You love playing your Xbox. For you, gaming is a great way to destress after a long day of work as well as connect with your friends. You’re going to travel for a while, and you’d prefer to bring your Xbox if possible. Can you take the console on a plane?
You can bring your Xbox on a plane if it fits in your carry-on or checked bag, although it’s ultimately at the discretion of the TSA agent. The console would have to pass a TSA checkpoint, but that usually happens without difficulty.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about taking an Xbox with you on a plane. We have lots of great information to come, so make sure you keep reading!
Is an Xbox Allowed on a Plane?
Don’t worry. You’re far from the first person to want to take your Xbox on an airplane. It’s a common enough occurrence that the Transportation Security Administration or TSA has an official policy on it.
According to the TSA website, you can bring your Xbox in either a carry-on bag or a checked bag.
Let’s compare your options now.
Bringing Your Xbox on a Plane in a Carry-on Bag
If you’re a frequent traveler, then you’re familiar enough with carry-on bags. They’re a piece of luggage that you bring on the plane and keep in your possession for the duration of the flight.
You can either keep the carry-on bag down at your feet or put it in overhead storage. Either way, you can watch the bag to ensure nothing happens to it.
Video game consoles are anything but cheap, with new models getting more expensive all the time. You want to feel confident that if you decide to travel with your Xbox that it will arrive at your destination safe and sound.
With a carry-on bag, you’d have that kind of assurance.
Of course, the issue is that your Xbox might not fit in the allowed carry-on bag size.
What is that size? Well, that depends on which airline you’re flying.
United Airlines restricts carry-on bags to nine inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 22 inches long. That measurement includes the entire bag, wheels, and all.
For those who like to fly Southwest Airlines, your carry-on bag must measure no more than 10 inches tall by 16 inches wide by 24 inches long. That’s a slightly bigger allowance than what United grants its customers.
JetBlue restricts carry-on bags at a height of nine inches, a width of 14 inches, and a length of 22 inches. That’s the same bag size limit as what United imposes.
Frontier Airlines wants all its carry-on bags to be able to fit in the overhead bin on the plane. The size limit is no greater than 24 inches tall, 16 inches wide, 10 inches deep, and 35 pounds overall.
The latest and greatest Xbox, the Xbox X, weighs 9.8 pounds, so you should be able to bring it in your carry-on if you’re flying Frontier.
Delta Airlines limits carry-on bag sizes to nine inches tall, 14 inches wide, and 22 inches long including the handles and wheels of the bag. Any carry-on that exceeds 45 linear inches when you add up the height plus the width is not allowed.
Finally, if you’re traveling to your destination through Alaska Airlines, your carry-on cannot exceed nine inches tall, 14 inches wide, or 22 inches long including the handles and wheels. Again, the 45 linear inches requirement comes into play.
Bringing Your Xbox on a Plane in a Checked Bag
Your other option is to transport your Xbox in a checked bag that you bring onto the plane.
Unlike a carry-on, you cannot keep a checked bag with you as the plane takes off. You’d check it in at the airline of your choosing and pay a fee, usually between $25 and $60 and sometimes more for the bag.
You usually only have to pay the fee one way, so coming back with your Xbox would not incur a checked bag charge.
Once you check in your bag, you’d take your seat and allow the airline to transport your checked bag for you. You cannot access a checked bag until the flight is over.
This is where the problem lies for traveling via plane with an Xbox. You don’t want your game console to get banged around for hours, and you can’t be sure that that won’t happen.
You would hate to entrust an airline to take care of your Xbox–and usually pay quite a hefty fee as well–only to come back to your hotel, try to plug your Xbox in, and realize that it’s damaged or broken.
You’d have to turn around and shell out several hundred dollars for a replacement console. Ouch!
Checked bag sizes vary by airline just as carry-on bags do. For example, if you’re flying United, your checked bag must be nine inches tall by 14 inches wide by 22 inches tall.
Southwest Airlines allows for checked bags that are 10 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 22 inches long.
JetBlue is more generous still, as checked bags can be 10 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 24 inches long.
When flying Frontier, the airline imposes both size and weight restrictions on checked bags. Your bag cannot weigh more than 35 pounds and must measure no more than 10 inches tall, 16 inches wide, and 24 inches long.
Delta does not have a weight requirement, but you’d have to downsize your checked bag to no more than nine inches tall by 14 inches wide by 22 inches long.
Those who always fly American Airlines must meet that same sizing requirement for all checked luggage.
What about Alaska Air, you’re asking? Your checked bag is allowable if it’s no greater than 10 inches tall, 17 inches wide, and 24 inches long.
Can an Xbox Get Turned Down for Allowance on a Plane?
You were all set to pack up your Xbox for a fun trip. You had even bought a carry-on bag just for the console.
Then you hear of a friend who recently traveled and tried to bring their own console. They were turned down at the security checkpoint.
You’re confused and concerned. You had thought Xboxes were fine on a plane, so what gives?
In most cases, Xboxes are allowable on planes, but that decision ultimately comes down to the TSA agent.
On the TSA page that we linked you to before, that much is clear. Here’s the TSA’s statement in full: “The final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint.”
That doesn’t only go for Xboxes, but any video game console. Even items outside of consoles might not always get permitted to fly across the country.
Here’s what we recommend. If you’re curious whether a specialized carry-on bag or a hard plastic case is allowed on a plane, contact the TSA before your trip.
Most people have good luck contacting the TSA through their official Twitter account. Just tweet using their @AskTSA account about your particular setup. You can even include photos.
The responding TSA agent will tell you affirmatively whether your Xbox should be okay on a plane.
Keep in mind though that since that TSA agent is not the one permitting you access to the flight, you could potentially be turned down once you enter the airport. This is a very unlikely scenario, but one you should be at least a little prepared for.
Can You Bring Xbox Peripherals on a Plane?
From controllers to a headset, charging cables, wireless adapters, and a gaming media remote, you have a full Xbox setup.
Thus, you’d be transporting more than just your Xbox console via plane, but all those accessories as well. Can you?
Again, the answer is more than likely yes. We do caution you to watch how much weight your peripherals add to your carry-on bag or checked bag once your Xbox is in there.
If your bag weighs too much, you’d have to either lighten the load or go home. Neither is a very appealing proposition!
The TSA allows Xboxes (and most accessories) on a plane in either a checked bag or carry-on bag. A TSA agent has the right to refuse your Xbox at any point but probably will not.
Before you pack for your flight, be sure to measure the carry-on bag or checked bag and weigh it. This way, you can get through the security checkpoint smoothly!
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