Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane? (Ultimate Guide)

Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane?

If you’re planning a trip and would like to bring Nintendo Switch with you, it’s important to understand the airline policies regarding this electronic device. This guide will help you figure out if you can bring your Nintendo Switch on a plane, as well as provide tips for packing and flying with your device.

Is There a Nintendo Switch Airplane Ban?

No, there is no Nintendo Switch airplane ban. In the United States, which is where most of our readers are, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) doesn’t even specifically list the Nintendo Switch on their list of items that you can or can’t bring in your carry on or checked bags.

Instead of offering guidance specific to the Nintendo Switch, the TSA lumps the Switch in with other portable electronic devices that contain batteries and refers you to the Federal Aviation Administration”s (FAA) PackSafe guidance on portable electronic devices containing batteries.

After reading the materials from both the TSA and FAA you will see that it is perfectly fine to bring your Nintendo Switch with you during air travel in the United States.

While it is reassuring to know that there is no Nintendo Switch airplane ban in the United States, it is important to note that regulations may differ in other countries. International travelers should always check with their airline and the appropriate authorities in their destination country before bringing any electronic devices on board.

Can I Take a Nintendo Switch in Carry-on Luggage?

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows electronic devices like the Nintendo Switch to be brought on board an airplane as carry-on baggage.

However, when going through the security checkpoint, you will need to be prepared to remove your Nintendo Switch from your bag and place it in a bin for screening. You may also be asked to turn it on to show that it’s a working device.

Whether or not you will be asked to take your Switch or other electronic devices from your bag to be screened is dependent on the airport you are at and their security setup. For example, I was recently in a Minneapolis airport and needed to remove my electronic devices. Then on the same trip, I could keep my devices in my bag when I was at one of the airports in the Phoenix area. When I asked the TSA agent why I didn’t have to remove my electronic devices from my carry on bag he said that it had to do with the scanner and the dimensions of the plastic bins they were sending through it.

Can You Put a Nintendo Switch in Checked Luggage?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows electronic devices like the Nintendo Switch to be packed in checked baggage. However, if you do put your Switch or other portable electronic devices in your checked bag, they need to be completely powered off and protected so as to prevent unintentional activation or damage.

Despite being able to put your Switch into your checked bag the FAA encourages devices that contain lithium metal or lithium-ion batteries like smartphones, laptops, tablets, and the Nintendo Switch to be transported in a carry on bag. This not only keeps your Switch accessible so you can easily use it during the flight, but it helps protect it from being accidentally lost or damaged in your checked bag. Plus, in the rare event that the lithium battery malfunctions, having it in the cabin by the flight crew is helpful as they are trained to recognize and respond to lithium battery fires

Can You Play the Nintendo Switch on the Plane?

As we alluded to earlier, yes, you can play the Nintendo Switch on a plane. However, there are a few things to be mindful of:

  • During takeoff and landing, the flight crew may ask that all electronic devices, including the Nintendo Switch, be turned off and stowed away.
  • While in flight, you can use the Nintendo Switch in airplane mode, which disables wireless communications such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Plan on bringing headphones or turning the volume off when playing to avoid disturbing other passengers.
  • Some airlines, especially as it relates to international flights and destinations, may have their own rules regarding the use of electronic devices during the flight, so listen to the flight crew’s instructions. It may also be a good idea to check with your airline before traveling.

Overall, as long as you follow these guidelines, you can enjoy playing your Nintendo Switch during your flight.

Can You Take a Nintendo Switch Dock With You on a Plane?

If you have a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch OLED you may be wondering if you can bring your dock with you on a plane.

Yes, you can take a Nintendo Switch dock with you on an airplane in either your carry on or checked luggage. However, since the dock requires a power outlet to work and since you aren’t going to be able to play it in TV mode on the plane, you won’t be able to use it. As a result, we suggest putting the dock in your checked luggage, especially if you are trying to save space in your carry on.

8 Nintendo Switch Accessories to Bring With You on a Plane

If you’re planning to bring your Nintendo Switch on a plane, here is a list of some accessories that you may want to consider bringing with you:

Protective Carrying Case

Daydayup Switch Carrying Case Compatible with Nintendo Switch/Switch OLED, with 20 Games Cartridges Protective Hard Shell Travel Carrying Case Pouch for Console & Accessories, Black

A sturdy case can help protect your Nintendo Switch during travel and keep it safe from scratches or damage.

Game Cartridges

If you prefer physical game cartridges over digital downloads, you may want to bring a few games with you on the plane. Most carrying cases will have space allotted for several game cartridges.

Joy-Con Grip or Pro Controller

Nintendo Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition Pro Controller - Switch

If you prefer to play games with a more traditional controller, you may want to bring a Joy-Con grip or a Pro Controller with you on the plane. To make it more convenient to bring these along, you may want to consider picking up a larger carrying case that can accommodate these controllers.

Headphones

PDP Gaming LVL40 Stereo Headset with Mic for Nintendo Switch - PC, iPad, Mac, Laptop Compatible - Noise Cancelling Microphone, Lightweight, Soft Comfort On Ear Headphones, 3.5mm jack - Black

Bringing headphones can allow you to enjoy your Nintendo Switch without disturbing other passengers. Plus, if you were try to play your Switch with the speakers on the flight crew might ask you to turn the volume down or even stop playing altogether.

