Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane?

The Nintendo Switch, a hybrid gaming console that combines the portability of a handheld device with the power of a home console, has quickly become a favorite travel companion for gamers around the globe since its release in March 2017. Its versatility and wide array of games make it an ideal choice for entertainment on long flights. But can you bring a Nintendo Switch on an airplane?

When the Nintendo Switch first hit the market, it was not just gaming enthusiasts who took notice; the innovative console also caught the attention of security agencies responsible for ensuring safe air travel. In the wake of heightened security measures and strict regulations regarding electronic devices on flights, passengers began to question which of their gadgets were cleared for takeoff. Over time, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and other international security bodies have continually updated their policies to adapt to the evolving landscape of consumer electronics, with the Nintendo Switch receiving clear guidelines for travel. Understanding the current regulations is essential for passengers who wish to keep their gaming experience uninterrupted as they soar through the skies.

can you bring a nintendo switch on a plane

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Can You Take a Nintendo Switch on a Plane?

Yes, you can take a Nintendo Switch on a plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to bring handheld gaming devices like the Nintendo Switch on flights. It’s a great way to pass the time during long flights, as it is portable and has a battery life that can last for several hours. When going through security, you may be required to remove your Nintendo Switch from its carrying case and place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening. It’s also advisable to check with your airline regarding any specific guidelines for using electronic devices during the flight. In the next section, we’ll delve into the details of traveling with your Nintendo Switch, including tips for packing and using it on board.

Understanding TSA Guidelines for Nintendo Switch on Domestic Flights

Traveling within the United States with your Nintendo Switch can make your flight much more enjoyable. However, it’s crucial to understand the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines to avoid any inconveniences at the security checkpoint.

Carry-On vs. Checked Baggage

  • The Nintendo Switch is allowed on USA domestic flights in both carry-on and checked luggage.
  • TSA recommends keeping electronics like the Nintendo Switch in your carry-on baggage to prevent potential damage.
  • When packed in carry-on, the device may need to be removed and placed in a separate bin during the security screening.

Screening Process for Electronics

During the security screening process, the Nintendo Switch should be treated as a standard electronic device. According to the TSA’s official guidelines, passengers are required to remove electronic devices larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to laptop screening procedures.

Battery and Power Bank Restrictions

  • Lithium-ion batteries within the Nintendo Switch must meet TSA requirements for carry-on luggage.
  • External battery packs or power banks also fall under these guidelines and should be kept in carry-on baggage, not checked.
  • There’s a limit to the number of spare (uninstalled) lithium batteries that you can take in carry-on bags, typically no more than 100 watt-hours (Wh) per battery.

Gaming During the Flight

While you can game during your flight, remember to follow airline rules regarding the use of electronic devices. Many airlines request that passengers switch their devices to “airplane mode” during takeoff and landing.

Protecting Your Nintendo Switch

  • Consider a sturdy carrying case to protect your Nintendo Switch from physical damage and scratches.
  • Keep the device in a secure, easily accessible place in your carry-on for the screening process.
  • Ensure any games and accessories also follow TSA guidelines and are stowed appropriately.

TSA Contact for Questions and Concerns

If you have specific questions about traveling with your Nintendo Switch or other electronics, the TSA Contact Center is available to assist travelers. You can reach them at [+1 (866) 289-9673] or visit their website to ensure you are receiving the most current information and guidance.

For more detailed information and updates directly from the TSA, you can visit their official page regarding traveling with electronics: TSA Electronics Guidelines.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
Portable entertainment during the flight Risk of loss or theft
Long battery life for extended gameplay Can be a distraction from safety briefings
Multitude of games suitable for all ages Small parts and accessories can be easily misplaced
Can be used in airplane mode to comply with regulations Extra device to carry and keep charged
Great way to pass time on long flights Could annoy other passengers with noise or screen light

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) provides general guidelines for passengers traveling with portable electronic devices (PEDs) like the Nintendo Switch. According to IATA, these devices are considered carry-on items and should be carried in the passenger cabin to ensure safety. The guidelines focus on the handling of lithium batteries, which power devices like the Nintendo Switch, during flights.

  • Devices should be carried in carry-on baggage.
  • Spare batteries must be protected from short circuit and carried in carry-on baggage only.
  • The use of PEDs should comply with airline policies, particularly during takeoff and landing.

For specific information regarding the Nintendo Switch, passengers should refer to the airline’s policy or contact the airline directly, as IATA guidelines serve as a general framework rather than device-specific instructions.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information, please visit the IATA Baggage Guidelines page.

