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Can I Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane? A Complete Guide

Alex Ortiz
By Alex Ortiz Add a Comment

Hey, are you getting ready for a trip and wondering what to pack? Packing can sometimes be a headache, especially if you don’t want to miss out on anything fun. If you’re like me and love gaming, you might be thinking, “Can I take my Nintendo Switch with me on the plane?” Well, I’ve got some great news for you!

Guess what? You totally can bring your Nintendo Switch on the plane! That’s right – you won’t have to leave your favorite games behind. But before you toss your Switch into your bag, there are a few things you might want to know. Stick with me, and I’ll fill you in!

Keeping It Safe

First thing’s first, if you want your Nintendo Switch to stay in tip-top shape, think about getting it a travel case. It’s like a comfy bed but for your game system. These cases help protect it from bumps, drops, and scratches. You wouldn’t want anything to happen to it while you’re on the move, right?

Taking Your Games to the Sky

Hey, fellow gamer! Are you excited to play your favorite Switch games while you’re flying above the clouds? I sure am. Let’s make sure you have everything ready for some high-altitude gaming fun!

First-Time Flyer with a Gaming Console? You’re Not Alone!

So, is this your first time taking your Nintendo Switch (or maybe even a Wii U) through the airport? Feeling a little nervous about it? Hey, I get it. We all worry about our precious game consoles when passing through those busy airport security checks. Plus, there’s that nagging thought about battery life and whether the airplane folks will even let you play during the flight.

Don’t sweat it! I’ve got your back. In this article, we’ll chat about what the airport security people (you know, the TSA) have to say about traveling with game systems. I’ll also share some super helpful tips on packing your Nintendo Switch the right way. And of course, we’ll talk about making your in-flight gaming time as epic as possible! Let’s dive in!

Can You Bring A Nintendo Switch On A Plane? TSA Regulations

You might be wondering if the airport security folks have anything special to say about our beloved Nintendo Switch. Well, the TSA (that’s the Transportation Security Administration for us in the United States) has some guidelines for us to follow. They’ve mainly talked about big gaming consoles on their website, but luckily, they cleared the air for handheld ones like the Switch on Twitter. Here’s what they said:

“Hey, gamers! You can totally bring your handheld gaming consoles in both your hand-carry and checked bags. But when you’re at the security checkpoint, make sure to take out devices bigger than your phone and pop them in a bin for our X-ray screening. Need more details? Check this out: [Link to TSA Video].”

That was from the official TSA Twitter account. Pretty cool, right?

Important Rules to Remember

So, here’s a quick rundown of what the TSA wants us to know if we’re traveling with our Nintendo Switch:

  • The X-ray Machine Dance: If you’re not part of that fancy TSA Precheck club, you’ll need to take your Nintendo Switch out of your bag when you reach the security area. It’ll need to pass through the X-ray machine all by itself.
  • Bigger than a Phone? Separate Bin, Please!: If your device is larger than your average smartphone, like our Nintendo Switch, it needs its own space in the bin. This helps the TSA agents check it out easily and ensures nothing else in your bag squishes or scratches it.
  • Give Your Switch a Safe Home: Want to keep your Switch looking shiny and new? Think about putting it in a sturdy carrying case. This is like armor for your Switch. It helps protect it from any bumps, scrapes, or even those wild bag handlers.
  • Tag It, So You Don’t Lose It: Sometimes, stuff gets lost or misplaced. To make sure your Nintendo Switch finds its way back to you, slap on a tag with your name and contact details.

Lithium Ion Batteries

Ever wondered what powers your Nintendo Switch to life? It’s a special kind of battery called a lithium-ion battery! These batteries are super common in many of our favorite gadgets. Now, the good news is, the Switch’s battery is totally cool with airplane rules. But there are some things to remember:

  • Size Matters: Airplanes are okay with passengers bringing lithium-ion batteries, but they do have size limits. You can bring batteries that have up to 100 watt-hours of power in your carry-on bag. The Switch’s battery is within this limit, so you’re good!

Power Banks

Want to make sure your Nintendo Switch doesn’t run out of juice mid-flight? A power bank might be your best friend. But, like always, there are rules:

  • Carry-On Only: If you’re bringing a power bank, make sure to pack it in your hand-carry bag. Airlines are usually not a fan of these in the checked luggage because of the lithium batteries inside.
  • Check and Double-Check: Different airlines might have slightly different rules about power banks and batteries. So, if you’re ever unsure, just give the airline or the TSA a quick call or check their website. Always better to be safe than sorry!

Airplane GPS and Nintendo Switch Modes

The super cool thing about the Nintendo Switch? It can transform its gameplay style! Whether you dock it or hold it in your hands, there’s a mode just for you:

  • Three Ways to Play: The Switch isn’t just a regular gaming console. It can be played in three main styles – handheld, tabletop, and docked. Each style offers its own unique gaming experience.
  • Flying High with Handheld Mode: If you’re flying, the handheld mode is your best bet. It’s like holding a mini TV right in your hands, with all your favorite games ready to play. It’s easy, portable, and perfect for those long flights!

