You’re allowed to bring Xbox, PS5, and other similar gaming consoles on planes without any restrictions. That’s because they don’t contain any rechargeable lithium batteries, so they’re considered completely safe for air travel. In fact, all plug-in electronics fall within this category.
You can pack Xbox and PS5 gaming consoles in your carry-on, personal item, or checked luggage. This applies to international and domestic flights because the rules are the same all across the world.
If packed in hand luggage, theoretically, you aren’t required to remove your Xbox and place it in a separate bin for screening when going through security. You only need to remove lithium-powered devices that are larger than a cell phone. But in reality, most TSA agents will ask you to do so. Xbox and PS5 use liquid metal for cooling, which obstructs the view of the X-ray scanners. So most likely, you’ll need to place it in a separate screening bin.
Xbox and PS5 game CD discs, wires, controllers with dry (disposable) batteries, and anything else that doesn’t have lithium batteries, also don’t have any packing restrictions.
Where to Pack Your Xbox/PS5
You should pack your Xbox or PS5 in your carry-on or personal item, whenever possible. Avoid packing it in your checked bag because it can get lost, delayed, damaged, or stolen. You have much more control over what happens to your hand luggage.
The only limitation is the size and weight because some airlines have very strict limits. Down below, we’ll list the dimensions and weights of the most popular game consoles:
|PS5||9.9 Lbs||15.4 x 10.2 x 4.1 Inches|
|PS4 Pro||7.3 Lbs||12.9 x 11.6 x 2.2 Inches|
|PS4 Slim||4.6 Lbs||11.3 x 10.4 x 1.5 Inches|
|Xbox Series X||9.7 Lbs||11.9 x 5.9 x 5.9 Inches|
|Xbox Series S||4.25 Lbs||10.8 x 5.9 x 2.6 Inches|
|Xbox One X||8.4 Lbs||11.8 x 9.5 x 2.4 Inches|
|Xbox One S||6.4 Lbs||11.6 x 9 x 2.5 Inches|
And here are the size and weight restrictions for hand luggage for some of the most popular airlines in the US:
|Airline||Carry-on Size||Carry-on Weight||Personal Item Size||Personal Item Weight|
|Frontier||24 x 16 x 10 In||35 Lbs||18 x 14 x 8 In||None|
|Spirit||22 x 18 x 10 In||None||18 x 14 x 8 In||None|
|Delta||22 x 14 x 9 In||None||None||None|
|United Airlines||22 x 14 x 9 In||None||17 x 10 x 9 In||None|
|JetBlue||22 x 14 x 9 In||None||17 x 13 x 8 In||None|
|American Airlines||22 x 14 x 9 In||None||18 x 14 x 8 In||None|
|Southwest Airlines||24 x 16 x 10 In||None||16.25 x 13.5 x 8 In||None|
As you can see, the size of some game consoles, like the PS5 may be a limiting factor, especially if you’ll be placing it in your personal item. It will fit, but it will take up most of the space in there, so be prepared to pack minimally.
How to Pack Your Xbox/PS5 for Air Travel
To make packing easier, you should organize all your cables in a single place. You can put them in a separate plastic bag or get a dedicated cable organizer.
You should avoid packing your game console near the edges of your suitcase. This will prevent it from being accidentally damaged.
Before placing it in your suitcase or backpack, wrap it in some soft clothing, for example, a bulky hoodie. You could also wrap it in bubble wrap, which will provide even more protection. Another option is to place it inside its original packaging. But I’ve found that it takes up too much space.
It’s also important to make sure that you have everything needed to turn on your PS5/Xbox. That’s because TSA has the right to ask you to turn it on to make sure that the device isn’t defective or modified.
And lastly, remember to pack it somewhere easily accessible. That’s because most likely, you’ll have to take it out of your bag when going through security.
Controllers and VR Headsets Have Different Restrictions
Controllers with rechargeable batteries and VR headsets are powered by lithium batteries, which have a few extra restrictions. That’s because lithium batteries are considered a potential fire risk.
Although you can also pack them in checked baggage, most airports, airlines, and regulators advise packing them in your hand luggage. If packed in checked bags, they must be switched off and protected from accidental activation.
Some countries don’t allow traveling with portable electronic devices over 100 or 160 Wh, but virtually all gaming accessories are below this threshold. So you don’t have to worry about that when flying internationally.
Portable gaming consoles, like Nintendo Switch and wireless headphones, also fall within this category.
Summing Up – Traveling With Xbox/PS5
Traveling with an Xbox is just like traveling with a laptop – they’re allowed without any significant restrictions. You should only remember to pack them in your hand luggage whenever possible to avoid theft or damage. And be prepared to leave some other items at home because they take up a lot of space.