Country Specific Regulations

When flying internationally with a Nintendo Switch, it’s crucial to be aware of the country-specific regulations that may apply. These regulations can vary from one country to another and may have specific requirements or restrictions regarding the use of electronic devices on aircraft or at airports.

United Kingdom

  • Electronic devices may be subject to additional screening.
  • Devices must be charged and capable of being powered on if requested by security.


  • Devices should be carried in hand luggage and removed for security checks.
  • Passengers may be asked to turn on electronic devices to demonstrate functionality.


  • Devices with lithium batteries should be carried in carry-on baggage.
  • Passengers should follow the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) guidelines for electronic devices.


  • Devices must be screened separately during security checks.
  • Passengers should follow the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs regulations for traveling with electronic devices.

New Zealand

  • Electronic devices may be subject to additional security screening.
  • Passengers should follow the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand’s guidelines.


  • Regulations can vary significantly across different Asian countries.
  • Passengers should check with local authorities or the airline for specific guidelines.


  • Devices should be carried in hand luggage and may be subject to security screening.
  • Passengers should follow the guidelines set by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with Nintendo Switch

Different airlines may have their own specific regulations regarding the carriage and use of electronic devices like the Nintendo Switch. It is important for passengers to review these regulations before flying to ensure compliance and avoid any inconvenience.

American Airlines

  • Devices must be in airplane mode during flight.
  • Large electronic devices should be stowed during takeoff and landing.

Delta Air Lines

  • Personal electronic devices can be used during all phases of flight.
  • Devices should be secured or held during takeoff and landing.

United Airlines

  • Devices must be in airplane mode or with cellular service disabled.
  • Devices should be stowed away during takeoff and landing.

Southwest Airlines

  • Small portable electronic devices may be used in airplane mode.
  • During takeoff and landing, larger devices must be stowed under the seat or in an overhead bin.

British Airways

  • Electronic devices can be used during the flight but must be in flight mode.
  • Devices must be held securely or placed in a seat pocket during takeoff and landing.


  • Use of electronic devices is permitted during the flight in airplane mode.
  • During takeoff and landing, devices must be switched off and stowed.

Air Canada

  • Devices must be set to airplane mode during the flight.
  • Devices should be secured during takeoff and landing.


  • Electronic devices can be used at any time during the flight in flight mode.
  • Larger devices must be stowed for takeoff and landing.

Air New Zealand

  • Portable electronic devices can be used in flight mode throughout the flight.
  • Devices should be stowed away safely during takeoff and landing.

Singapore Airlines

  • Electronic devices can be used in airplane mode during the flight.
  • Devices must be stowed during taxi, takeoff, and landing.

Packing Your Nintendo Switch for Travel

Bringing your Nintendo Switch along on your travels can make the journey more enjoyable; however, it’s important to pack it correctly to avoid damage. Here are some tips for safely packing your Nintendo Switch in both carry-on and hold luggage.

Carry-On Luggage

When packing your Nintendo Switch in carry-on luggage, the priority is to prevent damage and to make it easily accessible for security checks. Here’s how:

  • Use a Dedicated Case: Invest in a hard-shell carrying case that’s specifically designed for the Nintendo Switch. Look for cases with a padded interior and compartments for different components.
  • Screen Protection: Apply a screen protector to the Switch’s screen if you haven’t already. This will help prevent scratches during travel.
  • Secure Game Cartridges: Keep game cartridges in their original cases or in a dedicated cartridge holder to avoid loss or damage.
  • Wrap the Dock and Controllers: If bringing the dock and additional controllers, wrap them in bubble wrap or a soft cloth before placing them into your carry-on bag.
  • Power Cords and Chargers: Coil power cords and chargers neatly and secure them with Velcro straps. Keep them together with the console in the same case if possible.
  • Prepare for Security Checks: Remember that you might need to remove your Nintendo Switch from its case during security screening. Pack it in an easily accessible part of your carry-on.

taking nintendo switch through airport security

Hold Luggage

If you opt to pack your Nintendo Switch in your hold luggage, consider these steps to ensure its safety:

  • Sturdy Suitcase: Use a hard-shell suitcase to provide an extra layer of protection against impacts during handling.
  • Cushioning is Key: Surround your Nintendo Switch carrying case with soft items like clothing to serve as a cushion against shocks and impacts.
  • Central Packing: Pack your Switch in the center of your suitcase, away from the edges, to minimize the risk of damage from drops or external pressure.
  • Anti-Theft Consideration: Due to the risk of theft from checked baggage, consider using luggage locks approved by TSA.
  • Label Your Electronics: Ensure your contact information is attached to both the carrying case and the exterior of your suitcase just in case they are misplaced.

