In a few days from now, you will be flying to your most awaited vacation after 2 years of being restricted by pandemic fears. Excited as you are, you start filling up your luggage making sure all essentials are packed safely. You may be familiar with the airline regulations with regards to the restricted things to bring. But then you caught sight of your Bluetooth speaker, an item you would not want to miss. A question suddenly pops in your mind, can I bring a Bluetooth speaker on an airplane? Can I pack a Bluetooth speaker in my checked luggage or my carry-on bag?
These are questions relevant to travelers who are music lovers and who can’t go away without bringing their Bluetooth speakers. This article will answer these questions and will further discuss TSA/FAA rules related to this topic that you need to observe before you fly high.
Can you bring a Bluetooth speaker on an airplane?
The direct answer is yes. Passengers are allowed to bring Bluetooth speakers on an airplane. But where should it be packed, checked-in baggage, or carry-on? To be safe, we need to verify TSA/FAA rules about this concern.
What are the FAA/TSA rules for Bluetooth speakers?
As per the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) website, Bluetooth speakers are allowed in both checked-in and carry-on luggage if it doesn’t use batteries. However, confusion now comes in because these speakers usually have built-in lithium batteries. We know that safety rules are being followed for batteries because of fire hazards. So, how can we solve this confusion?
As per TSA, a product that has 100-watt hour lithium-ion batteries or less can be carried to your luggage, with some guidelines to follow. However, batteries were not specifically listed. We need to be sure of this detail to avoid leaving such an essential item during travel.
Carry on rules
The website of the FAA or Federal Aviation Administration has clearer information on lithium batteries and instructions about bringing portable Bluetooth speakers. As per their guidelines, “Passengers can carry most consumer-type batteries and portable battery-powered electronic devices for their personal use in carry-on baggage. Spare batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit. Battery-powered devices must be protected from accidental activation and heat generation. Damaged or recalled batteries, including when in a device, must not be carried.”
The FAA guidelines also provide a list of allowed devices with batteries to be on our carry-on luggage. There are even specific kinds of batteries listed in the regulations provided by the FAA. Therefore, it is safe to say that bringing your Bluetooth speaker with batteries in your carry-on baggage is allowed.
Checked baggage rules
How about checked-in baggage? Yes, carrying a Bluetooth speaker in your checked-in luggage is also allowed. According to FAA guidelines, “Except for spare (uninstalled) lithium metal and lithium-ion batteries, all the batteries allowed in carry-on baggage are also allowed in checked-in baggage.” These batteries must be protected from damage and short circuit or installed in a device. Battery-powered devices-particularly those with moving parts or those that could heat up-must be protected from accidental activation. Spare lithium metal and lithium-ion/polymer batteries are prohibited in checked baggage-this includes external battery packs. “
After checking the specific guidelines provided by the TSA and FAA, we can now safely say that Bluetooth speakers are allowed both in checked-in baggage and carry-on baggage, following certain guidelines specified. However, you may want to confirm further by checking it first with your airline at the check-in counter before you check in your luggage as some regulations may vary depending on the airline you chose.
Tips for flying with Bluetooth speakers
Another thing to remember is when you get to the airport security, you must take out your Bluetooth speaker from the bag and put it separately in a bin with your other gadgets and devices such as laptops and cellphones, as they go through the x-ray machine. This is part of the safety protocol they follow which ensures that such devices won’t be used as bombs. They may even sometimes require to turn it on to prove its legitimacy.
However, you should not bring big speakers if you want to bring them with you in your carry-on luggage. Or else, this will be required to check-in and will be considered oversized baggage. If you want to have your speakers with you on board, bring a small or mini version of the Bluetooth speaker which can just be slipped into your small handbag.
Some passengers complain about lost Bluetooth speakers in their checked-in bags. Thus, this creates confusion for passengers that Bluetooth speakers are not allowed during travel, either on board or checked-in bags. Other travelers decide not to bring their speakers anymore to be safe. But the reason for these lost speakers is the uncertainty among the employees on whether speakers are allowed to be checked in or not. They might have misunderstood the regulations of both their airline and the TSA/FAA guidelines or might have understood the rules differently. If this happens to you, you can only claim the loss if you availed of travel insurance which covers electronic devices such as Bluetooth speakers.
In summary, can you bring Bluetooth speakers on a plane? Yes! Where can you pack it? Whether you put it in your carry-on baggage or checked-in baggage, it does not matter. Both are allowed when you follow the specific guidelines provided. Speakers and other electronic devices are not prohibited, but since most speakers have built-in lithium batteries, this is where complications start. But FAA’s recommendation is to have it with you on board, meaning inside your carry-on baggage. Maybe it is less complicated and will avoid the instances of loss, as long as proper guidelines are observed. Make sure also to verify first the rules of your chosen destination because rules vary in different countries.
Once everything is confirmed with the right authorities, then you are now safe to fly. It is with so much ease if you are confident with the information you have. So it pays to plan and do the necessary verification. After all, you will be flying to relax and enjoy your vacation. We can’t afford to spoil it right at the start of our vacation period. Have a safe and enjoyable flight!