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Can You Bring a Desktop Computer on a Plane?

While we are in an age where working remotely can mean traveling with a laptop and being away from a traditional office environment, there still may be a need to travel on a plane with a desktop computer.

If you are heading away for school, or moving states then you may be asking “can I bring a desktop computer on a plane?”.

The short answer is yes. According to the official TSA website, you are allowed to bring a desktop computer on a plane in both your carry-on and checked-in luggage.

The website also states that if you bring it on as carry-on luggage then you will be required to remove it from your carry-on bag and place it in a separate tray to go through the x-ray machine.

How to Pack a Desktop Computer for Plane Travel

In a perfect world, you would still have the original box that the desktop computer came in when you purchased it. But as we move through the trend of a clutter free home, this is probably not something you still have lying around.

So what is the best way to pack a desktop computer for plane travel? As your computer has lots of important internal parts, then you need to ensure that you reduce the movement.

Ensuring you pack the desktop computer in a box that has at least 2 inches of space around it, so you can use appropriate packing materials to fill in the gaps. Use packing grade bubble wrap to stuff all around to the desktop computer to ensure that you protect inside parts from becoming loose with movement and turbulence.

Securing the outside of the box by wrapping in packing tape or utilizing the airport protective wrapping services (where available), will also assist with reducing any outside impacts that may damage the desktop computer.

With all these great packing tips, it must be said that there is a chance you will be asked to move the desktop computer from its box and packaging to go through x-ray and be screened properly. Consider this when packing prior to the screening and security checkpoint.

Packing your desktop computer this way can be done if you need to take it as part of your carry on luggage or if you choose to check it in. It is always advised that for fragile items like a desktop computer, you should add additional protective packaging and clearly label the box as fragile when checking in any type of luggage. Hopefully this will mean that baggage handlers will be a little more careful with this item.

Related Article: Can you Take a TV on a Plane?

Are Desktop Computers Allowed on International Flights?

When traveling internationally, it is generally advised that you should take your desktop computer as carry-on with you to ensure it is more protected compared to being in the cargo hold.

There is nothing stating on the TSA website nor the websites for individual airlines that there are different rules when it comes to allowing desktop computers on international flights. It is best to check with the airline you are flying with before departure to make sure they allow it.

Can I also Bring a Monitor When I Travel?

There are no specific guidelines from TSA when it comes to bringing a monitor on a plane. It’s recommended that you bring it as a carry-on when you travel. For more tips on how to pack a monitor, check out the link above.

Final Thoughts

Bringing your desktop computer with you on your flight is definitely something you can do. Be mindful about your luggage limits for both checked in and carry on luggage and always check with your chosen airline about any specific guidelines they may have.

Don’t forget, it is always up to the TSA officer at the checkpoint whether or not they allow an item on board.

Hayden Wall

Hayden is the founder of Travel Gear Discounts and tries to vacation as much as possible. He loves finding the latest travel accessories that will make getting out easier and planning the perfect weekend getaway.