Handheld Mode

Guess what? Your Nintendo Switch is ready-made for air travel. The handheld mode is your best buddy up in the sky. Why?

  • Easy-Peasy Gameplay: No need for extra stuff or fancy setups. Just grab your Switch, attach the Joy-Con controllers, and jump into your favorite game.
  • Be the Perfect Neighbor: In handheld mode, you can game away without taking up space or bothering the person next to you.
  • Note: The Nintendo Switch doesn’t have GPS for airplane Wi-Fi, so don’t expect to use it as a navigator or phone. Stick to gaming!


Ever thought about playing online while thousands of feet up in the air? Well, with airplane Wi-Fi, you can!

  • Connect and Play: If your flight offers Wi-Fi, you can hop online and play with friends. Some airlines even offer this for free or at a small cost.
  • But Remember…: Airplane Wi-Fi can sometimes act a bit moody. It might be slow or drop out now and then, so be prepared for some hiccups.

Joy-Con Controllers

Taking your Switch on a trip? Make sure those Joy-Con controllers are safe and sound:

  • Separate for Safety: You can take off the Joy-Con controllers and store them separately. This way, they won’t get damaged, and packing your Switch becomes a breeze.

Battery Life Tips

Your Nintendo Switch is designed to keep you entertained for hours, even on those super long flights. Here’s how to make the most of its battery life:

  • Game On and On: With up to 4.5 hours of battery life, you can dive deep into games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while soaring through the skies.
  • Charge It Up: Before your flight, make sure your Switch is all juiced up. You can use the special charging cable that came with it or any USB-C cable. Handy, right?
  • Crossing Borders? Bring an Adapter: Flying to a new country? They might have different plugs. So, consider packing an adapter for your Switch’s charger. You can either buy one before you leave or check with your airline.
  • Save That Battery: Want to squeeze out every minute of gameplay? Put your Switch in airplane mode. This turns off things like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which can gobble up battery life. Just head over to your Switch’s settings and turn on flight mode.

Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch OLED

The Nintendo Switch family has grown, giving you more choices to pick the perfect travel companion. Let’s take a look!

  • Nintendo Switch Lite: Think of this as the little sibling in the Nintendo Switch family. It’s tinier, lighter, and made especially for those on-the-go moments. Even though its screen is a bit smaller than the regular Switch, it’s a power-packed option for portable gaming. Perfect for those long car rides or flights.

Nintendo Switch OLED

Wait! We just talked about the Switch Lite, right? Well, let’s dive into the other new member of the family.

  • Nintendo Switch OLED: This is like the fancier version of the regular Nintendo Switch. It still offers handheld mode, but with a shinier and brighter screen. The OLED screen makes your games look even more vibrant. So, if you’re looking for an upgraded experience and don’t mind a slightly bigger device, this might be your pick.

Packing Techniques

Taking your Nintendo Switch on a journey? Let’s make sure it’s packed safely and ready for action:

  • Game Storage: Got a ton of games? Consider getting a special container to keep them all in one place. This can be a simple bag or a snazzy case. It’ll keep your games organized and safe from any bumps.
  • Hear the Adventure, Not the Noise: Grab a good pair of headphones. Dive into your game without disturbing the person next to you, especially on a plane. Some headphones even block outside noise, letting you focus only on your game.
  • Watch the Weight: Don’t forget to check the weight limit for your carry-on if you’re flying. Every airline has its own rules, so a quick check can save you from any last-minute repacking drama.
  • Be a Considerate Gamer: Yes, that game might be super exciting, but always remember to keep the volume down or wear headphones. You don’t want to be “that person” on the plane or bus.
  • When in Doubt, Check!: Not sure if your Nintendo gear meets all the travel requirements? It’s always smart to contact your airline or even the TSA. They’ll give you all the info you need for a smooth trip.


So, fellow gamer, ready to jet off to a new destination? If you’re thinking of keeping yourself entertained with some epic game time, the Nintendo Switch has got your back.

Here’s the deal: The Nintendo Switch is like the ultimate travel buddy for gamers. It’s designed to fit snugly into your hands or your bag. Whether you want to dive deep into a game in handheld mode, set it up on the tray table in tabletop mode, or even dock it at your destination, it’s got you covered.

And the best part? You won’t suddenly find yourself staring at a “low battery” warning while you’re about to beat that difficult level. The Switch’s battery is built for the long haul, and with various ways to charge it, you’re all set for hours of uninterrupted gameplay.

Remember, when you’re at the airport, give your Switch its own space in the security bin. It’s a small thing, but it’ll make the process smoother.

So next time you fly, let games like The Legend of Zelda or Xenoblade Chronicles whisk you away to other worlds, making those flight hours fly by (pun intended!). Here’s to high-flying adventures both in the game and in the skies. Game on and travel safe! 🌍✈️🎮

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