Can You Bring A Speaker On A Plane?
The short answer is that Bluetooth speakers can be brought onboard as carry-on luggage. Also, as a general rule, you can put portable Bluetooth speakers in a checked bag when you fly, as long as the battery is in the device and it is packed well to keep it from breaking. But because portable speakers have lithium batteries, it’s best to bring them on board in your carry-on luggage. In some cases, it could be required by the airline’s policy.
You can’t put spare lithium-ion batteries in your checked luggage like those in power banks. They must be in carry-on baggage or a personal item, and placed in the overhead bin or under the seat.
Airport Security & TSA Rules
What does TSA regulation and the Federal Aviation Administration say about wireless speakers? The Transportation Security Administration says speakers are allowed in your checked and carry-on item on their website.
However, this doesn’t address the more restrictive lithium ion battery portion of the Bluetooth speaker question.
Here’s how they answered the Bluetooth question in a Tweet on social media, saying it’s allowed but recommended to be taken as a carry-on and put in the overhead compartment or under the seat in front of you.
TSA states that personal electronic devices (PEDs) larger than a cell phone must be removed from their bag for x-ray machine scanning. This includes tablets, laptops, and most likely a Bose speaker, which can be placed in a separate bin for x-ray screening. This doesn’t apply to passengers with TSA PreCheck on their boarding passes.
Best Bluetooth Speakers For Air Travel
While a Bose Bluetooth speaker is probably the most well-known kind of Bluetooth speaker, there are plenty of other speaker systems with great sound quality. The Charge 5 JBL Bluetooth speaker is one of the highest-rated, and the Clip 4 is a smaller, portable JBL speaker. Both have good battery life and non-removable batteries.
For larger speakers, the Bose Soundlink Mini II is another good option.
Here are some of the highest-rated Bluetooth speakers with rechargeable batteries for air travel on Amazon, a great way to get any kind of speaker fast, before your next trip.
Why Do Lithium Batteries Need To Go In Carry-on Luggage?
Why can’t you put a spare battery in checked bags?
Spare lithium batteries (lithium-ion or lithium metal batteries) are not allowed in checked bags because they can short-circuit, overheat, and potentially cause a fire in the cargo bin. However, they are allowed in carry-on bags as long as they meet certain requirements.
There have been several cargo plane accidents that have been linked to lithium-ion batteries. Here are a few examples:
- In 2010, a UPS cargo plane crashed in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, killing both pilots. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) determined that the probable cause of the accident was the ignition of lithium-ion batteries that were being shipped as cargo.
- A FedEx cargo plane caught fire shortly after takeoff in Guangzhou, China in 2011. The investigation found that the fire was caused by the overheating of lithium-ion batteries that were being shipped as cargo.
- In 2016, an Asiana Airlines cargo plane caught fire while on the ground in Seoul, South Korea. The investigation found that the fire was caused by the overheating of lithium-ion batteries that were being shipped in the cargo hold.
- Due to safety concerns, when packing your Bluetooth speaker in a checked bag, it is important to ensure that the speaker is turned off and the battery is fully charged. This is to prevent any potential issues with accidental activation and the internal lithium-ion battery overheating or causing a fire hazard in the cargo. It is also a good idea to pack the speaker in a protective case or bag to prevent the risk of damage during the flight.
Federal Aviation Administration
The FAA determines airline regulations for aviation and the airline industry. Here’s the FAA’s page with safety rules on Lithium Ion batteries, and what they say about portable electronic devices containing batteries. Here are some highlights of what they say:
PEDs containing batteries are allowed in carry-on luggage and checked-in baggage, including but cell phones, laptops, and cameras. This includes lithium-ion batteries for electronics (AA, AAA, C, D, laptop batteries)
Devices with lithium & lithium ion batteries should be carried in carry-on baggage whenever possible. When PEDS powered by lithium batteries are checked, they must be powered off and protected to prevent activation
It’s always a good idea to check with the specific airline you will be traveling with; different airline policies may vary. These notes apply for a domestic flight; if you’re traveling on international flights outside of the United States-based airlines, there may be further restrictions.
Can I Travel With Multiple Battery-Powered Speakers?
American Airlines says on its speaker page you can carry a total of 2 speakers, or 1 sound combined between carry-on luggage and checked-in baggage.
Can You Use Portable Bluetooth Speakers In Flight?
Airlines allow PEDs such as cell phones and Bluetooth headphones for personal use during the flight as long as such devices are used in airplane mode. However, airlines also have rules to limit passengers’ PED volume from disturbing other passengers.
If you were to use a Bluetooth speaker in flight, you’d quickly become the least popular passenger on the plane.
Packing Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
Tips for airline passengers
When packing your Bluetooth speakers in a checked bag, there are a few important things to know for your next flight. Ensure that the speaker is turned off and the battery is fully charged. This is to prevent fire risk issues, with the battery overheating or catching fire. It is also a good idea to pack the speaker in a protective case or bag to prevent it from getting damaged during the flight as checked baggage.
It is also worth noting that some airlines have different rules when it comes to bringing electronic devices in checked bags. For example, some airlines may ask you to declare large electronic items, like big Bluetooth speakers, at the check-in counter. It’s always a good idea to check with the airline ahead of time to make sure you know about any special rules or requirements.
Also, if you a bringing a large speaker, check to make sure they don’t exceed the maximum battery size. Also, keep in mind that large speakers do not exceed the maximum weight and size limits for check-in luggage.
Most airlines have rules about what you can and can’t do with batteries in your checked bags. Here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when packing batteries in a checked bag:
- Non-spillable batteries: Non-spillable batteries, such as those found in most electronic devices, are generally allowed in checked bags. However, it is important to ensure that the device is turned off and the battery is fully charged to prevent any potential issues with overheating or fire.
- Spillable batteries: Spillable batteries, such as wet cell or lead-acid batteries, are generally not allowed in checked bags. These types of batteries may leak or spill, which can cause damage to other items in the bag.
- Lithium-ion batteries: Most airlines allow lithium-ion batteries in checked bags, as long as they are properly packed. It is generally recommended to pack the device in its original packaging or a protective case, and to ensure that the battery is fully charged.
- Spare batteries: Spare batteries should be packed in your carry-on bag, rather than your checked bag. This is because spare batteries may be prone to overheating or catching fire if they come into contact with metal objects, such as coins or keys.
We’ve provided links to each airline’s specific policy below.
Allegiant Air has several pages of information, including this PDF file
Allegiant’s restricted item page listings
American’s policies can be found here
Avelo’s information can be found here
Frontier’s policies can be found here
Delta’s policies can be found here
JetBlue’s policies can be found here
Hawaiian’s policies can be found here
Southwest’s policies can be found here
United’s policies can be found here
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