Whether you choose to pack your Nintendo Switch in your carry-on or hold luggage, the right preparation and packing method can help ensure your gaming device arrives safely, allowing you to enjoy your games wherever your travels take you.

Travel-Friendly Gaming and Entertainment Devices

When considering alternatives to the Nintendo Switch for in-flight entertainment, there are several portable devices that can enhance your travel experience. The Sony PlayStation Vita offers a wide array of games and can also connect to your PlayStation account for seamless gaming. Apple’s iPad is another excellent choice, with its vast selection of games, movies, and apps, plus a larger screen for enjoying various media. For those who prefer a more nostalgic touch, the Nintendo 3DS boasts a dual-screen and a rich library of classic games. Additionally, smartphones equipped with powerful processors and expansive app stores provide endless gaming and entertainment options. Lastly, portable gaming laptops with long battery life can cater to more hardcore gamers looking for a PC gaming experience on the go. All these devices are compact, lightweight, and perfect for keeping you entertained during long flights.

FAQ’s About Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane?

Traveling with your favorite gaming console can be a great way to pass the time, especially on long flights. The Nintendo Switch is a popular choice for gamers on the go, but it’s important to know airport security guidelines and airline policies when flying. Here, we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you travel hassle-free with your Nintendo Switch.

Can I bring a Nintendo Switch on a plane?

Yes, you can bring a Nintendo Switch on a plane. It is considered a personal electronic device and can be carried on board.

Should I put my Nintendo Switch in my carry-on or checked baggage?

It is recommended to put your Nintendo Switch in your carry-on baggage to avoid damage, loss, or theft that can occur with checked luggage.

Do I need to remove my Nintendo Switch from my bag during security screening?

Yes, you will typically need to remove your Nintendo Switch and place it in a separate bin for X-ray screening at airport security checkpoints.

Can I play my Nintendo Switch during the flight?

Yes, you can use your Nintendo Switch during the flight, but make sure to turn on airplane mode during takeoff and landing, or when instructed by the flight crew.

Is there a limit to the number of games I can bring on the plane?

There is no specific limit to the number of games you can bring, but be mindful of carry-on baggage size and weight restrictions imposed by the airline.

Will I need to charge my Nintendo Switch before the flight?

It’s a good idea to fully charge your Nintendo Switch before your flight, as not all airplanes have accessible power outlets, and you may want to play for an extended period.

Does using a Nintendo Switch on a plane interfere with the aircraft’s systems?

No, using a Nintendo Switch in airplane mode does not interfere with the aircraft’s systems. However, always follow cabin crew instructions regarding the use of electronic devices.

Are there any specific flight rules regarding the use of a Nintendo Switch?

The most important rule is to use your Nintendo Switch in airplane mode, and to follow any additional instructions provided by the airline staff or in-flight announcements.

How should I store my Nintendo Switch on the plane to ensure its safety?

Keep your Nintendo Switch in a protective case and store it in the seat pocket in front of you or securely in your carry-on bag when not in use.

Are there any airlines that prohibit the use of a Nintendo Switch on their flights?

Most airlines allow the use of a Nintendo Switch during the flight. However, airline policies can vary, so it is best to check with your specific airline before traveling.

Packing It All Up

Transporting a Nintendo Switch on an airplane is not only permissible but is also a popular choice for travelers looking to pass the time on their journey. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows passengers to bring the gaming console in both carry-on and checked luggage, ensuring that gamers can keep their devices close and avoid the potential of loss or damage in transit. Key insights to remember are the necessity for the console to be removed from its carrying case and placed in a separate bin when going through airport security, much like a laptop or other large electronics, to comply with TSA screening procedures.

Additionally, gamers should be mindful of airline policies regarding the use of electronic devices during flights. While the Nintendo Switch can typically be used during flight, it is recommended to switch the device to airplane mode, disabling wireless communication features to adhere to regulations. Keeping the Switch charged is also a critical consideration, as some airlines provide onboard power outlets or USB ports, while others do not, so a portable charger could be a handy accessory. Understanding and applying these guidelines ensures a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience in the skies, reflecting the overall shift towards a more travel-friendly environment for tech-savvy passengers.