Which Electronic Devices Can I Bring on My Flight?

Airfare Question of the Month
by , SmarterTravel Staff
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Editor's Note: This story was originally published on January 29, 2009. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: airfare, Airfare Question of the Month, American, government regulation, Jessica Labrencis, onboard flight entertainment, security.

Dear Jessica,

Which tech items can you bring onboard a plane? Since CD players are banned during the flight, are MP3 players also subject to that rule? What about bringing AC car chargers (for cell phones or DVD players) in your carry-on?


Dear K.H.,

Actually, CD players are not banned during flight, nor are MP3 players.


American Airlines provides a good example of what is and isn't allowed. According to its website, "All portable electronic devices must remain off and properly stowed during taxi, takeoff, approach and landing until the plane is at the gate and the seat belt sign is off." For the duration of the flight, however, you're free to use CD players, MP3 players, DVD players, laptop computers, and other approved electronic devices, provided you use a headset.

Tech items that are banned during flight include cell phones (unless the transmit device can be disabled), two-way pagers, radios, remote controls, cordless computer mice, wireless headphones, and GPS devices. Loose lithium batteries are prohibited in checked luggage.

Car chargers are allowed aboard, but not all planes will have outlets available in coach.

If you have further questions about what is allowed in your carry-on or checked baggage, refer to the TSA's list of prohibited items.

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