No one thinks about taking a TV on a plane until you’re in a situation where you need to do so.
Can you take a TV on a plane?
Yes, you can take a TV on a plane, both as a carry-on item and checked luggage, according to the TSA website.
While you can pack expensive, fragile electronics items in checked or carry-on bags, we recommend packing them in your carry-on. For items you wish to carry on, you should check with the airline to ensure that the item will fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat of the airplane.
As mentioned, you need to check with your airline to make sure that they allow TVs on planes. Different airlines have different restrictions for TVs, and they can differ depending on if you are bringing them as your carry-on or checked item.
For example, United Airlines recommends bringing your TV as a carry-on item:
If you’re traveling with high-value, fragile items, we recommend keeping them in carry-on bags or personal items instead of checked bags. These items count toward the amount of carry-on and checked bags you’re allowed to bring on board.
So, the TV counts towards your allowed carry-on items, and it needs to be no larger than 9 inches x 14 inches x 22 inches. If your TV is too big, you need to check it, while still following airline guidelines.
JetBlue will only let you check a TV for a flight if its original packaging and meets all other size requirements.
Televisions will be accepted on domestic flights as a checked bag as long as they remain in their factory-sealed box and they are within the size and weight requirements. There is no additional bag fee, but a television will count as one checked bag.
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How do I Pack my TV for a Flight?
Properly packing your TV for a flight is important since airlines are rarely liable for any damage to your items.
The best way to pack a TV is in its original box with protective packaging. There is a reason that TVs stay safe in their package before you buy them while being shipped and at the store. You can assume that the same packaging will keep your TV safe on a plane.
And, some airlines require TVs to be in their original, factory-sealed box if you are going to bring them on a plane.
If you don’t have the original box, and your airline will let you, you can pack your TV yourself. Find a box or even a hard-sided bag and pack the TV in there with bubble wrap.
As long as you tightly pack your TV in whatever you put it in, so it doesn’t slide around, it should stay safe during your flight.
What is the Maximum Size of TV Allowed in Flight?
The maximum size of TV allowed on a flight depends on the weight and size requirements for baggage on your airline.
Most checked items can’t exceed 50 pounds, but there is usually an option to bring a 70 item for an extra fee. Checked items usually don’t have a maximum size, but the weight limit will make it hard to bring large TVs on your flight.
Your TV can’t exceed the carry-on bag size limits if you are carrying it on. The maximum size for a carry-on item varies by airline, so check before you arrive at the airport. There is no weight limit for carry-on TVs, but you need to carry it through the airport and lift it into the overhead compartment.
These guidelines are true for most airlines, but you should always check the requirements before bringing your TV to your airport.
If you are bringing a TV on a plane, you might want to bring a game console. The good news is you are allowed to pack a Playstation in your carry-on bag and you can even bring a Nintendo Switch if you need some entertainment on the plane. If you bring a TV and a game console, make sure you have enough baggage allowances for both.
Can I take a TV on an International Flight?
Most airlines allow you to take a TV on an international flight, but there are a few exceptions.
JetBlue allows TVs on a very limited number of international flights:
Televisions are not accepted on international flights, with a unique exception for flights to/from Cuba.
Make sure to ask your airline for their policy on TVs on international flights before you arrive at the airport.
However, you should also check with your destination country’s customs rules. Some countries will charge a fee or require you to go through additional customs screening if you bring in large electronic devices like TVs.
The last thing you want to happen is to have your TV denied or confiscated at the airport or customs, so check the rules before you fly.
A desktop computer is another common electronic item you need to be careful with on international flights. Learn more about bringing a desktop computer on a plane here.
Is it Safer to Ship a TV Instead of Checking it for a Flight?
If you can, it’s better to ship a TV instead of checking it on a flight, and there are a few reasons for this.
First, airlines aren’t liable for any damage done to your TV. From the time you drop your TV off at the airport to when you pick it up, many people will be handling your TV, like security workers and baggage workers.
There is also a risk that your TV gets lost or stolen since many people are handling it. It also has a long way to travel from the baggage check and the plane, then back to baggage claim at your destination.
So, there are a lot of places and people who can mishandle your TV, and it’s up to you to fix or replace it if it gets lost or damaged.
While your TV may take longer to get to the destination, it’s safer to ship it. If you need to get it faster, you can pay for fast priority shipping.