the plane in your carry-on luggage is that if you check it in with your checked luggage, you do not know how the people packing the plane are gonna treat your bag or your suitcase.

These people are under tremendous amounts of stress, and even though nothing justifies them treating our luggage poorly, it is probably going to happen. This is because the men and women who pack our luggage into the planes have deadlines that they have to meet. So, they often toss our bags around without worrying about what’s inside.

You might think to yourself that you could just put a “fragile” sticker on the suitcase. While most people do this anyway, it is no guarantee that the staff who pack the planes will treat the bag as fragile anyway.

Use a backpack

Ok, so, when you use a backpack, you probably won’t be able to pack the console in a box but using a backpack has more benefits than a suitcase. Let me explain.

If your console is with your carry-on luggage and you are going through airport security, you need to unpack your console into a grey container, and it will go through a scanner. You don’t want to be the person who holds up the entire line because you have to shuffle through your suitcase to find your console.

It is also important to remember that even though you have less padding and protection in your backpack, you can keep your backpack on you at all times, and you control how it gets treated. In most cases, you won’t even have to put it in the overhead luggage when you get onto the plane, but rather, you can put it right by your feet to make sure that it does not get bumped at all.

You are also less likely to lose your backpack because it stays on your person at all times, whereas the suitcase has more chances of getting lost in an airport. It is not often that people find misplaced backpacks lying around airports, but there are countless amounts of unclaimed suitcases in most airports.

Using a suitcase is not the best

Okay, so if you use a carry-on suitcase, chances are you will still be able to pack your console in a box, and you would also be able to make sure it has extra padding, but there are several problems that you may be presented with. If you choose to use a carry-on suitcase for your console, let’s get into the problems you might face.

Your first problem will be when you are going through airport security. This will be worse if it’s in a box. You will have to shuffle through your entire suitcase on the small little platforms that they give you to unpack your stuff.

You will have to then unbox the console and place it in the grey container. After all of that, you will have to wait for your console to come out of the scanner and then repack it. All of this can take a significant amount of time.

A carry-on suitcase also has no guarantee that it is going to be put in overhead luggage. If the airline decides that there is not enough space in the overhead luggage, they will designate some suitcases to go into the plane’s belly.

This means that now your console is treated as if it is checked luggage and is at the mercy of the people who packed the plane. Backpacks are less likely to be chosen to go into the luggage section of a plane.

If you have a layover, you will have to repeat the process of going through airport security again, and you might have to do it once you land. So, it just adds a lot of time and stress to your trip. The last thing we want when traveling is stress.

Give yourself time

So this statement, “give yourself time,” is true whether or not you are using a backpack or a suitcase for your carry-on luggage. We know that you will have to unpack your console at some point at airport security. The last thing you want to do is to be in a rush while doing it.

It is also important to remember that airlines are on stringent schedules, and if you are late for your flight, they will take off without you. This is not just something you see in the movies, it is real, and every single day, there are thousands of people across the world that miss their flight by just a few seconds.

So, when traveling with your console, especially if it is in a carry-on suitcase, make sure you get there a little bit early and try to go through airport security at a good time. This will prevent any situations where you might have missed your flight just because you were stuck at airport security for 10 or 20 minutes, trying to pack and unpack your console.

Use your clothes as padding

If you were thoughtful enough to keep your console’s box, you might be lucky if you are packing it into your carry-on suitcase because it will have an extra layer of protection. If you do not have that, you can always just use your clothes as padding, and if you can find a little bit of polystyrene somewhere, you can use that as well.

If, as I recommended, you pack your console in your backpack again, you can just use clothing to pad the corners of your console, but because the backpack is on you, you only need a minimal amount of protection.

If you are using a backpack, you will have to be thoughtful at how you treat your backpack. Do not throw it on the ground; try not to put it in the overhead luggage but rather keep by your feet. Yes, you will have to compromise a little bit of legroom, but you won’t have to spend $400 on a new console at the end of the day when you land.

Going Through Airport Security With Your Console

Going through airport security is stressful for a lot of people. This is because the airport’s security is trained to treat everybody as equal, and in my experience, as friendly as they are with you, they treat you as a suspect.

Airport security is literally the most important defense line to a country’s interior, so they are not mean; they are just extra careful. If they let in somebody who does something wrong in the country, even though they don’t get directly blamed, they might still feel that they have let the country down.

So, whether you are entering a country or leaving a country, just remember to be respectful to the airport security as they are just trying to do their jobs. That being said, they do not have an easy job at all.

They might treat you with a little bit more scrutiny when carrying your console on you, but they just need to make sure that everything is safe, and you are not trying to do anything wrong.

Arriving At Customs With Your Console

This is one of the most important parts of your trip. Some countries can charge you import and duty fees up to the same amount as the console cost already. So you need to be wary.

The people over at customs are not out to get you. Again, it is just a case of them doing their jobs. If they determine that you are bringing a console into the country to sell it or give it as a gift, the country loses money. This means that they need to recoup that money.

So, be sure that you do not carry your console in a brand new box, and if you are going to do that, make sure that you have the slip to prove that you purchased the console a while ago. You could also go to your post office to have a letter signed saying that it is your console. This is all very rare, and you do not really have to do this in most cases.

Safety

When you are in an airport, whether or not you have a console on you, you should never leave bags lying around. Airport security takes this very, very seriously. If you have your console in there and you leave it lying around for a minute or two, airport security could see that as a threat, and they could dismantle your entire console and confiscate your bags. In the most extreme cases, you can be barred from boarding the flight.

With your console, though, you run the risk of losing your bag or having it stolen. So do not leave it lying around. Keep your bags as close to you as possible and within your eyesight.

Also, make sure that you have sufficient padding around your console. If it is in the suitcase, you have to put a “fragile” sticker on it. If it’s in a backpack, don’t worry; just keep it on you and be mindful that you have something of value on your person at all times.

How Many Electronics Can You Carry On A Plane

Sometimes when we travel, especially when it is for leisure, we tend to take a lot of electronics with us. Sometimes we don’t even realize how many things we have. Everything from GoPros to cameras, laptops consoles, power banks, and handheld consoles all add up. So, let’s take a look at how many electronics you can take with you on a plane.

For every country, this is different. For the United States, the limit is 15, but it’s not just the limit that you need to worry about. If you are carrying many electronics with you, customs and security can start to get a little bit suspicious.

If you cannot answer airport security or customs questions, it can hold you up, and you might not be able to board your flight or into the country you are going to. For example, you are carrying five cell phones on you, and you cannot answer the questions as to why you have five cell phones on you, which could raise red flags.

If you are carrying an Xbox, gaming laptop, and PS4, that is pretty easy to explain; you could just say that you like playing all three. If you are carrying two or three PlayStation 4’s, customs will pretty much determine that you are bringing them into the country to give them away or to sell them, and they will charge you import and duty-free.

So just keep that in mind when taking all of your electronics on a flight with you: you import and duty fees.

Conclusion

Taking your console with you on a flight doesn’t have to be such a hassle. In this article, we covered everything that you needed to know, and at times, we did list the most extreme cases, and we did cover the worst-case scenarios. I think it is important to do so because, even if you are just that one in a million gets pulled over by customs and security, you need to know what you are going to do and what you will say.

We also spoke about keeping your console safe with you, whether in a backpack, checked luggage, or in a carry-on suitcase; it will be a shame if you didn’t take the proper precautions and ended up breaking your console on your holiday.

We hope you found this article informative, and all of this being said, we hope you have a great flight wherever you are going.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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