Screen Protector

ivoler [3 Pack] Screen Protector Tempered Glass for Nintendo Switch, Transparent HD Clear Anti-Scratch Screen Protector Compatible Nintendo Switch

A screen protector can prevent the screen from getting scratched or damaged during travel.

microSD Memory Card

SanDisk 128GB microSDXC-Card, Licensed for Nintendo-Switch - SDSQXAO-128G-GNCZN

If you have purchased any digital downloads of games you already know that the Switch’s internal storage is limited and you can run out of storage space fast. So if you have several digital copies of games you may want to consider purchasing a microSD card so you don’t have to pick and choose which games to bring with you on your trip.

Portable Power Bank

Portable Power Bank Compatible for Nintendo Switch, 10000mAh 5V/3A Flash Rechargeable Extended Battery Backup Charger Case for Smartphone and Switch

A portable power bank can keep your Nintendo Switch charged during the flight, especially on those longer trips. If you bring a portable power bank you need to be sure that you put it in your carry on luggage (even if you don’t plan on using it during the flight).

Stand

Switch Stand, ADZ Adjustable Playstand Compatibe with Nintendo Switch Console, Portable Compact Play Stand Mount with 3 Height Settings

If you plan on playing in tabletop mode during the flight you might want to bring along a stand. Yes, the Switch has its own kickstand for use during tabletop play, but a stand is much more sturdy and won’t tip allow the Switch to tip over as easily. While these stands look kind of bulky to be putting in your carry on bag, most of them will fold down into a pretty compact size when not in use.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Nintendo Switch When Traveling on an Airplane

To get the most out of your Nintendo Switch on your flight there are several things you can co First, be sure to charge up your Switch as well as its joy-cons before leaving. Bring along headphones or earbuds. You should also bring a USB-C cord with you on your flight as well as a power bank so you can have the option to charge the Switch if needed on those longer flights. If you have access to a laptop, you can also use the USB-C cable to connect to your computer to make use of the extra juice. Finally, turn down the screen brightness and turn off any features you aren’t using to help maximize its battery life.

FAQS About Using the Nintendo Switch on an Airplane

Can You Play the Nintendo Switch on International Flights?

As we stated earlier, you can play the Nintendo Switch on most international flights. 

However, it is important to remember that the rules regarding the use of electronic devices for international flights can vary. Part of these differences could be airline specific, but another part of these differences can relate to the origin or destination country, with such restrictions being subject to revision over time. For example, in 2017 the United States had a ban on electronic devices larger than a smartphone being in carry on luggage or otherwise accessible to passengers during the flight when coming to the United States from a small list of international airports.

Does the Nintendo Switch Have Airplane Mode?

Yes, the Nintendo Switch has an airplane mode that disables all wireless communication including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC reader, which is used for amiibo accessories.

To activate airplane mode you can go through the System Settings menu or the Quick Settings screen.

Can You Play the Switch in Tabletop Mode While It Is in Airplane Mode?

When in airplane mode you will have no trouble playing in handheld mode, but you won’t be able to play in tabletop mode without making an adjustment first.

By default, airplane mode deactivates all wireless communications. The joy-cons use Bluetooth to connect to the Switch. So you will need to go into the settings and enable Bluetooth and then you will be set.

If you are wondering if Bluetooth is allowed just look around. All of the people who are using wireless headphones or earbuds on the plane are connecting to their devices using Bluetooth.

You can see how to enable Bluetooth after airplane mode has been activated in the video below.

How to Charge a Nintendo Switch on a Plane

Depending on what games you are playing, the settings you are using, and the length of your flight, you might need to charge your switch during your flight. If you have a Switch or OLED Switch using your dock won’t be an option as you won’t have a standard electrical outlet available. So the most important thing is to bring a USB-C cable with you. After that, you will have a few options to charge your Switch on the plane.

  1. Bring a portable power bank: A portable power bank can be used to charge your Nintendo Switch on the go. Make sure to choose a power bank with enough capacity to charge your Switch fully at least once. It’s important to note that some airlines have restrictions on the size and capacity of portable chargers that you can bring onboard, so check with your airline beforehand if you have any questions.
  2. Use an airplane’s in-flight entertainment system: Some airlines have in-flight entertainment systems that feature USB ports that you can use to charge your electronic devices, including the Nintendo Switch. However, it’s worth noting that the charging speed may be slower than a standard power outlet (at least it seemed that way for me when I used them).
  3. Use the power from a laptop battery: If you brought your laptop with you on the flight you can connect your Switch to it to use some of its power.

Final Thoughts

In the vast majority of cases, you will be able to bring your Nintendo Switch on board with you to help alleviate the tedium of air travel. However, it’s important to know the airline policies before bringing your Switch on a plane, especially if you are traveling internationally.

With the right preparation, you can ensure a smooth and safe flight with your device.

Last update on 2024-07-24 at 17:29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Dan G.
Dan G.

Dan is a video game enthusiast who has been playing games for over three decades. Starting out as an "old school" gamer, Dan has since embraced the modern age of gaming, thanks in part to his kids who inspired him to explore today's current consoles and games.

With a passion for video games and a desire to help others, Dan has become an expert in the field, specializing in video game consoles and hardware. Through his numerous articles and reviews he enjoys answering questions and helping parents understand the different options available for their kids.

If you're looking for expert advice on video games and consoles, Dan is a go-to source for reliable and informative information.