We all know how sitting for long during flights can be taxing and boring, especially when flying overseas. This is why some people prefer to bring a book, a kindle, or a tablet to keep them entertained throughout. If you’re more of a gamer, you may consider bringing your Nintendo Switch during your travel. But are Nintendo Switches allowed on planes?
Here we will discuss everything you need to know about bringing a Nintendo Switch on board and some reminders to remember when carrying one.
Can I Bring My Switch on a Plane?
The short answer is yes, you can bring your Nintendo Switch on the plane. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows portable or handheld electronic devices on an aircraft, such as laptops, tablets, and Nintendo Switches. TSA allows them both on carry-on bags and checked luggage, but we highly suggest you bring them in your suitcase.
When bringing your Nintendo Switch in your carry-on bag, it’s part of the process to put devices larger than your cell phone to be scanned in a separate container by airport security. If you’re considering bringing even larger consoles like PlayStation and plan to pack them in your checked bags, note that they must also be reviewed by the airport security, placed in a separate container then through the scanner before you go on board.
To lessen the hassle of taking your items out through airport security, it’s best to take them out from your luggage. Once checked, you can easily place them on your checked baggage instead of opening your luggage to be checked and returning the item. (Read Can You Bring Dyson Airwrap On Plane)
Things to Remember When Bringing Nintendo Switch on a Plane
Now that you know you can bring your Nintendo Switch, here are some things you should remember when carrying them on board:
Put your Nintendo Switch in airplane mode before you board
Also called flight mode, airplane mode is recommended in all electronic devices before going on board. It blocks all incoming calls and your device from connecting to Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth, and even from using GPS.
When it comes to your Nintendo Switch, it is required that you activate flight mode if you plan to use it while on the plane so it won’t interfere with the airplane’s GPS and other navigation equipment. We recommend you already have pre-downloaded games that do not need the internet to be played as backup, but you can always connect to in-flight Wi-Fi once permitted by the airline so you can play online games.
How to Turn on Airplane Mode
- Press and hold the home button on your Nintendo Switch.
- Click’ Flight Mode’ on the bottom right-hand side to turn it on.
- If you see an airplane icon in the top right corner of your Switch, it means you have successfully activated flight mode.
Note: You can also follow these steps if you own a Nintendo Switch Lite.
You can’t use tabletop mode
Nintendo Switch has two main modes: handheld and tabletop modes. Handheld mode refers to holding the Switch in your hands while playing, while tabletop mode refers to placing your Switch on a stand and removing the JoyCon controllers on the sides.
However, it is of note that tabletop mode only works when it’s connected to Wi-Fi. So if you aren’t connected to the in-flight Wi-Fi yet, you won’t be able to use it.
Bring a power bank for charging
Power bank always comes in handy when you’re on the go. Apart from cell phones and tablets, power banks can also charge Nintendo Switch, but you must keep in mind the following:
- Your console must be updated and use the latest system version.
- If your power bank uses a Type-A USB port, use the USB-C cable with the Joy-Con Charging Grip and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller when connecting it to your console.
- If you use a third-party USB cable, ensure it has a 56-kilo-ohm resistor.
- Alternatively, you can plug your Switch into your laptop to charge it.
FAA Rules on Lithium Batteries to Remember
Apart from the rules on bringing Switch on board that you need to remember, you must also know the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules on lithium batteries. Here’s precisely what it states on its website:
“Spare (uninstalled) lithium-ion and lithium metal batteries, including power banks and cell phone battery charging cases, must be carried in carry-on baggage only… Lithium-ion (rechargeable) batteries are limited to a rating of 100 watt-hours (Wh) per battery. These limits allow for nearly all types of lithium batteries the average person uses in their electronic devices.”
Here’s a quick rundown of what you should keep in mind:
- Devices such as Nintendo Switch have lithium batteries, which are recommended to be placed in a carry-on bag. Ensure you remove your gadgets with batteries when going through the security checkpoint.
- For power banks, you can carry up to 100Wh (27,027mAh) each. Nintendo Switch’s battery is also within this limit.
- American, Delta, Southwest, and United Airlines allow passengers to carry up to two 160Wh (~42,000mAh) batteries. For other airlines, it’s best to contact them ahead of your flight to know their policies.
- Check the airline’s website for their lithium battery limits for international flights. You may also contact them directly through call, email, or social media accounts to double-check their policies.
Nintendo Switch Accessories to Carry During Travel
To make the most out of your Nintendo Switch during your travel, make sure you have these accessories with you:
Bringing a charging stand is a must, especially if you’ll stay long in another place. Charging stands also let you play in tabletop mode and connect your USB headphones and power banks to the USB-C port on the bottom.
When traveling, it’s best to bring a compact charging stand. The HORI Compact Playstand for Nintendo Switch folds down so you can easily pack it in your carry-on luggage or checked baggage. It also raises your Switch, making USB-C port accessible. (Read Can You Bring A Steamer On A Plane)
Switch carrying case
You would want to avoid your Switch to just lounging around your carry-on baggage and getting scratched by your items. For your carrying case, you should place it in a case with an upper accessory pocket that closes. This way, the upper half will hold your most used items, such as your spare console, cable, and earbuds, and the bottom half will carry the Switch and your games.
We all know how it can be not quiet on trains, cars, and even during flights. If you want to enjoy playing games in peace, you can use headphones and earbuds with a noise-canceling feature to enjoy your little world while playing.
Nintendo Switch’s battery lasts only 3-7 hours, and you don’t want your Switch to run out of battery while you’re outside. But with a power bank in hand, you can extend the life of your Switch even during long international flights.
As mentioned, ensure you have a USB-C cable with a 56-kilo-ohm resistor to charge your Switch even if your power bank uses a Type-A USB port.
Optional: Nintendo Switch Dock
We don’t recommend bringing the Switch dock for travel since it is bulky, but if you really need it, bring your Switch’s AC adapter and HDMI cable. Once you forget them, you won’t be able to use the dock during your trip and will only take up space in your baggage. (Read Can You Bring A Metal Water Bottle On A Plane)
Reminders to Prevent Loss of Nintendo Switch
There have been several cases in which people lost their Switch during travel. Here are some valuable reminders to prevent this from happening on your trip:
Write down the serial number of your Switch in a notebook or on your phone because it can help if you lose your Switch.
- Watch for your gadget once you’ve gone through the security checkpoint.
- Never leave your device alone, especially if you plan to charge it somewhere.
- When on board, keep your Switch in your bag if you’re not playing. Do not place it in the seat pocket.
- Always check your Switch along with your other gadgets before leaving the hotel.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nintendo Switch allowed on international flights?
Yes, Nintendo Switch is allowed on international flights. These gadgets are only prohibited if airport security notices something sketchy from them.
Can I use a Nintendo Switch on a plane?
Yes, you can use your Nintendo Switch on the plane. But remember that you can only play downloaded games or have physical cartridges.
Can I place the Nintendo Switch on checked baggage?
Yes, Nintendo Switch is allowed on checked baggage. However, it’s recommended that electronic devices must be on the carry-on, as they are prone to be lost or damaged when in checked bags. (Read Can You Bring Dip On A Plane)
No need to worry about carrying your Nintendo Switch on your next flight; you can freely do so, and much more so, play it on board! Remember all the reminders we listed to ensure you won’t encounter any trouble when carrying your favorite gaming gadget.